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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Fans of shifters, dragons, unicorns, elves, magical powers, conflict between good and evil, and suspenseful tales in which things are not what they seem will find Age of Valor: Heritage by D.E. Morris an enticing read. This first novel in the Age of Valor Christian fantasy series introduces a temperamental, emotionally complex but always courageous heroine in young Ashlynn, future High Queen of Altaine in Siness. Orphaned as a child, it’s not surprising that she determines to take revenge against the wicked king who killed her father, even though a terrible war could follow if her role in the assassination is discovered. Almost everything else about her comes as a surprise, and not just to the reader, as the riveting plot unfolds, and the true source of evil is revealed.
Set in Morris’ signature fantasy world, bolstered by an amazingly varied cast of characters, told in highly descriptive and engaging prose, and underpinned by Christian allegory, Age of Valor: Heritage reminded me of a roller-coaster ride in the dark. Yes, you start out slowly. Yes, there are places where you pause briefly on a summit. Yet, you can’t wait for the next exciting headlong plunge and the emotions it will stir within you. Morris reveals the story at a steady pace, moving between one parallel subplot and another, and taking enough time with dialog and description to cast key characters in three dimensions with a full range of emotions: love, hate, jealousy, trust, faith, courage, and fear abound. Warning: reading this book will leave you wanting more. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.