By: D.L. Jennings
Publisher: Indigo River Publishing
Publication Date: February 2018
Reviewed By: Kristi Eldridge
Review Date: September 17, 2018
In a small village nestled in the forest, Thornton Woods and his father Olson lived an uneventful life working as blacksmiths. Over the years his father had taught Thornton everything he knew about working with steel and fire. Even though he was still not yet at the level of skill of his father, Thornton was still given a very special hammer that previously belonged to his father, and he treasured it highly. Besides his father, Thornton’s closest friend was Miera, who harvested and sold flowers. At a young age Miera had lost both her parents, and Thornton had never known his mother, so these two shared a special bond. Along with Olson, they became their own close-knit family to fill in the gaps.
So when Thornton’s father asked him to deliver some chains to the nearby village of Lusk, it was no surprise that he asked Miera if she wanted to travel with him. When they arrived at Lusk, Miera went off to set up her flower stand, while Thornton went to deliver the chains he and his father built. However, the place he had been told to find looks desolate and abandoned, but when he pushes open the door he finds a hooded figure there. Startled by this strange being, Thornton quickly unloads the chains, wanting to put distance between him and this disturbing place. After being paid for the chains he quickly goes to find Miera, but cannot shake the feeling that something is wrong, and they are not safe staying there.
Thornton’s fears are confirmed when after spotting Miera in the distance he notices a group of rough looking men surrounding her. As one of the men lunges to attack her, Thornton throws himself forward to protect her, and then remembers he has his hammer. With all his might he swings and connects with one of the attackers, throwing him back several feet. A surge of energy is suddenly running through Thornton’s arm, as he tries to wield the sudden power his hammer seems to have, but before he gets another chance to swing the hammer, the attackers leave. Knowing for certain they are now not safe in Lusk, Miera and Thornton pack everything up to begin their journey home.
Unfortunately, they do not make it far when they are confronted by a hooded figure, with skin that looks as if it has been badly burned. With a sinking feeling in his stomach, Thornton realizes this is not a human, but a Kyth. The Kyth have powers that allow them to control certain elements. They are also known to be ruthlessly power hungry, and this one for whatever reason wanted something from Thornton and Miera and would go to any lengths to attain it. Preparing himself for a fight, Thornton tightened his grip on the hammer, but the Kyth’s eyes suddenly flowed red with recognition as he lunged for the hammer. Instantly, a flash of black fur intercepts the Kyth and dispatches him, and Thornton comes face to face with a creature he only thought existed in his dreams...
This is an exceptional story, which grabbed my attention from the beginning and held it until the very end. The characters and creatures created by author D.L. Jennings are wonderfully thought-out, and unforgettable. The stage is set early for an exciting adventure, as within the first few chapters I could tell that this was writing I would stay up into the late hours of the night reading. In addition, the evil characters in this story are ones who made me shrink back as I read about them, and in order to have an intriguing fantasy adventure story an unnerving villain is key, and D. L. Jennings definitely delivers on that.
Quill says: There was not a point in this book where I wanted to stop reading, as every page was full of heart-pounding adventure, danger, and intrigue!
For more information on Gift of the Shaper: Book One of the Highglade Series, please visit the author's website at: www.dl-jennings.com