Recently I read K. Caffee’s books in her Followers of Torments series. This series is an excellent read especially if you like an unusual paranormal fantasy. The story is in a setting reminiscent of gladiators in a Roman Arena. There are some typical paranormal characters, vampires, werewolves and other fae in the series. There are others that aren’t typical such as the spider goddess worshipped by most of the realms. I really enjoyed the series and look forward to reading more of Nameless’ story. Following are my reviews of each of the three books published so far.
Out of the Darkness: Followers of Torments Book #1
I found the first part unbelievable because it seems impossible that any person could survive an infancy of isolation. However, once I got past that part of the book the story became much more believable and interesting. A fantasy story in which the main character is born a slave and raised to fight in the arena in gladiator fashion. There are paranormal overtones though the training and advancement within the arena have the primary role in this first book of the series. I found the development of the fighter and his training to be believable and the paranormal aspects unique. The plot had a little slower start than I like but as it progresses the action picked up and the story became a satisfying read. Her character development of the unnamed fighter was very well done. After surviving an unbelievable infancy the steps taken in isolation then limited contact to train the child first for survival then obedience were quite realistic. The training he receives gives the fighter no concept of anything but slavery which created a gladiator with determination to survive, obey and serve only his master. The author did an excellent job engaging me in the personal experiences of the main character. The ingrained lessons learned as a slave and fighter gave me an empathy for his emotions and attitudes as he fought his way to the top and his freedom. If you like a gladiator style paranormal fantasy story, then this book is well worth reading. I rate it 4 stars only because the beginning was unbelievable and the plot started slower than I like.
Remember the Shadows: Followers of Torments Book#2
I am quite enthralled by Nameless, the main character in this series. After reading Out of the Darkness, the first of the series, I was anxious the learn how he learns to cope with his new life after gaining his freedom. The author has done a superb job of detailing how a character who had only ever known slavery adjusts to freedom with no real instruction on what is expected. Nameless is smart and learns quickly, though the ingrained habits of slavery are difficult to overcome. He comes to hate the culture that shaped him and begins to wage a war against what he believes is wrong with the society. I feel his frustrations, his anger, his amusement, and confusion as he treads through a new life of freedom. Ms. Caffee created an excellent plot and cast of characters that is well worth the read if you enjoy a Romanesque gladiator theme in a unique paranormal fantasy. Five stars for such an enjoyable story with wonderful character development and plot line.
Into the Sunlits: Followers of Torments Book#3
Into the Sunlits continues this paranormal fantasy in a setting of Roman style gladiator slavery. In this book Nameless seeks to increase his stable of Silks (slaves) to train for arena fighting. The author has done an excellent job of advancing the plot and continuing to develop the main characters after entering a new realm. The social mores and cultural experiences as well as environment in the Sunlits are beyond Nameless’ experiences. He finds slavers are not as welcome and capturing rather purchasing is the most abhorrent. The open sunlight in this realm proves to be an obstacle to success as he attempts to increase the size of his stable. His trainer cannot tolerate the sunshine and he himself has a difficult time functioning in the open daylight as well. As each of the characters are developed further we learn more about their backgrounds, particularly Nameless whose parentage has not previously been known. The dilemmas faced and the action are captivating and exciting. The story moves along at a good pace adding new supporting characters. This is definitely not a stand alone book; it is a continuation of the first two novels and the ultimate conclusion is not reached. The book leaves us with a cliff hanger. Personally, I don’t mind cliff hangers in epic series and I would say this is epic. I love the characters and the plot leads down some unexpected trails. There are some moral and political issues addressed as part of the story. I am looking forward to the next part of the story that I understand will be out later in 2015. I give this one 5 stars.