Saturday, 4 January 2014

A Nobel's Quest - Book 1 of the Empire's Foundation Trilogy

Book Rating 8
Pesonal Rating 9
Author Ryan Toxopeus

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel.  It's a tale of unexpected heroes with a twist of humour.  The novel had me right from the first page.  The immediate sense of urgency kept me wondering what is going on, who is this person I"m following, and why are they running.  The characters are very clearly defined and the story moves at a very comfortable pace I never once felt like I needed to use my skimming abilities to jump through a page or two.  In fact I gave myself three days to read this and did it in two.  That is saying something.

The world is is described with just enough detail so that you get a feel for the realm, but not so much that you feel you're being bogged down by the details.  The two main male characters Sarentha and Thomas were very believable as friends.  They had a way of talking to each other that only life long friends can acquire, especially their way of talking to each other when not talking.  Sarentha, hilarious.  Thomas, made me smile, And the third hero, Eliza, sold the book for me.  If there's anything I like in an adventure novel it's a kick ass heroine.  I'm so over the damsel in distress stuff.  What I liked about her is that she wasn't too head strong like some heroes and heroines are.  She new when to not push and that made it more believable that sometimes she went against the grain, and sometimes she did what she had to do.

The journey was one I could follow with ease with all the ups downs, and bonding that three youngsters on a secret mission, with next to no information should have.  The suspense I found played out very well.  I wanted to know the secret.  Why are they doing what they are doing, who are the real players in the game.  Why is everyone so on edge.  When will I get to the end of this novel I must know the secret.  Very well played.  And the side characters where equally as entertaining.  The wizard apprentices gave me quite a few chuckles, the dwarf and his tales of war were entertaining.  The cloaked figures here and there kept up the intrigue.  Too many good things to say about this novel.  I was glad also to see a love interest in there.  And more happy that it made me smile instead of go 'ewwwww mush'.

Fight sequences.  Definitely could read them all again, except for one character, but I'll mention that later. And most importantly the big secret, which I cant tell you, I missed completely.  And that gets total bonus points.  The ending was cleaned up nicely and I never expect endings to be the way I want them.  As this is the first of a trilogy some ends should be left open and I was more than happy with the things unconcluded.  Even the ones I was dying for answers for, why?  Because it made sense to me. It all made sense to me. And another good thing was the character I expected to be the level headed one turned out not to be.  That was a pleasant surprise.  So all in all if you like adventure, a good bit of self discovery, humour, and of course kick ass action then you wont be disappointed with this novel.


Not many really.  I had a bit of a difficult time with the names spliced with commas.  It could be that I'm just not smart enough to pronounce them but it is what it is.  Although the main secret I didn't figure out at all, again very well played, there where somethings that I kind of saw coming that bugged me but not enough to really care over all.  And I don't mind reluctant heroes but one of the characters was bordering on a little too reluctant, I almost screamed 'just do it already' a few times.  But since I liked the character I sort of just got over it.  This characters ending fight scenes impressed me much less than their first.

I would recommend this novel to anyone, and at only 200 pages, definitely worth adding to your library.

Thomas and Sarentha flee everything they know when Thomas murders a co-worker. In the dead of night, a cloaked noble approaches and offers them a sum of coins they cannot refuse. His sole request is for the pair to retrieve an amethyst from a tomb.

From there, they are introduced to Eliza, a spirited and head-strong noblewoman who proves her competence with her skills in diplomacy and combat. Together with Thomas’ strength and steadfastness, and Sarentha’s drive and inquisitiveness, the trio makes an odd but capable group.

Their adventures take them across the lands of the Tamorran Empire to witness sights they never imagined. With grand plans in motion, everything hinges on Thomas, Sarentha, and Eliza’s success. Artifacts need to be crafted, alliances need to be formed, and above all, secrets need to be kept. Not even their own allies know every facet of the noble’s quest, and he plays a dangerous game by creating plots within plots.

Can the disparate trio hold together throughout their trials? What secret does the noble know that causes him to go to such extraordinary lengths to succeed? Dark shadows blanket the Tamorran Empire, and illuminating those secrets will bring a terrifying truth.


  1. I'm glad you mentioned the lack of minute details bogging the reader down. I purposely shied away from doing that in my novel (WIP). Some test readers told me it was their favorite aspect.
    I've also read on a few blogs that some readers have a pet peeve concerning fantasy novels. unpronounceable names. Looks like Toxopeus made another smart move by choosing names like Eliza.
    Is it also available for Nook? or POD?

    1. if you follow the link in the photo there are a few downloadable version on smashwords, I believe one is epub which should be nook.