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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Once Upon a Treatise by Sheldon Saurs is a spellbinding fantasy tale that explores a wizard’s obsession with a magical book that will make him unbeatable. The wizard Enrandl has always had a natural ability to access the magical arts and he crushes everything that stands in his way, including his mentor. But the discovery of a magical book that can give him all he wants changes everything. The book is hidden in the inaccessible recesses of a mountain, the place known as The Unforgiving. It is guarded by a fiery dragon. He sends his crew to get the book, but before they can lay hands on it, it is already discovered by a half-elf and a manikin. In a rage, the wizard kills his entire crew except for Toran who uses his magic to escape. The magical book is in the hands of Kellik, a half-elf who doesn’t know how to use it. Through unforgiving landscapes filled with dangerous creatures, Toran must help his newfound friends, Kellik and Saigel, understand the book while struggling to stay out of the grasp of the merciless wizard.
Any reader who enjoys the epic adventures in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings will adore this epic fantasy. In this plot, a character who does not understand the laws of magic stumbles on a powerful magical find, a coveted book that a powerful wizard will stop at nothing to get. Herein lies the crux of the conflict, and it becomes more complicated with the twists and the unfriendly landscapes that the characters must traverse. The descriptions are terrific and from the very beginning of the narrative, the reader is introduced to the unique magical world of the antagonist. Enrandl is a well-crafted villain who will have the attention of readers as they follow his path, curious about what will happen to him. All kinds of creatures are well-written into the story, adding depth to the already fascinating fantasy world the author has invented. The other characters are elaborately written and I enjoyed the skillfulness with which Sheldon Saurs handles their background stories. Once Upon a Treatise is spellbinding, fast-paced, and filled with magic and characters that are exciting to follow.