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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Eldon Thompson's debut novel, The Crimson Sword, is the first volume in an epic fantasy thriller comparable to bestselling series like Jennifer Fallon's Hythrun Chronicles, Mitchell Graham's Fifth Ring trilogy, and Terry Brooks's Shannara sequence. Brimming with magic, monsters, and nonstop adventure, this Tolkienesque story pits a reluctant hero -- a young woodsman named Jarom -- against a demonic queen and her armies of nightmarish dragonspawn. With the fate of millions of innocent lives in the balance, all Jarom has to do is find a mythical sword used by godly avatars in the creation of the world, elude a vengeful wizard who happens to be his banished brother, and somehow defeat a seemingly endless swarm of monstrosities from the Abyss.
After saving a terrified woman from a band of pursuing soldiers, Jarom finds his world is turned upside down by her story. The woman turns out to be the Queen of Alson, and after sharing her horrific tale about the king's assassination and a wizard's siege of the kingdom's capital, she informs Jarom that she is in fact his mother and that he is the secret heir to the throne! As the wizard wreaks havoc -- and ghastly creatures begin appearing throughout the countryside -- Jarom is sent on an almost hopeless quest to find a sword of legend.
While this novel is clearly not on the level of Tolkien's archetypal classic, Thompson shows great promise in this page-turning debut, which features generous amounts of magic, mythology, and mayhem. Here's one fantasy fan who's very curious to see where Thompson goes with his Legend of Asahiel trilogy. Paul Goat Allen