A series of three epic fantasy novels set in a nicely imagined fantasy world, Jason D. Morrow’s The Marenon Chronicles offers exciting scenes, a good plot, lots of interesting characters, fanciful creatures, and a classic hero’s quest. It’s a set of three long books and, while each story has a fairly satisfying conclusion, readers will really want to complete the story. So… not recommended for those put off by thick books (or occasional typos), but a good read otherwise (and faster readers can always skim).
The Deliverer, by Jason D. Morrow
The Marenon Chronicles begins with the tale of a young teen learning he has a serious destiny to fulfill. But first he has to survive the transition from fleeing armed enemies in trucks to battling scarily alien creatures, with only his grandfather’s well-taught swordsmanship to aid him.
Soon Silas is a reluctant mercenary in Marenon and the peoples and wildlife of an alien land are smoothly introduced, adding depth to the tale. Chapters switch between interlocking storylines, and the author does an excellent job of keeping his extensive cast of characters well-defined. Lengthy nternal dialog, though slow, probably helps in keeping the various motivations clear. And careful descriptions add epic scope and visual enjoyment.
For myself, I’d have liked the story to flow faster, but I couldn’t put it down or skim because I was enjoying the plot. Occasional typos might annoy or amuse, but I suspect readers will ignore them likewise in favor of a really good story.
The Gatekeeper, by Jason D. Morrow
This middle book of the Marenon Chronicles sends Silas off on a classic quest to find the Gatekeeper. Meanwhile politics, war, and deviously devised misunderstandings test the humans of Merenon almost to their limits. Young love faces the twin frustrations of ancient evil and divided loyalties. Readers delve into the depths of internal dialog. Betrayals loom at every corner, and leisurely explanations occasionally confuse. But the quest is well-plotted and the story’s hard to put down. An intriguing take on death and second death adds mystery to the tale, and I enjoyed the sense of completion at the end… and the feeling of gathering storms of war promising more in the conclusion.
The Reckoning, by Jason D. Morrow
Classic quest, betrayal and redemption themes make the finale to Jason D. Morrow’s Marenon Chronicles truly enjoyable. Slow and occasionally repetitious writing, with occasional typos and missed edits, make the tale less than perfect, but the story moves well, plot and counter-plot are well-imagined, and the various loves and mistakes of earlier books round out to build more convincing characters, human flaws and all. Readers and characters learn together that actions have consequences, moral failures do count, and quick decisions aren’t always the best—wise lessons enjoyably told in an epic fantasy world.
Disclosure: I was given free ecopies of these three books by the author and I’m sorry it took so long to read them. I enjoyed them all.