TITLE: Way Walkers: Tangled Paths (Tazu Saga, #1)
AUTHOR: J. Leigh
PUBLISHER: Red Adept Publishing
AVAILABILITY: Purchase links on publisher's website (click here)
Fantasy - Epic/High Fantasy
First, the disclaimers: I am a fellow Red Adept Publishing author. However, neither Red Adept nor J. Leigh asked me to write this review. The opinions that follow are mine alone.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let the raving begin! Way Walkers: Tangled Paths contains one of the most interesting and intriguing fantastical settings I've seen in a while. Thought it falls firmly in the "epic fantasy" genre - the genre of Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and The Sword of Truth - it contains many unique elements that set it apart. For instance, the world isn't a firm recreation of medieval Europe. There are elements of that, of course - kingdoms and magicians and the like - but, for instance, the architecture is glass instead of stone, and the characters travel via airship.
The plot of Tangled Paths is a classic Odyssey-style journey. The young hero is Jathen, a prince born to a kingdom of dragons. But unlike everyone else, Jathen is unable to shift into dragon form - a handicap that makes him the subject of derision. Bitter and angry, he sets out to find a place where he might belong, encountering many colorful characters and locations along the way.
This book is catnip for high fantasy fans. It pulls you into a rich, immersive world, complete with its own mythologies, political systems, and rules of magic. This universe feels lived in, real. And I just wanted to crawl inside and join Jathen as he explored new lands.
Tangled Paths is really a "slow reading" type of book. You don't flip the pages to find out what happens next like you would in a crime thriller or something. Rather, the best way to enjoy this novel is to absorb the sentences one by one and let them draw you into Jathen's world. As far as the plot goes, there are a few twists, but for the most part it's a straightforward journey of self-discovery, with many elements of a coming-of-age tale. Anyone who delights in discovering new worlds will enjoy this novel and all the richness of its universe.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J. Leigh wrote her first novel at the tender age of eleven, delving deep into the extensive fantasy world she entitled Way Walkers. Since then, she has never really left, though occasionally does emerge to enjoy the company of friends, family, horror movies and the ever-popular sushi dinner.
She currently lives in southern New Jersey with a chow-chow, several cats and fictional cast of hundreds.
Leigh’s published works include a ‘choose your own’ type interactive novel Way Walkers: University with Choice of Games.