“When a high-ranking officer gallops into the quiet Mistyvales, he brings a warning that shakes the countryfolk to their roots. But for Aedan, a scruffy young adventurer with veins full of fire and a head full of ideas, this officer is not what he seems.
The events that follow propel Aedan on a journey that only the foolhardy or desperate would risk, leading him to the gates of the nation’s royal academy – a whole world of secrets in itself.
But this is only the beginning of his discoveries. Something is stirring in the land, something more ominous than the rising threat of hostile nations. Fearful travellers whisper of an ancient power breathing over Thirna, changing it, waking it. In the very heart of these stirrings, Aedan encounters that which defies belief, leaving him speechless with terror – and wonder.”
– Cover Summary; Dawn of Wonder
At it’s core, Dawn of Wonder is a coming of age story, focusing the young Aedan as he deals with life altering events and growing from child to young man. The fantasy setting is richly detailed and so full of vivid descriptors that you can almost smell the cool breezes coming off the pages.
There are ruins filled with dark mystery, cities full of intrigue, and childish shenanigans galore. Renshaw does a very good job of keeping a balance between internal and external conflict, as well. Not only must our young hero deal with bullies, thugs, and mythical monsters, but he also faces harsh issues such as slavery and learning to cope with trauma. Aside from the many physical and mental hurdles Aedan must face, there is a new force, perhaps of magic or of nature, that is sweeping the lands, causing the trees to grow large and the beasts become more intelligent.
It’s difficult to do this book justice in such a short review; there are so many layers to the plot, such depth of character development, and detail in setting that it really must be experienced. If you love fantasy, adventure, and a meaningful story, we strongly recommend you pick up Dawn of Wonder. Book two is already in the works, so keep an eye out for that too! A solid 5 out of 5 stars!