Mini review of ‘Vengeance of Hope’ by P.J Berman

Can freedom ever be for all?


Can freedom ever be for all? How do you save a nation from tyranny?

When the King of Bennvika dies in suspicious circumstances and a foreign usurper named Jostan Kazabus seizes the throne, ruthlessly imposing his will on the population, a disunited triumvirate of leaders and their followers must attempt to resist him.

The first is Silrith, the ousted philanthropic princess who had been expected to succeed her father. The second is Ezrina, a vengeful rebel who is desperate to overturn the years of ethnic oppression of her people, the Hentani. The third is Zethun, a minor noble who believes the only way to fight for the common people is to abolish the monarchy altogether.

As the various factions fight the threat of tyranny and religious persecution, each must be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice for their cause.

My thoughts

This first novel in the ‘Silrith’ series ‘Vengeance of Hope’ is a epic medieval inspired fantasy novel and if you visit the author’s website there’s a host of environment background and character detail that build depth to this fictional world. The book has a series of maps, always much appreciated by the reader, a glossary and an extensive character list. I knew then, that this book would require some concentration! I enjoy fantasy books, but apart from the first book in ‘A Game of Thrones’, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Lies of Locke Lamora’ my fantasy reading is more of a YA level.

This book was also an unusual read, as I read half and listened to the other half on audio book; I much preferred listening to the story – all the pronunciations were worked out for me for a start, and I could close my eyes and really imagine this extensive world. I did find it generally difficult to track the amount of characters, and some snappy location changes, but this is not dissimilar to other epic style fantasy series. More seasoned fantasy readers would probably glide through it.

The book begins with drama, and the web of truth and lies. Straight away we’re in the complex court life of politics, intrigue and betrayal. Silrith a princess whose life suddenly and dramatically changes after the death of her father has to overcome many challenges, both politically and as a battle commander and we are immediately taken into her world. There are several other players in this quest for power, who face oppression, who want revenge, politicians, dictators and rebels drive the tension and narrative forward; this is a well-constructed world where people are fighting for their causes. I really enjoyed and appreciated the strong female characters Berman writes.

The journey is vicious at times, Bergman writes really good battle scenes and I raced through these pages. Greed, power and back-stabbing drive the edgier moments in the plot and the narrative is better for it.

Overall, this ticks all the epic fantasy world boxes and if you enjoy fantasy novels then have a read of this. The second book in this series, ‘King of the Republic’ is out any time now, so you won’t have to wait to continue the adventure.

Click the link below to visit P.J. Berman’s website to find out more.

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