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Kilmer's Ghost; Astar's Blade 2


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Kilmer has lived his entire adult life with one main goal: to avenge his murdered family, but his quest brings him to a far fowler enemy...

As a young child, the man now called Kilmer watched as his family was murdered. He only escaped himself thanks to a mysterious being whose presence brought both safety and horrific visions.

After determining his goal in life as taking vengeance on the man who ordered the brutal death of his family, he finds himself swept up in a war between gods that goes far beyond him. Evil is growing in the forbidden Sanguine Forest; an evil that changes everything.

Kilmer's Ghost is a remarkably written second volume in the Astar's Blade series which (thankfully for me, since I had not read volume one) reads like a complete story that can stand-alone. I do plan to go back and read the first volume now, wanting to know more about the amazing world that Lyon has crafted in this series, but I was not lost a single-time reading volume 2 first.

Kilmer's struggle to find himself, shown alongside his nemesis who is seeking to do the same thing, is refreshingly and brilliantly written. He is a battle-hardened warrior who still has a good heart; a rare combination.

The world that Lyon has created is so vivid and addictive that you may have to tear yourself away. I caught myself holding my breath countless times. Love, loss, the atrocities of war, and forging life from the ashes of death are masterfully written a heroic tale that any regular person can imagine themselves starring in.

Perhaps the biggest brilliance within Kilmer's Ghost is that Kilmer himself, while an unquestionable Hero, needs saving sometimes, too. These characters are so human, so real, and their fear and joy and sorrow swept me away.

While it may appear at a glance that Kilmer's Ghost is a YA due to the young protagonist in the introduction, make no mistake that this is a Dark Epic Fantasy in every possible meaning of the word. Carefully-balanced gore and other dark content set this aside as a piece that fans of Dark Fantasy will love, but may need some parental consideration prior to handing down to the young end of YA readers (see trigger warnings for details).

As an Epic Fantasy lover who also appreciates Dark Fantasy, this is a definite must-read to add your librarian. I will eagerly look forward to reading more of Lyon's work in the future.

**Trigger Warnings: War, Death, Murder of Women/Children (including burning at stakes), Human Trafficking, Orphaned/Abandoned Children, Murdered Parents, Rape, Cannibalism, Human Sacrifice, Demonic Possession, Suicide (thoughts and acts)**

Reviewed by

I am an Amazon bestselling author and content editor (developmental editor/professional beta reader) with 10+ years of experience. I am a huge fan of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, J.R.R. Tolkien, Clare B. Dunkle, and Timothy Zahn. I also enjoy indie works by Nicole Wells, Andrei Saygo, and Luke Courtney.

The Sanguine Forest

About the author

Songwriter, poet, and epic fantasy writer with two degrees, Joe Lyon is a US military veteran, former college professor, and currently works for a Nuclear Weapons facility. An avid horror movie fan, he lives with his family in South Carolina. Follow him at view profile

Published on October 31, 2021

110000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

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Genre: Epic Fantasy

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