It’s time for another BBNYA 2020 blog tour! Today, I’ll be talking about another BBNYA finalist that I didn’t get a chance to read last year called Ranger’s Oath by Blake Arthur Peel. This young adult fantasy ended up coming in 5th place in the competition, so I was incredibly excited to be able to read it for this tour!
But, first, what is BBNYA? BBNYA (Book Blogger Novel of the Year Award) 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 (https://www.bbnya.com/) or our Twitter account, @BBNYA_Official. If you would like to sign-up and enter your book, you can find the BBNYA 2021 AUTHOR SIGN UP FORM HERE. Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions before entering.
BBNYA is brought to you in association with the Folio Society (If you love beautiful books you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group TheWriteReads. I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition organized by the @The_WriteReads tours team. I want to thank them so much for sending me a free copy of the e-book so I could participate in the awards! All opinions are my own, unbiased, and completely honest.
Alright, let’s get to the post!
“The barrier between worlds is broken. Only he knows the truth…
Magic has protected Tarsynium for a thousand years, shielding its people from being ravaged by bloodthirsty demons. When a young ranger’s apprentice named Owyn Lund discovers that the Arc of Radiance has been breached, he tries to warn anybody who will listen.
But legends aren’t supposed to be real.
When a village is mysteriously destroyed, rangers, mages, and rebels all point the finger, blaming each other for the demons’ brutality. However, Zara Dennel, a mage’s ward, has heard Owyn’s tale—and she’s inclined to believe him.
Together, they must prove that friendship is greater than intolerance, unity is more important than division, and that even the most powerful magic can sometimes not be enough.
Failure means the end of all things. A second—and lasting—Doom. Experience the beginning of a thrilling Epic Fantasy series suitable for all ages. It’s perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir, Sarah J. Maas, and Brandon Sanderson.”
About the Author
Blake Arthur Peel has been coming up with stories ever since he was a kid. He inflicted his scribblings on family members and friends throughout his youth, always drawing maps in the back of notebooks and daydreaming when he probably should have been paying attention. It wasn’t until he was out of college that he finally decided to get serious about pursuing his career as a fantasy author.
His favorite stories have always been about good conquering evil, about fantastic worlds and wondrous magic systems. The works that have most inspired him are The Lord of the Rings, The Dragonlance Chronicles, The Riftwar Saga, The Stormlight Archive, and The Wheel of Time, among many others. Blake was born and raised in Hemet, California. Nowadays, he lives in Tennessee with his wife and two sons.
We all know I love a good fantasy. That’s one of the reasons I was so happy to be able to participate in the BBNYA last year. I came across a lot of awesome indie fantasy that I had never even heard of! Of course, with so many entries, there was no way I would be able to read all of the books that made it to the finals. So, when Dave and the BBNYA team put out a call for bloggers to be a part of the tour for Ranger’s Oath, one of the fantasy novels that had caught my eye, I jumped on the chance to participate!
This story follows two main perspectives: that of Owyn, a ranger’s apprentice who is in the midst of his training and Zara, a mage initiate and the rising star of her class. I think my favorite aspect of this story was how well we got to know these two complex characters. They both have aspects of your classic YA hero/heroine, but they also have layers that make following their journey a fun time. Was a big fan of the budding romance? Not particularly 😅 But I will say that I appreciated that it wasn’t made to be the focus of this story! It was sprinkled into the background for a little flavor. I also thought the other characters were very well-crafted and compelling! I will say that the description of fat side characters left a little to be desired, though.
As for the world-building, though there were moments where the story could get a bit info-dumpy, I rather enjoyed getting to learn about the world that Blake Arthur Peel has created! The magic system was intriguing, the history of the mages and the rangers was fascinating, and the demon threat definitely captured my imagination. It strange how it did feel, like I said, info-dumpy at the beginning, but I still felt like we didn’t get enough information! I wanted to know so much more about what happened in the initial war with the demons, how the magic was truly sustained, and all kinds of other things! Of course, this is just the first book in a series (which I discovered is on Kindle Unlimited!), so there’s a chance that more gets explained in later books. This initial one definitely hooked me enough to want to continue!
Another great aspect about this book was how it felt like it was flying by! I got completely wrapped up in this story and found it hard to put this book down. The pacing was excellent, which definitely helped with the readability. For book that’s right over 300 pages, this took me no time at all to read! It’s immersive and keeps your interest from beginning to end.
Final thoughts: Overall, this was an great start to a young adult fantasy series. The story was captivating and fast-paced, with enough action to keep me tearing through the pages. I could have used a little more world-building, but what we do get makes me want to get lost in what Blake Arthur Peel has created! The characters are incredible well-crafted and will have you caring about them in a surprisingly short amount of time. If you like your fantasy chock-full of demons, intrigue, and characters you can’t help but love, I think you’ll enjoy Ranger’s Oath!