I love this site and especially Mulluane's reviews. 4 stars from her is pretty good given she doesn't normally read self-published works. I feel very honoured.
♦" What I liked. Pretty much everything. I loved the premise of alternate realms. I loved the interplay of dragons, demons, dwarves, heroes and magic. I liked the fact that though there was a prophecy, it was not used as an excuse for everything that took place. Much the opposite. It hardly played a role at all except to explain why the main characters came together how and when they did. Beyond that, the outcome rested squarely in their hands. I never got the impression that some all powerful, all knowing prophecy dangled them along like puppets on a string. I also enjoyed the tension filled, edge of your seat, pace of the entire story.
♦ What I didn't like. As a rule, I consider character-driven fantasy to be the best of the best. I like getting into a character's head, seeing what they see, feeling what they feel. I enjoy living the story along with the protagonists and occasionally, their sidekicks. This however, is not a character-driven story. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing really. As powerful as this story is, if it had been "shown" instead of told I would be seriously sleep deprived at this point not to mention lightheaded from forgetting to eat. As it was, it was still hard to put down, easy to pick up and far too easy to get lost in. This is a case where its weakness may very well be its strength. The story itself was enough to keep me glued to the pages.
♦ Conclusion. If you want to sit back, relax, drink a glass of wine and enjoy a deep, character driven old-fashioned fantasy, this isn't it. But, if you want to rapidly turn pages, hold your breath - alot - get thrown for a loop by unexpected twists, get more story in 170 pages than most books relay in 600, this is a series you will thoroughly enjoy. Worried that this story is told instead of shown? Don't be. What it loses in emotional characterization, it more than makes up for with strong, engrossing narrative."