The Storm Trilogy: Move Over Tolkien, Fantasy has a New King

Meet the new face in high fantasy


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Titles: ‘Whispers of a Storm’, ‘Shadows of a Storm’ and ‘Vengeance of a Storm’

Author: Anthony Lavisher

Purchase: Available in the UK and the US

Overall rating: 5/5

Great for: Fans of epic high fantasy series, such as ‘Lord of the Rings‘ and ‘Game of Thrones

Themes: High fantasy, kingdom fantasy, court politics

Review: Fantasy is a genre full of books that can sometimes promote generic tropes, cardboard characters and motiveless villains. It is my favourite genre, and yet is one full of books that make high claims that just do not deliver. It takes something special to stand out in this overloaded genre. But Anthony Lavisher manages to do just that.

This fantasy series is epic in both the literal and figurative sense! Each weighs in at over 500 pages and there is a depth of description, an intensity of character development and magnitude of world building that characterises the elite in this genre. And all three facets work together to bring this captivating and thrilling story to life.

This trilogy begins by bringing together the narratives of an immigrant stonemason and a sheltered noblewoman after the former overhears a threat on the life of the latter. Whilst pursued by a band of mysterious assassin’s, both characters traverse the mystical Four Vales in their attempt to overthrow evil and discern who is threatening the peace of their great country. Along the way, they find out more about themselves and the place they call home.

The two fleeing individuals meet other lost souls, just like themselves, along their journey and their strengthening ranks provide more occasion for harmony, affinity and intimacy; but also, bloodshed, carnage and loss.

And it wasn’t just the characters forming such tight bonds. The reader is invited to share these emotions as characters, both new and old, continue to become beloved individuals. Minor spoiler: I have never felt such an affinity with a donkey before!

The unique and compelling story of the first book continues with as much mayhem, action and intrigue; as many endearing and captivating characters; and as many jaw-dropping cliffhangers and breath-taking moments of suspense in the second and third.

With a focus on court politics and the manoeuvring of those in power, there was an intensity to this series that made this utterly compelling reading. The world fabricated in the first book was expanded in the following two, which allowed for an exploration into the wider implications of the growing upheaval and unrest witnessed throughout the lands.

And as the geography of the world was further unfurled, so were the nuances of the characters. The fast-paced plot was interspersed with sections that allowed for the characters to develop and for relationships to advance, both within the plot and between reader and character.

Split POV perspectives might not be everyone’s favourite to read from but, when expertly deployed, it  delivers such a rich and vibrant story. It also allows perspectives to form from every level of the social hierarchy, and a full and nuanced story to develop.

Lavisher delivers three faultless pieces of prose that depict an enticing and absorbing tale, featuring a charming selection of characters, and set in a prodigious world. This also provides a running social commentary on our own contemporary world. Much of the discord makes for such poignant reading as it vividly reflects some of the prejudice and discrimination experienced by many today.

I can’t help by find parallels between the stone-mason, shunned for his skin colour, and those individuals who find their sin colour a daily, unfair dictation on how they are to be treated. The females of this plot are sexualised by their male counterparts and often treated with disdain or patronised, which is an everyday occurrence in our own patriarchal-ruled society. The individuals keen to overthrow the current king of the lands in favour of their own immoral commanders are reminiscent of many of today’s scheming politicians.

From political intrigue and court politics to high-action adventures and pace-quickening scenes of bloodshed, this book has it all and I have exactly nothing to fault with this absolutely stellar trilogy!

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