Dawn of Wonder

Dawn of Wonder (The Awakening Book 1) is a coming of age fantasy, with some military and mystery/suspense elements, by Jonathan Renshaw. The author has a web site here, as well. Right up front: There are religious elements to the book. I saw a review that was disappointed by that, calling it a deus ex machina. I don’t see it that way. It was not like that element had not been built toward during the book. Further, one might consider religion itself to be fantasy, and it certainly is a valid fantasy element. At worst it was slightly heavy-handed in one aspect, but you should judge for yourself.

That said, this is one of the best fantasy novels I have ever read. That and its length make it an incredible bargain at $3.99 on Kindle. If you enjoyed works like The Wheel of Time series, this is for you. If you enjoyed Harry Potter, this is for you. It feels Potteresque in spots, but is not crazily so. Most notably, there is a character that makes me think of a cross between Hagrid and Dumbledore. I expect my Potter-obsessed eleven year old will love this when she gets around to reading it. Right now she’s interested in The Martian (which was excellent, I thought, but suffered from excess buildup or hype about how amazing it was prior to my reading it when the price dropped to a still-excessive $6.99).

It starts in the typical middle of nowhere, Shire-like or Two Rivers-like locale, shortly thrown into upheaval by events. No good deed goes unpunished, so it’s road trip time for the main character. Adventures ensue, much is learned, and I can’t wait for the sequel. Also, I am not a horse person, but there is a horse I can’t wait to see again. The author has a wonderful way of describing things, particularly when it comes to the antics or young men. I also enjoyed the political intrigue and glimpse of foreign relations.

Just buy it. Enjoy!

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