Cover Image: The Secret of the Scroll

The Secret of the Scroll

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Member Reviews

The king is a little mad, as in crazy. His favourite way to keep the people in line is to hang a few every day. Any activity that was fine today may get you hanged tomorrow… After a failed expedition, the king’s archaeologist promises to build him a machine that will give him the power to see everywhere so his enemies can’t plot behind his back. But he doesn’t understand what he is about to build… Tyrant isn’t sure how he found himself in this situation, guarding a woman on her way to the capital when he is a loner and not in the habit of helping out. And finds himself in a plot to kill the king, well, sort of, they leave him behind halfway, but now he has all kinds of new problems…

What made this book for me was the character Tyrant. Overall, the writer’s humour is great in this book (the king says Ant is dead, so dead he is), but everything that happened to Tyrant and how he feels about it was the best part for me. I wasn’t such a fan of the other characters; they aren’t bad, but they didn’t stand out for me. The storyline was goodish… a boy wants to kill the king because he hangs innocent people; a witch snared a demon who is not showing his full potential (he was a little stupid to take the bargain she offered, but when you have all the time in the world what is a few years spent in service to a demanding witch is); a mad king and a few demons that have invaded the world. 

The book would have been a far lower star if it wasn’t for Tyrant and the humour. We see the story from the viewpoint of lots of the characters, but I did struggle a bit finding the purpose of the characters from about halfway through the story. I finished the book in one day, and it was good enough to look for the rest of the series. So… yes on the humour, okay on the story and characters, a good start, so-so middle, and a good ending.
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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book got off to a little bit of a slow start but by a quarter of the way in I was hooked. This is a book about people messing with magic they don't understand and living in the context of an authoritarian regime. Great worldbuilding, although at first the book began in a way that felt it over explained rather than showing the world building, this issue resolved as the book progressed. The book ends with a lot left unresolved and is clearly setting the stage for the next book (which I am eager to read). 
There are some feminist themes of the book that are not fully explored but hints that more might be coming in future books.
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# The Secret of The Scroll by #D.J. Harrison is a fun fantasy novel. A 15 year old holds the power in this story. And in a world where the King ruies, this young man's attempt to impress back fires..... 
Thank you for the advance copy,
# Netgalley and # BooksGoSocial
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DNF at 31%

This book was one of the few that it was just hard for me to get into. I’m normally the kind of person who has to finish a book once it’s started, but I had the hardest time getting invested in any of the characters. The plot line was hard to follow because there are SO many perspectives (I can count six off the top of my head just in the first 30%) and I found the pacing to be slow. I’m sure this book is for someone, but it just sadly wasn’t for me.
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The premise of this book intrigued me, particularly the line "Never trust a demon. Or fall in love with a witch." which I clearly interpreted in a different way to the author (or whoever wrote the blurb!).  The writing and world-building were good and the book contained a wide cast of varied characters.  The prose flowed smoothly, allowing me to follow any action or to build a mental image of a setting.

For me personally, it had too many points of view, which left me struggling to connect to the protagonists or care for them.  The frequent switching of viewpoint also made the pace feel slow, at times leaving me having to put effort into continuing with the read until I became re-engaged by the story.  Whilst this ended up not being for me I'm sure many other readers would love this story so I do still recommend trying it.
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A magical quest story about a young boy drawn into demon conjuring. 
A king that's holds the throne and rules in fear. 
One witch and one sorcerer, are they good or evil? 

This seems to be book one so I guess there will be more in this series. Though I enjoyed it but I didn't really connect with the characters. It was a slow read for me and I will not continue the series.
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Tyrant loves to do his own thing, and just wants to be left alone.  Lone the witch has other plans, can Tyrant finally escape her clutches?  and if he does will he survive?

Ant trying to impress his friends, creates some kind of portal they get sucked into, with his town in chaos and the king turning on his own people, Ant is sentenced to be hung.  When he survives, he finds himself on an epic journey with witches and demons, but will his thirst for revenge be his downfall?

Malachi determined to win his kings ear finds himself instead trying to escape the kings wrath. Now with his wife's arrival, can their plan be salvaged?

Patch, unfortunately too curious for his own good, finds himself in a position he finds demeaning.  Is he more than he seems, and will he get what he wants?

This was an enjoyable first in series read and I look forward to reading more.
Thank you to Open Circle Publishing for the ARC on NetGalley.
#DJHarrison #TheSecretoftheScroll #NetGalley
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Told from multiple perspectives, this book follows the stories of several different characters through a single event. 

Lone is a sorcerer's wife living her life in isolation as she tries to trap a demon to do her bidding.  But the demon she traps is not quite the demon she seeks.  Can she make it work anyway.

Tyrant is a well known criminal in the capital - or at least that's the name he's worked hard to make for himself.  The more afraid people are of him, the less they'll bother him.  His strategy has worked quite well, until he suddenly finds himself in a small pathetic border town where idiots want to fight him and a mysterious beautiful woman wants him for a travel partner. Tyrant isn't sure, but there may be magic afoot.

Ant is the teenage son of a historian, and longs to explore the lands and make a name for himself with the (admittedly unfair, and unreasonable) king.  If only his dad would ever let him do anything useful.

Ambrose is the king's historian, in charge of procuring good for the king from the northern lands.  Straddling the delicate line between magic and sorcery.  But when his wells run dry, he finds he has one final trick up his sleeve to present the king with before he escapes - a magical scroll that he *thinks* will help the king track demons.  But what happens when the king's historian fails to decipher the truth correctly?

Harrison tells the story of the kingdom of Gort from the perspective of these characters and more.

Overall, the story flows smoothly, with gritty writing and raw insights into human thoughts and nature, and is likely to appeal to those who enjoy Adult Fantasy with multiple POVs.  However, the pace of the story is rather rickety.  Due to the multiple perspectives, the reader has knowledge of the situation early on and is patiently waiting (for nearly half the book) for the characters to catch on to something that has already been revealed.  As for the characters themselves, while well developed, none manage to compel the reader to any love or empathy, their flaws making them more unlikeable than relatable.  

Personally I found it hard to stick with this book, and if I didn't have to review it, would have DNF'd it before the 50% mark.  However, its good writing, and well-developed characters give it a solid foundation.  This book wasn't for me, but I could easily see it appealing to someone with different tastes.
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A funny, magical quest story of a boy drawn into demon conjuring, a sorceror who may or not be evil depending on your point of view a king who holds on to his throne through fear, a reluctant demon disguised as a silly looking horse, 2 girls looking for their parents and the protectors and enemies they encounter. 
I really enjoyed this, it has a flavour of Pratchett with a undercurrent of menace and danger. I am really looking forward to the next installment.
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This was a quick read within the high fantasy genre; solid world building with outlawed magic, demons and the like, with two main PoV within a gritty reality doesn’t quite fall into a grim dark category or leverage course encounters, so it remains a fell good story.  Ant is a young boy eager to show his independence from his rather unimpressive father that starts the ball rolling by engaging in activities he doesn’t understand.  Tyrant is a loner ex-soldier just barely getting by on his limited wits and fists before becoming ensnared within an enchantment that drives the second half of the story.  Outside of these characters, you have a rather two dimensional supporting cast that is fine for an afternoon of leisure entertainment that easily pulls you through the story, but doesn’t really help with any character development outside of basic tropes.  The ending was a bit quick and not entirely satisfactory, but the series is available in Kindle Unlimited and the books are small … so plan on rocking though the entire trilogy.

I was given this free advance review copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#TheSecretoftheScroll #NetGalley #KindleUnlimited
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Thanks, Netgalley and Publisher for the opportunity to read and review! 
A very intriguing read with very captivating characters. It's always nice to read a story that balances its narrative and development between the heroes and the villains. It starts a little bit slow but the narrative gets you engrossed and the plot blooms with every next page. I will definitely read more from the author.
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DJ Harrison does a wonderful Job of creating a story, that in my opinion,  is a very different fantasy!
Filled with Demons, magic, steel and swords....YES!

But the first novels twist is that there is no clear, main character.  All of them are so real, that the closest you get are Anti-heros.  The human flaws that flesh them out and make them real, mean that they don't stand out in the traditional sense. 

Is it Tyrant, who is an unwitting participant in every aspect of the story, but simultaneously so vital.  ( the series is clearly named.for him),

 Ant, who by his fathers meddling in magic, draws him into a need to find his friends, kill the king, and become what is he is destined for.
...which is not revealed.

Malachi, clearly a wizard, with gift for manipulation, but also a gift for failure when he should so surely succeed...good, bad, his intentions murky at best...

Or Lone, such a powerful woman, but still so clearly tethered by her Gender in a male dominant world..

The story cleverly takes a non-linear path and even though it doesn't arrive at a concrete conclusion in one book, it deftly leaves you wanting more with such unique occurrences and world bulding...

Fans of Abercrombie will love it!
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I really loved this bookfrom startto finish.i knew from when I read the blurb that I would enjoy it. Never a dull moment.   Thanks so much for the opportunity
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This was an easily readable tale and captivating enough that I completed the book in one sitting. Being the first time I have read anything by this author, I look forward to reading some more.
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This book weaves together a few different adventures; a sorceress wife traveling with a trapped demon in tow on her way to have the King possessed & controlled, a son caught up in unintentional portal opening by his father, and Tyrant the lovable ruffian who’s the de-facto bodyguard for many characters along their journeys. 

This lay of the land was pretty straightforward to grasp and easy to understand. The dialogue was great, and easily readable. By the end, I was invested in Ant’s mission, however it took a while for me to feel like he was a character to really focus on. This felt different from other fantasy and kept me guessing what would happen next. I also enjoyed the bits of humor throughout. 

The multiple POVs were mostly enjoyable, but I felt like they rotated between too many different characters, which made it harder to connect with the protagonists and really flesh out who the “main” characters are. The author does a nice job of bringing the characters and storylines together, but it felt disjointed for a little while, and took me too long to see how they fit together. I also noticed some repetitive conversations between the characters several times, none of which felt like they were even significant plot points.

All in all I would be curious to see how the adventure progresses, but because it took so long to become invested and figure out the direction this story is heading, I’m weary that it’s just too slow paced and fragmented for my taste.
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When I started to read this book it was not quite what I expected and I started to think this is not the genre for me. Many hours later after reading straight though (except stopping for drinks and food). I thought maybe it was ! 
Definitely buying the next in the series to see where the story goes from here.
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