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Bolan’s Quest II

Bolan's Quest II: The Rise of the Gnarlis by [Simmonds, Paul]

After the battle of Barkow, Bolan retreated to the woods. He preferred the isolation away from people and the memories of what had happened in his life before. He left all the people he loved and cared for in his past. Then one night he rescues a woman from danger, her name is Kyra. She awakened in him the will to live again. Kyra is a mother desperately seeking a cure for her son Ollin who has an illness that no one can identify. Bolan helps Kyra retrieve water from the Lake of Healing but must part ways to find his friend Hogarth that descended into the dark forest after them. Returning to the forest Bolan encounters Slavin, a being of pure evil. From here Bolan’s quest is ever changing, adding new challenges and encountering new dangers at every turn.

Bolan is a war hero, but it comes with a price. He was left haunted by what he did and saw. He lost people he loved and cared for. He was left with magical powers that allow him to connect with the minds of people and animals. Meeting Kyra has left Bolan with a desire to enter back into the world outside the woods again. He wants to interact with people again but is still weary and doesn’t want to revel too much about the things that haunt him. Bolan’s Quest II: The Rise of the Gnarlis by Paul Simmonds tells a wonderful story about Bolan’s journey and all the obstacles he faces; but it is more about self-discovery. I really enjoyed the character development of Bolan and seeing him change from a hardened recluse into a compassionate but protective companion. He shows growth from the first chapter on, constantly fighting with his own mind and emotions. Should he be cold hearted and let evil people suffer and die, or should he show mercy when he has the ability to end their suffering. His connection with Kyra and Ollin is powerful and I think that shakes him to his core to feel so deeply again after the war.

In comparison to Bolan’s transformation, another transformation that is notable is that of Slavin. He is a gnarlis, but weak in power. With the help of a magical sword that he coerces Bolan to retrieve for him he grows in power. He becomes darker, more demented, and turns even more evil as his power grows. He cares not for anyone but himself and his growing control over the world. This tale of good vs evil, while a classic story line is filled with unique characters, plot twists and enough substance to keep readers engaged. It is not a retelling of another fantasy novel; it is original and kept me from wanting to put the book down. The story is not complete with this book, there is more to come and your left wanting to grab the next novel to find out what happens next.

Pages: 379 | ASIN: B07S1TX4X8

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