Review: The Call by Jason and Rose Bishop

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Jason and Rose Bishop's The Call was published in May 2020.

Jason Bishop
Jason Bishop

We are a husband and wife writing team, with a deep affinity for high fantasy settings, epic storylines, and page-turning plots. We created the world of Cyrradon from a desire to tell a story in a fantasy world that feels familiar, but with some things you have never seen before. We write the stories we would want to read, with densely woven story arcs, memorable characters and compelling dialogue, politics, intrigue, and prophecy, all set against a well-developed world full of diverse cultures and colorful history. Writing these stories is our dream and our passion. Sharing them with your world is our privilege.

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The Call (Legends of Cyrradon: Storm's Rising #1) by Jason Bishop, Rose Bishop
The Call
Legends of Cyrradon: Storm's Rising #1
by Jason Bishop, Rose Bishop

The heroes of old are disappearing, victims of kidnapping, murder, even falling to their own despair. But their work is not done. The gods call forth the next generation... and a storm is rising.

In a city once hailed as a natural wonder, now corrupted and sullied, the Spring Market has just begun. Elves are bought and sold wholesale, destined for an unholy ceremony: a decrepit king seeks immortality. Among the elves is one of royal blood, carrying an artifact of untold power. When it falls into the hands of a young rogue, the brooch seems his ticket to a new life, but instead draws him into an insidious web of danger. Pursued by a huntress seeking vengeance for her sister’s kidnapping, and a pair of half-bloods seeking a father gone missing, he soon finds their paths are hopelessly entangled.

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REVIEW: THE CALL BY JASON AND ROSE BISHOP

Jason and Rose Bishop's The Call is a compelling and highly enjoyable first novel in the Legends of Cyrradon: Storm's Rising epic fantasy series.

Before I write more about this novel, I'll mention that I'll try to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible so that I won't spoil anybody's reading pleasure with too many revelations about the story.

When I began to read The Call, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I quickly found myself enjoying the unfolding story. At first, the story moved slowly, but it gradually became increasingly captivating and immersive as the events began to unfold and I got to know the characters. I found this novel to be a charmingly old-fashioned fantasy adventure.

The story begins with Mea, an elf princess, coming across humans in the forest called Yeoman's Wood. Soon she is captured by one of the humans. Her sister, Dia, notices that she has been captured and begins to search for her... In a city called Granite Hedge, Lendil becomes upset with his father's behaviour and their family life, which is anything but cozy and warm, and decides to leave his home. When Mea's brooch falls into his hands, it seems to be a ticket to his new life, but it leads him to danger... A bit later, Dia meets two half-elves - Antonio and Derek - who tell her that they've seen her sister at the slave market... Meanwhile, in the City of Granite Port, King Drakken and the Royal Inquisitor are preparing themselves for a ceremony that will restore the dying king back to health and give him immortality... Soon, the lives and paths of Dia, Antonio, Derek and Lendil become entwined...

The story unfolds gradually in a natural way and the protagonists and their points of view increase the story's immersiveness. There's never a dull in this story, because there's always something happening.

I find the worldbuilding and characterisation fluent. The world is a vast place and it is inhabited by different races and cultures. The authors don't reveal everything at once, but take their time to introduce new places to readers. They also take time to introduce the characters to their readers, which is good, because this kind of storytelling adds depth to the story.

The characters are well-created and it's a pleasure to read about their adventures and lives. The conversations between them are surprisingly enjoyable and realistic. I was also impressed by how the authors write about humans, elves, half-elves and other races, because there are tensions between them.

Dia's character is intriguing, because she's an elf who feels superior to humans and half-elves, but learns that not all of them are bad or worthless. The authors write exceptionally well about Lendil's family and what it is like for Lendil to witness how his once proud father has become a drunk. He wants to start a new life and the brooch may just be his ticket to a better life, but he has no idea in what kind of a situation it leads him  to.

If there are readers out there who like ghosts and ghostly tales, I can mention that there's a ghost in this story. I enjoyed reading about the ghost and was captivated by the story arc, because it was a nice surprise. I'm sure that readers will also be fascinated by the characters' subterranean adventures, for I sure did.

It's been a while since I've read classic epic fantasy that is as good and enjoyable as this novel. The authors seem to have understood what classic epic fantasy is and pay homage to the genre with their story. Their writing echoes the kind of magic that only good old-fashioned and traditional fantasy novels have in them.

I think that The Call will most likely be of special interest to readers who are familiar with the novels by Dennis L. McKiernan, Marc Turner and Terry Brooks, because it is slightly similar to certain aspects found in their novels. It will definitely strike a chord among those who love traditional fantasy novels, because it's well written fantasy fiction with a strong focus on classic fantasy and adventure elements. I personally look forward to reading the next novel, The Ascension, because I find this novel satisfyingly entertaining.

Excellent fantasy escapism!