Saturday, April 19, 2014

Book Review - The Way of the Black Beast by Stuart Jaffe

The first time I ever met author Stuart Jaffe was during Contraflow, an awesome convention located in New Orleans, Louisiana. I hit it off with him immediately and knew that we were going to be good friends. However, it was during Midsouth Con 2014 that I purchased a copy of one of his books - The Way of the Black Beast - Book One of The Malja Chronicles. A month later, I began reading it.


Most, if not all, of my books reviews are of books that I liked/loved quite well and this one is in the same category. If you are looking for a book that includes not only magic but also technology, strong emotions that run the gambit, a well laid out story and a kick ass female lead who is also very human, then The Way of the Black Beast is for you.

Imagine a world in which magic ruled everything: the food one ate, the seasons that constantly changed and even the people who inhabited said world. Magicians were seen as the lawgivers, caretakers and everything in between for the world and the world was good.

Now, imagine that same world destroyed by the very thing that helped shape it.

Welcome to the Devastation.

Malja, a young woman who is also a cold blooded assassin, is on a mission: to find her fathers, Jarik and Callib, two very important and dangerous magicians, and kill them. She must be able to survive a world horribly twisted and damaged by magic as well as those who still carry magic in the form of tattoos on their bodies, not to mention protect a young mute boy named Tommy who is also a magician who has not yet become insane by his magic. She has questions that need answers and the only people who can answer them for her are the ones she must destroy as well. Oh yeah, let's not forget the Bluesmen (wink) in whom I want to know more about very, very much.

I hope you are reading this, Stuart. I want to know more about the Bluesmen.

While reading this engrossing book, I kept comparing it to The Dark Tower by Stephen King, of which I read and thoroughly enjoyed. There is that same feeling of technology versus twisted magic in a misshapen world that I felt when I read The Dark Tower and yet Jaffe captures something quite different with his narrative that flowed well and kept up a good pace that will keep the reader engrossed. Jaffe, in my humble opinion, can tell a story rather well and is descriptive enough to allow the reader access into this world, whether they want it or not, without being bombarded.

I look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series and I truly do hope that Jaffe and I cross paths again at a convention very soon.

Pick up a copy of The Way of The Black Beast and if you happen to meet Jaffe, you will be one lucky person for knowing him.

Happy Reading!

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