Book Review: “The Service” by M.A. Ray

Title: The Service (Saga of Menyoral: Book 2)

Author: M.A. Ray

Genre: High Fantasy

Rating: ****

 

The more I read of the Saga of Menyoral, the more I want to shout very loudly for all to hear that everyone needs to read these brilliant books. How these works aren’t already widely known mystifies me.

Of course the writing style is just as beautiful as book one; fantastic imagery without being dull or droning on, snappy prose that draws you in and keeps you reading, wonderful narrative voice. The world-building is one of my very favourites in recent years, simply because Rothganar is so vast, and still so mysterious. The story premise itself is fantastic, and by the end of this book we have a lot of hints as to where this may all be going in the future, making it very difficult for me personally not to sit my butt down and not move until I’ve read all of the books currently available.

All this already high praise aside, there is something even better that makes these books so enjoyable, and that is the characters.

Dingus, the complex and easy to relate to hero of the story, has undergone such fantastic development, made me as a reader so proud of all he has accomplished for himself. I love how he’s not been written as they typically “perfect” protagonist, because it makes him so much more real. He’s awkward and angry, but he’s also shy and funny, and his progress already has been an absolute pleasure to read. He’s still learning who he is, still recovering from everything that’s happened to him, but his courage and determination are endearing, just as much as his flaws are. Personally I think it makes him that much more likeable.

The relationship he has with Vandis is far and away my favourite thing, because it always is so heart-warming and natural. The masterful way their interactions have been written makes the reader feel their trust in each other and know that Dingus will always be safe with Vandis, just as Vandis will always be safe with Dingus. The crusty old knight has made a huge difference in his life, but equally the other way, too. The father/son love they have for one another is by far one of the best I’ve ever read.

All in all, once again I’d like to say that if you enjoy the fantasy genre then you should definitely be reading these books. The author, M.A. Ray, has a bustling Facebook page, and a great website, should you want to have a gander.

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