22 Mar 2023


 Having previously enjoyed the first book in the Warminster series, The Last Keeper,  today its my pleasure to be sharing the second book in the series ...


Ominous Omens

Daemus, a low Keeper of the Cathedral of the Watchful Eye, isn’t the only one having visions. His nightmares speak of the ageless sorcerer, Vorodin, who may be able to help. But the answers he seeks may bring him—and the realm—to the brink of war.

Elven princess, Addilyn Elspeth, must discover why she’s receiving visitations from a mysterious creature that shouldn’t exist. She combines forces with Daemus on their harrowing journey to the scholar city of Abacus, where Vorodin’s Lair awaits.

A Plot of Revenge

Their powerful adversary and fallen Keeper, Graytorris the Mad, continues to chase the young Keeper throughout the realm, seeking vengeance against his order while trying to find a cure for his own affliction.

Explore the realm of Warminster, as fantasy and magic mixes with epic adventure and romance. Omens, battles and plot twists await you in the pages of Vorodin’s Lair.

A direct continuation of The Last Keeper {book 1 in the Warminster series} I'd strongly suggest that in order to get the best out of the books you read from the beginning.

Big on characters anyway, its no secret that I particularly enjoy a strong, feisty female protagonist and, wow, journeying with our hero, Daemus, on this, his latest quest, will she or won't she survive the Bone elf's assassination attempts?, in the elven princess Addilyn we have just that. 

Not that Addilyn is the only female character worthy of note, I was delighted that there were so many of them amongst what was an altogether stellar cast.

An epic, sorcery driven tale, wonderful world building, high drama, lots of twists and turns, memorable characters each with their own back story, a romantic sub-plot.

The Faye Tree stood across from the fountain. It was a giant and ancient hollow oak, whose center contained a multi-level building that disappeared into its trunk. It had been much larger in Daemus's dreams, but it was unmistakably the place the half-ghost had led him.

The top of the library held a mechanical clock of sorts that could only have been found in Abacus. Its hands kept the time of day while massive star charts rotated along the outside, pointing to many of the constellations Daemus had learned about at the cathedral.

"This is what I saw in my dreams," Daemus affirmed. "We're supposed to be here." {pgs 249/250}

The mythical nature and strange sounding names of many of the characters that still took me some time to get my head {never mind my tongue around} a small price to pay in what was otherwise an altogether a worthy successor to the previous book; Vorodin's Lair had it all and, with the addition of folklore and myths originating in so many different traditions, more.

Once almost solely the domain of Mr T, J.V.Hilliard's Warminster series have found me enjoying a genre I never expected to have enjoyed quite as much.

Born of steel, fire and black wind, J.V. Hilliard was raised as a highlander in the foothills of a once-great mountain chain on the confluence of the three mighty rivers that forged his realm’s wealth and power for generations.

His father, a peasant twerg, toiled away in industries of honest labor and instilled in him a work ethic that would shape his destiny. His mother, a local healer, cared for his elders and his warrior uncle, who helped to raise him during his formative years. His genius brother, whose wizardly prowess allowed him to master the art of the abacus and his own quill, trained with him for battles on fields of green and sheets of ice.

Hilliard’s earliest education took place in his warrior uncle’s tower, where he learned his first words. His uncle helped him to learn the basics of life—and, most importantly, creative writing.

Hilliard’s training and education readied him to lift a quill that would scribe the tale of the realm of Warminster, filled with brave knights, harrowing adventure and legendary struggles. He lives in the city of silver cups, hypocycloids and golden triangles with his wife, a ranger of the diamond. They built their castle not far into the countryside, guarded by his own two horsehounds, Thor and MacLeod, and resides there to this day*

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With thanks to J.V. Hilliard for supplying me with a copy of this, the second book in their Warminster series. 
Agree or disagree with me, all opinions are my own. No financial compensation was asked for nor given. Threats of violence towards my favourite teddy bear went unheeded as did promises of chocolate.

* Biography courtesy of the author's website.


Shooting Stars Mag said...

Glad to hear this was an excellent follow up. And yay for amazing female characters!

Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

Kelly said...

I'm still not sure this is a series for me, but I'm glad the second book lived up to your expectations following the first!

nightwingsraven said...

From your review, the second book
also sounds like a truly compelling
story. Not to speak of the memorable
characters, such as for instance the
feisty and strong Addilyn. I will
definitely keep the first and second
book in mind.
And thank you for your excellent review.

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

I have only read a small handful of fantasy books during my time and they had to be very compelling, as it is not one of my favourite genres. This one does get a partial 'thumbs up' for the strong and feisty female characters, but a bit of a 'thumbs down' because it is a direct continuation of book #1, and I prefer my series reading to be individual, complete episodes.

As an interesting aside though, I was intrigued that the story is set in the mythical realm of Warminster, as travel just across the Somerset border from where I live, literally five miles into Wiltshire, is the small town of Warminster, where I spend much of my time.

Great review and continue to enjoy the series :)

Sherry Ellis said...

Sounds like a good fantasy story. Glad you enjoyed it!