Tony M. Quintana's Doizemaster: Phantasm Creed was published by Crystal Carriage Publishing in November 2021.
About Tony M. Quintana:
Tony M. Quintana is an innovative fantasy book author. He may be a new face on the scene, but his stories indeed bring a well-needed freshness and uniqueness to the fantasy genre.
Born in Cancun, Mexico, Tony has always been an enormous fan of fantasy stories and European monarchy history. Tony finished college in Texas as a business management major and drama minor.
Tony’s original plots, immersive dialogues, and relatable characters create delectable stories anyone can enjoy.
Through his books, Tony aims to promote the values of kindness, service, and self-worth and the importance of environmental preservation.
When he’s not writing, Tony loves to travel around the world and explore new cultures from which he then draws inspiration.
About Doizemaster: Phantasm Creed:
When bloodthirsty metal soldiers from the empire of Zaphyrelia infiltrate the divine barrier protecting the magically-infused oasis of Azahar, an unlikely hero is found in Dashiel Ermitage, a simple librarian's apprentice with a longing for adventure.
After a valiant battle, with the metallic menace finally defeated, Azahar faces a greater problem: the barrier that protects the land is weakening, leaving them vulnerable to their enemy. Dashiel's wish for excitement becomes a reality when he is recruited to join the Cobalt Phantasms, an elite order that hopes to provide relief to the Zaphyrolean people suffering under a tyrannical rule. Armed with a mythical weapon and a childhood dream, he must leave Azahar and find a way to protect the town he loves on a journey that takes him through a wonderful but dangerous 19th-century world of flourishing machines and dwindling magic.
His new life, however, is threatened by a long-held secret that will put an end to his adventuring days if it ever comes to light. Will Dashiel prove to be the hero Azahar needs to overcome their enemies, or will this closely guarded secret destroy his chances to save everything he holds dear?
REVIEW: DOIZEMASTER: PHANTASM CREED BY TONY M. QUINTANA
Tony M. Quintana's Doizemaster: Phantasm Creed is an enjoyable and well-crafted YA debut fantasy novel with an entertaining story and charming characters. It's a fascinating combination of steampunk and high fantasy and will charm young adult and adult readers alike with its swiftly moving story.
Doizemaster: Phantasm Creed tells of Dashiel Ermitage, who becomes an unlikely hero of his hometown. Dashiel is a young man who's a librarian's assistant. One day, he witnesses how the protective barrier around Azahar has cracked and people think that Ochre Brigadiers - metal soldiers - might be behind the attack. When his friends are attacked by the Brigadiers and one of them is missing, he goes after him. When he rescues his friend, he is approached by members of a secret order, the Cobalt Phantasms, which is an elite order that provides relief to the Zaphyrolean people suffering under a tyrannical rule. He decides to join them, but his new life is threatened by a secret related to his health that, if exposed, could change everything for him...
I was impressed by the author's worldbuilding skills, because he has created a fascinating and vibrant fantasy world called the Empire of Zaphyrelia, which comes alive as Dashiel ventures outside his hometown. The events begin in Azahar, which is a place of beauty and serenity, because it is protected by a forest deity called Gailfaur. Things are, however, quite different beyond Azahar, because the Zaphyrelian people suffer under a tyranny posed by the emperor Abelon Asedia. The empire of Zaphyrelia has a fascinatingly 19th century feel to it and I enjoyed reading about the machines and dwindling magic.
I find the author's prose fluent and evocative, because he writes compellingly about the characters and especially about Dashiel. In Dashiel, he has created a believable protagonist who has to deal with problems and come to terms with what is happening around him and to him. It's intriguing to read about his adventures, because he's a likeable, sweet and also brave character who sometimes does foolish things, but never means any harm. He also has a big secret that could cause him severe problems, if somebody found out about it.
Sylvain Aurante is a well-created character and it was fascinating for me to read about him and his friendship with Dashiel. He quickly befriends Dashiel and teaches him many things, and he is very protective about his new friend. I also enjoyed reading about Sofia Spaigne, because she was a feisty character who had her own problems and wasn't at first entirely happy to train Dashiel, but learned to get along with him and began to warm up to him.
Dashiel, Sylvain and Sofia have a dynamic and engaging friendship. It's fun to read about their adventures and deeds, because the way they talk and behave with each other is reminiscent of real relationships between friends who are different from each other.
I was captivated by the Alferai race who are protected by guardian gargoyles. I won't reveal who they are, but the events involving them are fascinating. I think that many readers will find the Alferai intriguing.
One of things that I love about this novel is the author's genuine enthusiasm towards writing, because he evokes a sense of adventure and wonder that draws the reader into the story. He moves the story forward with ease, which makes for an entertaining read. This novel is basically a classic story about a young hero, but it differs from many similar kind of novels, because it's got plenty of heart and soul.
I was quite impressed by how the author writes about magic, because many things have been forgotten and only a few spells are known and mastering them requires patience and time. The author tells fascinatingly about how there used to be magic in the world, but now the secrets of the past seem to be lost and haven't been regained.
Before I finish this review, I want to mention that I look forward to reading the sequel, because this novel is an excellent and immersive start to a new series. There's something about this novel that vaguely reminds me of Martha Wells' Ile-Rien novels, but it's mostly wholly different from them and is aimed at younger readers.
If you love adventure stories, Tony M. Quintana's Doizemaster: Phantasm Creed is worth checking out, because it's an entertaining novel with a likeable hero and it succeeds in catching the reader's attention from the very start.