Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite
The Black River Chronicles: The Ursvaal Exchange by David Tallerman is the second book in the Black River Academy series, a compelling story that features magic and characters that are as genuine as they are relatable. Student ranger Durren Flintrand has been through much trouble already and being in Black River Academy for Swordcraft and Spellcraft is almost feeling like home. But when Tia makes a startling discovery, everything changes, and Durren finds himself involuntarily thrust into an exchange program to the Shadow Mountain Academy, alongside Tia, Arein, and Hule. It isn’t going to be like anything they have ever experienced before and the roles they have assumed will get replaced pretty quickly. Can they adjust to the new world and can they meet the challenges that lie ahead?
David Tallerman takes readers into a unique magical world, a world with its own rules, and introduces them to characters that they will love. There is quite a lot to entice readers and get them utterly engaged. First off, the setting is gorgeous and it comes out neatly in the narrative and readers will enjoy the strong imagery and the colorful descriptions of places. The characters are solid, each well-thought out and crafted to feel like one’s next door neighbor, but they aren’t ordinary characters. The conflict is strong and it develops at multiple levels. The sudden change in the lives of the key characters is a catalyst that drives the conflict and the author handles this brilliantly. The Black River Chronicles: The Ursvaal Exchange is an interesting entry in the series, a book to keep fans of fantasy completely engrossed in the read.