Five Stars *****
REVIEWED BY ROMUALD DZEMO
When Bran discovers he has been accepted to the Bard institution his father apprenticed at when he was younger, he must go on a journey through unfamiliar lands to fulfill an important mission. At his departure, his mother draws him closer to her for a goodbye hug and tells him that the gemstone against his chest must be returned to its rightful owner. As he bids goodbye to his blacksmith father, his father gives him a dagger made from a strange metal to protect him on the way and an ominous warning: traveling is much more dangerous now. Now, Bran must navigate through tough terrain, battlefields, castles, and meetings with magical creatures and overcome all obstacles to fulfill the quest to return the gemstone to its rightful owner.
BARD by Dan Watt is a beautifully written fantasy tale with lovable characters and an exciting world to navigate, a gorgeous treat for fans of young adult fantasy, featuring a young protagonist that is fully drawn and that evolves in surprising ways through the narrative. An epic fantasy tale following the young Bran’s journey into unknown terrains, who has lived in a small village his entire life, the readers will get immersed into a world of giants, demons, and a kingdom with a mad immortal ruler. Dan Watt builds the fantastical world around Bran with such preciseness and richness that it completely absorbs the readers into the difficulties faced by the protagonist. Bran meets magical creatures from far and wide, loses friends, and fights off dangerous enemies in the quest to meet the love he cannot forget.
This book is an exhilarating tale of adventure and fantasy and will keep readers on the edge of their seats, waiting for the next twist. BARD by Dan Watt is the perfect read for fans of fictional dark fantasy who like an unpredictable plot. Fans of exciting worlds like what readers find in Game of Thrones won`t be disappointed, but it is the author`s deft handling of character that had me turning the pages.
Four stars *****
Darren Joy, author of the dark fantasy series The Plagueborn
BARD is a dark fantasy tale of a young man’s quest to return a gemstone to a girl he saved from ghouls. Along the way, as Bran studies to become a bard, he encounters terrible dangers as he enters the land of the immortal emperor. With war looming, Bran attempts to return the gemstone, while trying to become a Bard Master.
Along the way, he both discovers and loses friends, encounters all
manner of odd creatures, dark magics, and is forced to confront both his own bias and fears. All the while, he never gives up on his search for the girl who has stolen his heart.
Dan Watt’s novel is a fantasy tale with a raw dark fairy-tale feel to
it, which I very much enjoyed, and it contains some beautiful lyrical
interludes. After all, it is the story of a bard.
It is told in the present tense, which gives the story a sense of imminency, and which I found captivating. I was reading David Gemmell, but set it aside once BARD got hold of me. This is a unique world filled with a plethora of fantastical and wonderful characters from demons to elves, dwarves, goblins and orcs, warlocks, and dark experiments gone very wrong.
Throughout it all, is the ever-looming presence of an immortal and
insane emperor, and perhaps some secrets, which are best left
A very enjoyable read, which I highly recommend.