Review 5 star
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Chronomancer and the Time God: Death of a Paradise is the first book in a fantasy trilogy by James Meadows. In the world of Zarathea, Aleister, a brilliant young battle mage whose talents are matched by his arrogance, is from the kingdom of Mystas, which despises religion. But there are many who do still worship the gods. Because of a disturbing letter sent by a mysterious figure known as the Chronomancer, King Aldon of Lamoria summons three priests from Zarathea’s major religions to go on a quest with Aleister as their leader. Since he hates religion, Aleister is resentful about the quest and the priests do nothing but squabble. But their gods aren’t the only ones who exist—or who once existed. The map leads to the four pieces that contain the power of the ancient god Rael, the god of Time. And its first stop is the seemingly idyllic, constantly floating paradise city of Cockagaine. Aleister is going to be tested to the limits to get his team out of Cockaigne alive.
An unusually involving fantasy story, James Meadow's book takes many of the elements of a good epic adventure yarn and spins out a tale that’s intriguing, mystical, and notched with fun twists and turns. Aleister’s dislike of religion is matched by the philosophical complexity of the three faiths represented by his friends—freedom-loving (and thieving) Droma, idealistic Ardath, and stern but ultimately insecure Cameron. There’s nothing better than a book you want to read again and this world of warring kingdoms divided over profound philosophies since practically forever tells that kind of story. The heroes, pitted against immeasurably powerful gods and their crafty minions, argue deeply about things they care about, and beneath a quest and teamwork story stand the frail, adamant, divided, and lovable people who have taken sides in an epic struggle of ideas. I’ve read many fantasy books and I’d have to put Chronomancer and the Time God: Death of a Paradise near the top for its nuanced story and pertinent concepts.
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