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A dark, moody fantasy story with a fascinating cast.

By Carcharocles, author of The Revelation

Feb 27, 2018: Two things to point out before I review: this was done as part of a review trade, and I’ve only read 6 chapters so far. Despite this, I will likely keep following Exiles and McQueen’s other works afterward.

The story isn’t your typical fantasy tale. While there are the usual Tolkien inspired races (humans, halflings and elves), the story is rather dark and moody, even if a bit violent. Magic is described as simply being too expensive to practice rather than hard or dangerous. And the entire setting is as corrupt and dystopian as you can imagine.

The characters, however, are compelling and well written. Even in the midst of action, they are fleshed out and developed. The author clearly knows how to write a compelling intro, and how to get a plot moving without much effort. And while at this current point Exiles seems to tell two different stories, it’s clear that they will converge, if nothing else due to one common goal: the desire to get out of their nightmare and get home.

It’s clear that the author is intending for the story to have a rather dark plot. However, the writing, while having a small handful of errors one my not even notice, is more moody than disturbing. The main cast doesn’t seem to have much hope, but they remain determined to escape their situations nonetheless. Characters who would otherwise refuse to work together do so out of necessity, and for the most part don’t hesitate. Each has their own strengths the others can rely on, as well as their own flaws that the others cover.

The thing is, this isn’t a story for everyone. There is some rather graphic violence early on, as well as some issues common to the Dark Fantasy genre that may upset some readers. That said, if moody fantasy is something you might be interested in, I’d say you should give it a shot. Lord of the Rings this isn’t, but for Exiles that may be a good thing.

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