Hey mersquad coven!
I’m back with another blog tour post, hosted by Blackthorn Booktours! Thank you so much for inviting me to this tour, and I’m very excited to share my thoughts about today’s book!
Of Myth and Shadow
by Matthew S. Cox
Publisher: Division Zero Press
Release Date: August 21, 2019
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Aegaan is a vast and righteous kingdom, yet darkness gathers in the distant corners of the realm. Elven raids on small towns have inflamed racial tensions with humans, pushing distrust to hatred and the brink of war.
Anrael wanders the woods alone until a chance meeting tempts him to set aside his contempt for those who scorn his half-elven blood.
When Kylie, a naive elf terrified of humans, is thrust among them against her will, she begins to question her mother’s tales of dread.
Having lost everything dear to him, the bandit king Jhelan lives only to seek challenge in battle… until he finds himself willing to die protecting that which he hates the most.
The diabolical mystique of the dark elves cloaks L’an Thal’Sara in protection, but the cruelest lie she tells is to herself.
Thaelwyn, a virtuous knight, sets out to discover the source of the Elves’ aggression, but faces a much greater test within his mind.
Beneath the chaos, minions of the Destroyer search for their promised leader, a child possessing power beyond their years. If the innocent falls to darkness, a kingdom rife with hatred will surely crumble.
Originally from South Amboy NJ, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Since 1996, he has developed the “Divergent Fates” world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, The Awakened Series, The Harmony Paradox, the Prophet of the Badlands series, and the Daughter of Mars series take place.
His books span adult, young-adult, and middle-grade fiction in multiple genres, predominantly science fiction, cyberpunk, post-apocalyptic, and fantasy.
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, developer of two custom tabletop RPG systems, and a fan of anime, British humour, and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of humanity, reality, life, and what might happen after it.
He is also fond of cats, presently living with two: Loki and Dorian.
Some flashback scenes to childhood abuse (dark elf nearly killed by her siblings for being ‘too nice’ when she was a tween). A side character implies she was raped as a past event, not shown.
Sexual content? No erotica scenes, but the book does have one moment where a sexual encounter happens a bit on the rough side. The intent of the scene is to highlight internal conflict in the character’s mind, not to titillate.
Any vampires? No but there are a few undead creatures ^_^
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Blackthorn Book Tours, and Division Zero Press for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
Do you know that when I saw the smoke dragon figure on the cover, I had a little freak out in the best way? I mean, you know that even though I’m a mermaid, dragons have always been my favorite mythical creatures to read about, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to figure out how to have one in person. They would get along great with my dog pack.
But I digress.
The conversation that we DO judge books by their cover is absolutely correct, and that was one of the reasons why I was okay with looking more into what the synopsis said and deciding to sign up for a blog tour. I really think that’s something to be aware of, and I don’t think you should be ashamed if that’s how you decide how to pick books to read. It’s the reasons why a lot of money goes towards the cover art. Because that’s the first impression consumers visually when they see a book. Just a thought.
Fantasy worlds with elves is one of my favorite tropes, or whatever that may be called. I don’t know why, maybe it was because of how intrigued I was with Legolas and Arwen back in The Lord of the Rings movies, but I have a huge love for anything that involves elves. Whether they are good, “dark”, or anything in between, elves are one of the species in epic fantasy that I love to see. So imagine my pleasant surprise when I saw that there were elves involved in this book! Super excited.
Also, isn’t it interesting that people can see why racism between elves and humans and dwarves in a fantasy world is problematic and should be eradicated, but have a problem understanding that it’s between humans of different races in the real world? Hmmm.
Anyway, I thought that this was a good introduction into Cox’s world and I personally enjoyed this story. It looks like a standalone but I would totally be okay with a sequel or other stories within this world. Cox has a lot of fantasy novels under his belt so if you like this one, check out the rest of his works!