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Book Review: The Path and the Way

Table of Contents

“Holes between worlds are tearing through Rengas. Firestorms are raging as multiple realities battle for control of the elements. Even the Way, the turbulent channel that separates Nord, Határ and Kemen, the lifeblood of the city of Tyr, has turned.

Kyira’s search for her missing brother draws her away from the familiar frozen lines of Nord and south into the chaotic streets of Tyr where games are played & battles fought. As reality tears Kyira must choose between her family or her path before the worlds catch up with her.”

Title: The Path and the Way

Series: Ringlander #1

Author: Michael S. Jackson

Page Count: 484

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5.0/5.0

Date Read: January 15th, 2023

The Path and the Way by Michael S. Jackson has been on my radar since early 2022. It’s some how stayed on the edges of my TBR lists though. This was my final read for the Indie Ink Awards of 2022 even though it was a bonus read for a category different than my previous five. I will continue to keep my categories hidden until after the results have been posted for the competitions. But I will say I didn’t have a single read of the six that I didn’t enjoy. This was a great chance for me to discover more wonderful independent authors and their works. Several of them will remain on my radar including this one to follow where the next steps in the series go.
This read quickly became a page turner for me. The story and characters have quite a bit of uniqueness yet still feeling like my kind of epic fantasy. I’ve come to find I really enjoy reading stories that have very different cultures and we follow characters from each of these to give us a truer understanding of how the world works from different eyes. The story also highlights a lot of prejudices towards these different cultures. But as can be expected the characters that Michael S. Jackson has created begin to understand the world isn’t always black and white.
The subterfuge, magic and the final battle in this story all helped to win this read a place in my heart and mind to remember.
The world building was great in The Path and the Way. As I previously mentioned we are introduced to several different regions and cultures in book one of this series. The constant maneuvering of these political leaders along with the possible magical or religious undertones create a very intriguing story to follow along with.
The pace was solid throughout. I’m not sure if I’ve just been extremely lucky the past 18 months or so with my book selections but I’ve had very few that didn’t fit my preference in pacing. This was a very quick and easy read. The writing style was smooth. We didn’t really have any real difficulties in the vocabulary used. We do have some names and cultures to familiarize ourselves to but once you do, everything just kind of flows from there.
On top of all that, the character development was wonderful as well. There are a couple of character that are very easy to find yourself liking. But we also have some character you want to pull your hear out with the things they do and the choices they make. And of course there are characters you can’t help but dislike along the way as well. Some of these characters mentioned aren’t always set in stone along the story either. We certainly see some growth as well as other sides of these characters by the end of the first book.
I would recommend The Path and the Way to readers of epic fantasy that enjoy plenty of political intrigue, battles are larger military levels as well as smaller skirmishes. This story includes plenty of darker moments that the characters either struggle or thrive with as well. We have some strong magical and the potential of interventions of the gods within this story as well.

World Building 5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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