"The Internet has opened up tons of opportunities, and amazing new stuff comes out on a near-daily basis. Kickstarter offers up incredible opportunities to get awesome designs at surprisingly good prices. But it’s not all good – for instance, did you know there are still people who pay for porn? And, with all the people taking advantage of how ridiculously easy it is to create your own thing, there is a virtual landslide of utter crap floating around. It can be really tough to find entertainment that’s worth a damn. Novels are a good example – some of those self-published fantasy books have to be worth reading, statistically speaking, but it’s staggering how many people think they are good writers when they are, in fact, unforgivably horrible.
Which is why it’s nice to find something like The Kin of Caladen. For starters, it’s not a typical elves-and-orcs fantasy book. It’s got a well-developed backstory, and loads of history that unfolds as you read, but it doesn’t have any of the traditional pseudo-people who seem to clutter up every book since Tolkien said, ‘let there be dwarves.’ It has human people, but then it breaks directly off and invents all-new races, like the scaled warriors called the Skaelar and the eagle-headed flying people called the Aeroli (yes. That is what they are called. If you can say that last one without giggling a little bit, you’re a better man than I am).
The story follows the adventures of three brothers, Gabrel, Kaven and Dareic, as they travel to raise armies and find weapons that can oppose the evil Lord Daro. They’re not exactly the most likely trio of heroes, and my favorite character was actually the lizard guy who could whoop ass and be mean and was still somehow the most likeable dude in the entire kingdom. Him, or the goth chick.
The Kin of Caladen manages to tell a surprising, gripping and entertaining tale that had me staying up until two in the morning to find out what happens next. The races might leave you wondering when you’re going to see cat-people, but the aesthetics are basically just varnish for exceptionally well-developed nations (except the nipple-birds – we don’t find out a lot about those guys in this book). The author may not have built a truly Tolkien-level magical world, but he did better than a lot of published writers, including some of the biggest names in fantasy fiction. There’s more than just a tale of wandering heroes here. There’s an entire world to explore, and you’ll have a grand old time finding out what awaits around the next corner.
Furthermore, the story that unfolds in The Kin of Caladen is remarkable. It’s not just that it’s unpredictable. I mean, it is unpredictable in the extreme, and will frequently have you thinking, ‘wait, can you do that?’ but that’s not the only thing that will get you to keep turning pages when you know you ought to be in bed already. When you’re wondering how the author is going to save a particular guy, you probably ought to be asking IF he will save that guy. It’s almost impossible to predict how everything will turn out, and you’ll be shocked at some of the body count. I was.
But possibly the greatest thing about The Kin of Caladen is discovering the world that unfolds as you read. There are magical cities, ancient tombs with magical wards, and terrifying monsters. You’re not just skimming past window dressings, you’re watching grand magic unfold before your eyes. The world you’ll find in these pages is exciting and compelling.
Given the exceptional amount of thought apparent in The Kin of Caladen, and the painstaking way that the author avoids falling into the rookie traps you usually see from a rookie writer, the future of the series looks pretty damned good. I know that as soon as the second book comes out, I’ll be reading it.
If you want to grab an enjoyable book that rises above the usual epic fantasy toilet water, check it out.
AND TRY NOT TO LAUGH AT THE TITTY BIRDS." -M.D.
"Just when you think the classic hero's quest is in place, the formula's pretty much blasted to smithereenes. I was fully hooked the whole way through, because I had no idea where Scott would take me, and was just enjoying the hell out of the ride." -G.F.
"By the end of the first chapter, I absolutely had to know what was going to happen to these characters. I think people of all ages will find something to relate to in this emotionally-driven epic." -T.I.
"The journey is epic, suspenseful and fun, and all of its intricately-plotted elements segue into one another fluidly, until all comes to a breathtaking culmination that left my jaw dropped." -N.R.
"The entire book is laden with intriguing characters, real peril, and extraordinary events, which lead the reader on a journey of truly epic proportions." -S.P.
"Brilliant. I never liked fantasy until I read this book." -M.L.W.
"Fantastic. The ending just blew me away. Wow. That was inspired, and I really appreciate Scott's commitment. He didn't pull any punches. The battle was rendered very well, and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. Please don't make me wait too long for the next book." -Z.F.
"What I liked most was the completeness of the world Scott created. He brings a particularly unique depth to each race. The ending was spectacular, and the battle was epic. Great story, and I can't wait to read book 2!" -C.S.
"New worlds, characters and creatures abound in this wonderful and mystical fantasy. The character development is original and moving, and the story is compelling. Hold on and enjoy the ride!" -C.B.S.
"Scott has created a thrilling adventure in the spirit of exploration, filled with magical powers, death-defying trials and non-stop action that leaves you begging for more." -M.N.B.
"The Kin of Caladen is a must-read if you love family, magic and edge-of-your-seat action. The characters are colorful and intriguing. The Spawn of Mirrorblood chapter was especially interesting and imaginative. I need to know what happens next!" -A.C.B.
"The Kin of Caladen immerses readers into a fantastic world of magic and heroism. Scott really draws you in with character depth and interaction. Extremely well written, and EXTREMELY hard to put down. Very excited about Book 2!" -B.D.B.