The Warrior With Broken Wings by Thorsten Brandl is a fantasy novel about Thomas Knight, a photographer who’s suffered much loss that has left him broken. During a trip to Japan, he happens upon a shrine where the monks give him a blade. As he goes to take a picture with a camera his cousin bequeathed him at his passing Thomas finds himself transported into a world on the brink of destruction. Here he learns there is a prophecy that a hero would come to save them, and it’s believed he’s that very soul. With his newfound friends, and his magical blade they embark on a quest to find a way to save the last city of the realm from falling into evil forces.
This book has some great world-building, it’s a beautiful place with some rich history. There are great characters to fill it like Phoenix the talking cat who comes armed with sass, Ylja the tough captain of the guard, and Sæla her brother who is hung up on 80’s pop culture. There’s great humor, which I always appreciate in a book, Sæla had me grinning. We see the scary side of corporations when they have too much power. It makes for a great unorthodox villain unit in a fantasy setting. There’s also some great use of time travel.
The book does not start out with a description of the main character so readers will get to know his personality before finding out his appearance. I would have liked it made clear from when we learn Ylja was the king’s daughter that Sæla is her brother instead of figuring it out from an offhand comment. The character relationship building is slow, much like real people would interact. It can handle be expected that when someone transports to a new world they are instantly friends with people they encounter. This gave the writing an authentic feel as readers watch as they became great friends and bonded.
The Warrior With Broken Wings is a great work of fantasy, it has everything a good fantasy novel should have: talking animals, time travel, 80’s hits being blared from speakers during the big battle. If you’re seeking a unique fantasy this book is the one for you.
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