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Beth's Review: A Vanishing Glow (The Mystech Arcanum, Vol. I & II) by Alexis Radcliff

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Publisher: Fatecaster Press

Released: October 1st 2015

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Steampunk

Length: 338 pages

Format: eBook, Paperback

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A VANISHING GLOW is the exciting opening to THE MYSTECH ARCANUM series, a deep and thrilling blend of steampunk and flintlock fantasy with mature themes. It is an Age of Revolution, an Age of Industrialism. Constructs, living men who are as much brass and steel as they are flesh, man the factories and wage the wars of a ruling elite who gorge themselves on the fruits of the common man’s labor. Mystech, a brilliant fusion of magic and machine, gives rise to a new class of privileged inventors and merchants even as the country festers with wounds from decades of internal strife. Only one man holds the promise of a brighter future: Nole Ryon, the crown prince. When his childhood friend Jason Tern answers his call for aid, the two of them set out to fight for the change their country needs in order to survive, even as shadowy foes frustrate their efforts. But soon, Jason and Nole’s idealistic mission of hope becomes a furious manhunt for a political murderer as the nation balances on the precipice of a country-wide civil war. Can they cut through the threads of intrigue to discover their true enemy before everything is lost? Sweeping from the ancient cities at the heart of the nation to the dusty edges of the war-torn frontier, A Vanishing Glow tells a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and assassins, friends and lovers, who come together in a time of epic struggle. Here a brave officer risks everything to win back his estranged father’s respect; a brilliant young engineer attempts to atone for her sins; a war-weary commander tries to pick up the pieces of the life he lost; and a man touched by the gods struggles to prepare a nation for the coming of an ancient evil which only he can see. In the dying light of a once-prosperous society, amid twisting plots, suffering and betrayal, lost love and shattered dreams, all must fight for what they hold dear. Who will taste the fruits of victory and who will lie bloodied on the ground in the light of a vanishing glow?

Five Boundless Stars

The Vanishing Glow is a combination of steampunk, sci-fi, technology, and a dash of fantasy. I found this book exciting, with unexpected twists throughout the book. The character introductions were personal enough to help the reader relate to each person, and understand their beliefs that lead to their actions. In the beginning I was wondering what Nilya and Jason could possibly have to do with one another, but Alexis Radclif brought it together in a rather intriguing way. It just proves that everyone’s actions affect someone, in one way or another.

Bits of information on the culture and beliefs were given throughout the book so it’s up to the reader to grasp an understanding of what is expected of the citizens and what the common practices are, and no, the two are not the same. I loved how Radclif brought the reunion of Nole and Jason together, from childhood friends to royalty and protector. I also enjoyed the idea of the “constructs” and magical power.That made the story for me.

All I can say, without spoiling it for future readers, is to be prepared for the excitement of more than one twist at the end. I couldn’t stop reading it once the battle began. I look forward to more of The Mystech Arcanum Series, and any other world Alexis Radclif utilizes her talented imagination to create.

I give the book 5 stars for “I absolutely loved it!”

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