A Legends of Ansu Fantasy
by J. W. Webb
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Pub Date 07 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 09 Nov 2022
She’ll keep him safe at any cost. He’ll make the kill at a moment’s notice. When destiny calls, whose heads will roll?
This book can be read as a page-devouring stand-alone.
Arraleen Caze’s rage knows no bounds. Quick to feed enemies to her pet panthers, the wealthy spymaster’s daughter is appalled when fools call for the destruction of her missing father’s land and the deaths of their people. So when her parent reappears, the arrogant assassin whisks him away from the impending carnage to plan their bloody revenge.
Gujun the Slayer’s options are rapidly shrinking. On the run after offing the vile emperor that hired him, the killers on his trail leave little room for rest. And with his hopes of an easy retirement now well out of reach, he has no qualms accepting a bounty for the infamous spymaster’s decapitation.
Escaping into neutral territory with her father in tow, Arraleen is incensed when they are double-crossed and given up to a powerful sorcerer. And the closer Gujun draws to his quarry, the more he wonders if he’s on the side of good or evil.
As fate dooms the two to fight blade-to-blade, will either emerge unscathed?
Dreamslayers is the action-packed first book in the Slayer epic fantasy series. If you like sharp-tongued characters, gritty landscapes, and pure vengeance, then you’ll love J.W. Webb’s whirlwind grimdark tale.
J.W. Webb weaves a masterful standalone fantasy with Dreamslayers, the newest installment in the expansive Legends of Ansu series. Spinning the worlds of two master warriors into a deadly orbit, this story immerses readers in an unstable world of magic, ever-changing allegiances, power struggles, and the mystical pull of destiny.
When Tulomon Caze suddenly reappears in his daughter’s life, desperate and damaged, the pair must go into hiding from a host of sinister enemies. The powerful Yanturi has eradicated their family and seized their land and possessions. This deadly coup is only the beginning, as there are other powers in the land who seek revenge on that same aging spymaster, putting Arraleen Caze squarely in the crosshairs beside him. As they flee to lands where some sliver of survival may be found, death stalks them, leaving fire and destruction in its wake. Fortunately, Arraleen is a savagely effective fighter, with an unflinching exterior, but an intriguing core driven by family and duty.
Gujun is a merciless dual protagonist, which we learn in his first blood-soaked scene, but there is a strange honor to his personality that is almost endearing, particularly as the truth behind his quarry is revealed. His motivations are not always clear – at times he feels like a mercenary for hire, without much interest in the nuance of those he puts down in the dirt, but at others, he seems to have a guiding light or greater cause, perhaps linked to being a Shen, a race shunned by so many others. His effortless actions with jian blades are described with beauty, closer to dancing than slaying, and while he takes no sadistic pleasure in violence, his mastery of blades is darkly compelling. However, Gujun is done dealing out death for other people, and merely wants a village of his own, armed only with comfort and power, but this final hunt may be his greatest challenge yet.
Pitting two relentless wills against each other for a dramatic and unpredictable adventure, Webb weaves a fantasy hunt with blurred lines of morality. The prose is rich and vivid, bringing complex action scenes to life with ease, as well as tense conversations, mad dashes, and quiet stalks through the night. Painting scenes and casual world-building seem like second nature to Webb, which have served him well in this series, as the novel feels steeped in epic history, extensive culture, and deeper messaging about the nature of good and evil.' Review by SPR
Average rating from 7 members
Another great job in the Legends of Ansu series, it had what I enjoyed from other entries. The story had a great blend of fantasy and epic genres, the writing was what I was hoping for and was invested in what was going on. It had a great plot that I couldn't put it down, the characters were what I was expecting. J. W. Webb has a great way of telling a story with their writing and I can't wait to read more from the author.
"The former gladiator shook his head free from the hood. Gujun studied his scars, the shaven pate, and his dark-olive skin. He came from Golt, a place Gujun had never heard mention of before. He looked well fed and stronger than ever, the clothes fine beneath that heavy cloak."
I loved the characters in this book. The story flowed beautifully and there were some really teary and laugh out loud moments.
I enjoyed the story it was well.paced and the characters were well developed. There was a little less magic and fantasy than I usually prefer but a good read all the same.
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