Written by

Suzie Eisfelder
March 14, 2018

Just for a change in pace I’m looking at a paragraph from a brand new book. The publishing date was yesterday and I’ve not read it. From this paragraph it looks to be very emotional…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

It’s from Iron Will in the Shifting Tides series by James Maxwell.

More refugees had arrived in the night, but they might be the last to make it. This group said they traveled in darkness and hid during the day, but even so they were lucky to reach the city alive. They told stories of horror: every homestead, hut, farm, and village was deserted, either abandoned or ravaged by death on wings. They had passed scene after scene where others made their final stand, with one inevitable outcome. In Xanthos, all the surrounding lands were awash with blood.

Not having read the book I’m free to look at the paragraph in isolation. Except for the word Xanthos, this paragraph could very well have been written about Syria or Myanmar. It’s very much in keeping with how I imagine some refugees would have travelled, ‘in darkness’ hiding during the day. That’s not possible though as this is a fantasy book with shape-shifters and an ancient terrible power. How do I know about these last points? I’ve been given a description of the entire series.

The bit that really has me intrigued is ‘death on wings’. What on earth could this be? If it were written by Tolkein I’d be thinking of the Ringwaiths. Or by Rowling it could be the Death Eaters. Or even in real life I’d be thinking carrion eating birds such as vultures. But this is none of the above and I’m really intrigued by what Maxwell might possibly have written into his book.

I’m not sure I like the ‘awash with blood’ imagery but it fits with everything else in this paragraph. This is obviously a war much like WWI where the trenches and surrounding grounds were ‘awash with blood’ as so many people had perished. Why don’t I like it? I think because it’s so stark and so brief, there’s no give in there for any form of relief.

Just because you might not have heard of Maxwell before here’s just a few words.

James Maxwell is the bestselling author of The Evermen Saga and The Shifting Tides series, and has previously ranked in the top 5 bestselling authors on Amazon worldwide. The final book in The Shifting Tides series, Iron Will, is out now in paperback with 47North, Amazon Publishing. Find out more about James and his books here.

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