Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
H.L. Watson has created a totally believable world and its inhabitants in "World of Ryyah: Unlikely Alliance" and fantasy fans will be left eagerly awaiting the sequel. The story begins as Akenji watches his friend Donovan being buried and swears that Donovan's unborn child (children) will have security and happiness instead of suffering and loss. Donovan's widow, Brandela, insists that a wall--to protect against Trolls and slave raiders--be built around their new settlement before Akenji, descended from humans, marries Brandela's wood elf assistant Kerala. Akenji and Kerala do marry happily and the years begin to pass. Then, slave raider Blythe and his men kidnap Elven women from Brandela's settlement. Akenji and his 13 human Rangers go after them to save the elf women. Meanwhile, Akenji and Kerala's son, Kenji, Brandela, and Donovan's son, Addlin who is the future leader, find and then save a strange man, as wide as he is tall, when he as being attacked by Trolls. The strange man is a Dwarf, Thorbjorn, The First Hammer of Clan Iron Hammer, and he vows that he and his surviving clan of dwarfs are indebted for life to Addlin and Kenji and their people. But can the Dwarves and their home under the mountain really help save Brandela's settlement from Troll attacks?
"World of Ryyan: Unlikely Alliance" is a well-written and well-conceived fantasy that will draw the reader into Ryaan and its half-human, half Elven inhabitants who constantly battle slave raiders and Trolls. The characters of Akenji, Brandela, Kerala, and their children are believable as is the storyline. "World of Ryaah" belongs on fantasy readers' list everywhere as a series not to be missed.