Storm Approaching Review

Title: Storm Approaching (Mercenaries #1)
Author Brian Libby
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication Date: April 27, 2009 
paperback, 272 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4389-4778-5
genre: fantasy
available @ Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


The first volume of the Mercenaries series
Leaving the Institute for the Homeless, Andiriel longs for excitement. Befriended by a knight of the illustrious Sovereign Order, she enters the Order's auxiliary services and finds herself on a strange mission leading to a challenging future in a job she hardly expects.----
No magic swords or mighty rings, no orphans who are really kings,
No elves or dwarfs or prophecies, no ghouls and vampires, if you please.
A mercenary regiment, its men (and women), where it's sent,
Its training, tactics, work and play; A growing threat (still far away):
This is the first book in a wider tale called simply, Mercenaries. It is a wonderful introduction to the main character, Andiriel.  We meet Andiriel as she is nearing the end of her time at the Institute for the Salvation of the Homeless, a home for orphan girls where they are cared for and schooled. In return they worked as lace makers in a factory. Andiriel is preparing for life outside of the home, but what to do? One friend is to be married the other is joining a traveling acting troupe. This is when she meets Sir Branlor, a Glory Knight, and her life is never the same.
Although there is a really good story developing in this first book, it is more about the character Andiriel. Through the actions that she takes and the thoughts in her mind, we begin to get to know her and quite honestly really like her. She is a strong female lead but she makes mistakes and has many faults. You can relate to her on a very personal level. You find yourself rooting for her to find her way out of each sticky situation she gets into. You want her to come out on top.
There are many other good characters in this book also. None more special than Sandy the sand fox Andiriel rescues. After she is rescued, Sandy stays at Andiriel’s side. She is sweet, when she needs to be, and fiercely loyal, but can definitely take care of herself also. As the story goes on you learn that she shares a telepathic bond with Andiriel. She adds some levity to the story by her antics and the conversations she has with Andiriel.
The storyline is strong. It is the introduction so not a whole lot is given up yet, but you can definitely feel the winds of change blowing. There is deception, intrigue, betrayal and political maneuvering abounding throughout. All the makings of an epic story.
In short, I thoroughly enjoyed Storm Approaching and cannot wait to get book two, Gold and Glory. If you are looking for a good fantasy story without all the trappings of convenience found in most contemporary fantasy then this is a book you need to read.

My rating:

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*I received this book from the author in exchange for a review. This in no way influenced my opinion of the book.