Fezariu’s Epiphany by David M. Brown
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (458 pgs)
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Cholla
12-year-old Fezariu thought his mother died when he was little, but when his beloved stepfather dies the boy discovers she is alive and well - and working at the most famous brothel in all of Elenchera. When she cruelly rejects him it's more than he can bear, and he runs away to join a band of ruthless soldiers for hire. The Merelax Mercenaries will fight for anyone who can pay them, no matter the justice of the cause.
Fezariu grows up among the soldiers and becomes one of them. He thinks his time with the mercenaries has hardened him. But a campaign in his old home town pushes him too far, and he discovers what really happened to his mother. Maybe there are some things money shouldn't buy... and maybe it's time Fezariu took his revenge.
From the moment of conception, it seems as if life was out to get Fezariu. Starting with a mother who abandons a life of prostitution to bear her son, his life leads to one loss after another. Fezariu finds his life to be a difficult one until he discovers the Merelax Mercenaries and discovers a home he can be happy in. Or can he? Life as a mercenary can be a tricky thing and in the end, it might lead him right back to what he vowed he’d never have, nor want. It’s bound to be a grand adventure, however.
Fezariu is an intriguing character and shows a considerable amount of growth throughout the story. As a boy, he’s curious, considerate, and strong-willed. As a man, he’s seen too much and been through too many battles. Despite the fact that he’s seen so much loss and has hardened his heart to the world around him, he maintains a soft spot for his trio of friends and the girl that had been raised as his sister, Alycea. Both his friends and his constant thoughts of Alycea keep his mind on the task at hand and remind him of why he’s doing what he's doing, even when the doubt creeps in. Even with all his conflicting thoughts and actions, he is eventually able to pull it all together into something that not only works for him but makes sense in the world he’s living in. His struggles throughout the novel have a lot to tell us about how we handle our relationships in our lives.
Every hero needs a trio of good friends, right? Fezariu definitely has a good band of companions to help him along the way to his epiphany. Tessera is a tough but kind-hearted girl who really becomes his closest companion. With her purple hair and sharp shooting skills, she’s an attractive and useful member of his party. Vintaro is by far the most interesting – and entertaining – companion. He’s a toldere which is a wolf-like creature covered in fur but walks upright like a man. He is definitely there for comic relief a lot of the times and to have your back the rest. Arshea is the lonely heart of the group, having joined the mercenaries to make a fortune and return home to be with his love. Together with Fezariu, they make a well-rounded bunch of friends, each with their own needs and skills to make a functional and successful group of mercenaries.
Fezariu’s Epiphany has everything a good fantasy novel needs. Heroes, villains, a group of inseparable companions, and more action than you can shake a stick at. The one issue I had was with the writing voice. At times it was a bit flat for my tastes. However, in these moments, the story and the characters took over and pulled me through the rough spots. If I could have one wish, it would be to learn more about the trio of friends he has as we’re given only enough to know the basics. But that is personal preference, I do like to know all I can about the characters I’m reading.
Fezariu’s Epiphany is an exciting journey through a foreign land with a group of mercenaries that suddenly wind up as your friends.