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Posted June 10, 2013
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
"The Land of Eternal Rain" is Book One of 'The Tales of Ryan Foster', a young adult epic fantasy set on the planet Gaia. Ryan is a young teen who does not know who he is or where he is from. One day, he woke up alone in a strange forest. He was greeted by Evelyn, an older woman, who showed him the way to a small village, Scorsan, where he was taken in by one of the families. Ryan quickly learned sword-fighting, something the children of the village began learning at the age of 5. His proficiency, which eventually far outstripped that of his peers, led to his rejection by his foster parents. When the village is attacked by wulven, savage warriors who set the village ablaze and attacked its inhabitants looking for a Terran boy, Ryan joins in the fight and finds he has terrifying powers that he uses to destroy the wulven raiders. He is stunned when this enrages his foster-father who blames Ryan for the attack. Ryan then loses consciousness and wakes up in the company of Queen Olria who is taking him to a safe island to meet Nicholas, the man who is to become his mentor and friend.
While J.R. Gridley's epic offering is targeted at a young adult audience, it should appeal to fantasy readers of all ages. Ryan and Nicholas are solid and engaging characters as are many of the other people and creatures you meet in the story. This is the first part of an epic tale, and the mythology of the planet, Gaia, and its inhabitants is original and compelling. There is much to explore in this world, and I finished "The Land of Eternal Rain" looking forward to future installments of 'The Tales of Ryan Foster'. I highly recommend this book.