Hag of the Hills: A Celtic Historical Fantasy (The Bronze Sword Cycles Duology Book 1) Author JTT Ryder

Book Review!

5 out of 5 stars!

First and foremost, this book is set around 200 B.C. in the Iron Age of Britain. Meaning you need to just toss the modern mentality of things into a box and save it. Enjoy this fun adventure and leave now's society and it's dramas behind.

"Let it be known to all that one must rip himself from himself to form anew." - Vidav

Brennus' life is a very simple one. Minding the farm for his oldest brother who wishes to keep Brenn from following in their father's footsteps. Only Brenn wants more from his life and to have everything his father did. But how can a youth who apparently has no backbone become a warrior legend like his father? Not to mention he hasn't been allowed to go into the tombs to claim his sword and be reborn a man. . .

"Come to the Slighan Hill. . ." - Mysterious Voice

Brenn's simple life changes in a course of a night. Hillmen, mercenaries, sidhe (spirits), and so much more. Brenn wanted a life of adventure, little does he know he's about to get one! Only will he embrace it or wish he was still leading a mundane one?

This is a coming of age story. It focuses on the life of Brenn and I loved how the story is told to someone. Think of the aesthetic of Anne Rice's book, "Interview with the Vampire". How it's clearly being relayed to someone but then switches to first person POV and things are happening in the present.

I could tell as I read chapter one, I was going to love this book! The writing styles amazing. The author does like to use a lot of descriptions but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The words just flowed within the sentences, really allowing me to be submerged into this read. He kept the plot moving and the pacing was perfect. I also loved how the author included a couple of glossaries in the book, front and back. Including pronunciation of words!

The author's also an archaeologist! He states in the first part of the book that he specializes in this time period! But being an author, he left himself room to infuse an artistic flare. So there may be some things or places that are truly a part of the past and some things he took artistic liberties with. But you very much get the feel of 200 B.C. and the real tribal mindsets of the people in this time.

I loved all of the mercenaries! The different characters brought different things to the table and Brenn even utilizes it. I wasn't too fond of Fennigus, honestly wanted to punch him. I loved the character arcs, especially Brenn's. Don't let his lack of physical strength or muscle tone fool you. He's a clever one!

This may be a trigger for some. But this book is set in 200 B.C. in the Iron Age of Britian. Just addressing this again. Women, specifically, were not seen as equals per say. They were more servants or slaves. Helping to keep the home warm and children a plenty. But it is honestly just a wow moment of how far we have come in the world.

There's slavery in the book because in this time period there were slaves. Even some who have chosen slavery to work toward something or work off something. The author does mention some treatment of the slaves but there's nothing extremely brutal or drawn out.

This book has darker, grittier themes, think "Game of Thrones". I really loved this book and just being submerged into this time period. I want to continue the series! There's language in the book, MF action, violence, glimpses of what happens when a siege is about to happen, happening, and after. There's also some bloody practices performed within as well. Just fair warning.

"All a man has in this life is his word. Break the word, and you break yourself as a man." - Tratonius

Enjoy this time piece with some fantasy elements mixed in and give the author some stars!






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