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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Premonition (The Fortress Book 1) by Lisa M. James is an exciting beginning to what promises to be an excellent fantasy adventure. Isaac is the young son and heir-apparent to the Governor of one of the provinces that make up the land ruled by The Chief from his central location known as The Fortress. When Isaac discovers he is prone to visions and premonitions, he is shunned by most of his young friends and even his family, to a lesser extent. When the Chief sends his emissaries to inform the Governor that drought is on its way and they need to stockpile food in preparation, Isaac is able to confirm this as he also has seen a vision of the coming drought. Ignoring his son’s advice, the Governor and the people find themselves in great hardship a few years later when the drought does strike and the crops fail. Desperate for food, they organize an unsuccessful raid on the Fortress’s warehouses, where much-needed grain is stored. Facing possible execution by The Chief, Isaac makes the ultimate sacrifice and gives himself in exchange for the freedom of his people. The Chief’s daughter, Kiatra, is drawn to the young man and agrees to take him as her personal slave in return for letting the rest of the villagers return home. As Kiatra’s personal slave, Isaac will try to find a new life amongst these people, always trying to keep hidden his “curse” of visions and premonitions along with dealing with his mixed emotions over his new master.
Premonition (The Fortress Book 1) is a fantastic and easy read within the general fantasy genre. Lisa M. James’ style just flows effortlessly from one arc to the next and it is more than possible to read this entire book in one sitting, as I did. The characters she has created are real and believable. I particularly like Isaac with his insecurities and fears, equally challenged by his sheer bloody-mindedness and determination. However, for a man with visions, he did make some poor choices from time to time. The idea of the fine line between a just and fair ruler and a tyrant was portrayed perfectly. Of course, The Chief’s court had the requisite amount of palace intrigue, especially from The Chief’s mistress, Rose, and her daughter, Sabrina. If the purpose of the first book in any series is to ensnare the reader into wanting more, this narrative certainly achieved that. I am personally invested in these characters and desperately want to know where the journey will take them next, especially given one of Isaac’s visions of the future. This is a thoroughly enjoyable story that will appeal to all ages and even genres with a strong, sensitive female lead and, of course, the necessary romance to make any story stand out. I can highly recommend it.