My Book Review of Return to Mercya by Mark Ruckledge:
When the land of Mercya was invaded by the Shadowlands, its people, the Tremenaya, scattered. Years later, Brendel Domia returns to his war-ravaged homeland and finds himself in conflict with this evil he thought departed.
The author does a superb job in envisioning his world for the reader, and creating a compelling lead character whose narration carries the story. There is an emotional undercurrent that provides the story some depth, and I liked the world-weary feel the first person point-of-view gives to the book. Also, the plot is reasonably well written with some appealing scenes and moments of tense action.
However, the story did leave me somewhat confused at times regarding the events, places and characters, and feeling a bit like I had started reading in the middle of the story. I did decipher the in and outs eventually, but a clearer picture of the politics and happenings previous to the story would have helped with the plot structure and the flow of the narrative. I sense it may have benefitted from more back story and length, although it is the first part in a series so there is more to come.
Overall though, Return to Mercya is an enjoyable and intriguing fantasy book and I certainly recommend it.