I received this book to read and review as part of the 2020 BBNYA (Book Blogger Novel of the Year Award) and the BBNYA tours organised by @The_WriteReads Tour Team. All opinions are my own unbiased honest thoughts. More information about all can be found at the bottom of this post.
Ranger’s Oath is a dual perspective fantasy novel set in the world of Tarsynium. A kingdom protected by a magical barrier, the Arc of Radiance, for thousands of years from demons and monsters that live outside of the borders. Our two protagonists come from different backgrounds; Owyn Lund is a Ranger’s apprentice, he and his mentor are contracted by leaders in the outer villages and towns of Radiance to protect their people and investigate any strange goings on. Zara Dennel however is training to join the Mages, a magical institution that act as the overarching protectors and leaders of Radiance, based in the modern large cities.
Their worlds are thrown together after the horrific destruction of a town called Haven and all of its residents. Instantly mistrust and suspicion between Mages, Rangers and Rebels arises – but could something bigger be happening in Tarsynium and can Zara & Owyn put aside their differences to work together.
Let me preface my review by advising that sometimes I can struggle to connect with fantasy (especially high fantasy), as I can struggle with understanding the world building. However, this thankfully was not an issue I experienced with Ranger’s Oath. And given it came in 5th place in the BBNYA 2020 awards, I suppose I should not have been surprised.
From their opening chapters I felt I could understand the backgrounds and expectations of the world that Owyn and Zara lived in. Each of the characters felt they had distinct voices and personalities. Opting for a first person narrative seemed a smarter choice for the duality of the story.
There were a few slips with the tenses (although is this something I can really comment on, as it was a persistent weakness in my creative writing at school?) Additionally, I felt the start of the story was a little slow, given that the official synopsis kind of already spoilt you up for 30+% of the story – some of the spoilers I tried to remove from my own synopsis.
However, the pacing picks up once our character’s stories intersect and the bulk of the action begins. Their friendship felt natural and believable, and I enjoyed the bonds that were being built throughout.
This is a story where I would be interested to read more in this series from the author, and see what the future holds for our characters and their home.
BBNYA is a yearly competition where Book Bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website: www.bbnya.com or @bbnya_official and follow this link to enter. (Please make sure to read the terms and conditions before entering).
If you are a Book Blogger or reviewer and want to join an amazing panel, you can apply to be part of the 2021 BBNYA panel via this form (also remember to read the terms and conditions before signing up).
TLDR? Magic (Mages) and might (Rangers) intersects to take on external evil forces in the first volume of this fantasy series.