The Adventurers Guild by Zack Loran Clark, Nick Eliopulos
Series: The Adventurers Guild #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on October 3, 2017
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Source: The Publisher
My content rating: MG (Some violence)
Few ever asked to join the Adventurers Guild. . . . Their members often died young.
In one of the last cities standing after the world fell to monsters, best friends Zed Kagari and Brock Dunderfel have high hopes for the future. Zed desperately wishes to join the ranks of the Mages Guild, where his status as Freestone's only half elf might finally be an asset. Brock, the roguishly handsome son of merchants, is confident he'll be welcomed into the ranks of the Merchants Guild.
But just as it seems the boys' dreams have come true, their lives take a startling turn . . . and they find themselves members of the perilous Adventurers Guild.
Led by the fearsome Alabasel Frond, the guild acts as the last line of defense against the Dangers-hungry, unnatural beasts from otherworldly planes. And when the boys uncover a conspiracy that threatens all of Freestone, Zed, Brock, and their new allies-Liza, a fierce noble, and Jett, a brave dwarf-must prove their worth once and for all.
This start of a thrilling new series is sure to be a hit with readers who like their fantasies clever and action-packed, with tons of humor and heart.
This series gives us a fun spin on a fantasy world inhabited by elves, dwarves and humans (not to mention some twisted otherworldly monsters). Zed is half elf and has spent his life trying to prove he’s worthy of attention. He’s always dreamed of becoming a mage and finally gaining status and respect, and he almost gets his dream … until things go wrong. Brock is Zed’s best friend, and he plans to follow in his parents’ footsteps and become a merchant, even if he does like to play the game of life by his own rules most of the time. He has no idea that intrigue awaits him and that his father and the head of the merchants have other ideas for him.
When Zed and Brock both find themselves thrown into the Adventurers Guild, they discover that their world is a lot more dangerous and complicated than they ever imagined. They get drawn into political machinations and warring factions—oh, and they almost get eaten by monsters. Throw in a bit of magic, and they’re in for a crazy ride.
The book has a good sense of resolution, but then there’s a twist thrown in at the end that sets the reader up very nicely for book two.
Twilight of the Elves by Zack Loran Clark, Nick Eliopulos
Series: The Adventurers Guild #2
Published by Disney-Hyperion on November 13, 2018
Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Source: The Publisher
My content rating: MG (Some violence, possible budding romance?)
I should probably start at the beginning, Zed wrote, when things first went wrong?.
Zed, Brock, and their friends may have saved Freestone from destruction, but the fight against the Dangers is far from over. No one knows what to expect next from the dark power that forced the elves to abandon their city. And the influx of elf refugees in Freestone strains resources and brews resentment among the townspeople. Things have shifted between best friends Zed and Brock, as well, with their friendship crumbling under the weight of the secrets they're keeping from each other.When tensions reach an all-time high, Queen Me'Shala, leader of the elves, approaches the Adventurers Guild with a mission. She wants a small group of adventurers to go behind the king's back on a covert mission to save her city, and Zed, Brock, Liza, Jett, Micah, and their elven friend Fel join the quest. To face a powerful form of magic thought to be extinct, the adventurers will have to learn how to rely on each other and fight harder than ever before.
Don't miss this second installment of Zack Loran Clark and Nicholas Eliopulos's Adventurers Guild trilogy, where the stakes are raised, the action is breathless, and the dangers will stop even the bravest of hearts.
I thought this second book was even better than the first. This installment had all the adventurous and magical elements of the first book, but those aspects of the book were intensified. I also found myself laughing more, and the worldbuilding was stronger. I thought the first book did a pretty good job of these things, but this second book definitely outshone it.
But the thing that I loved most about this one was the social commentary. The elves have been herded into Freestone and are pretty much under guard. The humans look at them with suspicion—partially just because they’re different and partially because they believe the elves brought their city’s destruction down on themselves. In today’s political and social climate, it’s not hard to see some parallels there. Plus, we learn that the elves themselves have a society that has been at war with itself and certain factions are looked down on and treated as second-class citizens. (I will say that both the authors are white—and I am too—so it would be interesting to read the opinions of some POC readers, but I thought that they handled the plight of the elves very well and that the messages are positive. Also, there is no direct correlation between the elves and racial discrimination here in the US, but I thought the parallels were pretty clear.)
Oh, and once again, the ending has a twist that will send our heroes down a completely new path for book three!
This series is a perfect blend of adventure and heart!
***Disclosure: I received these books from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About The Author
ZACK LORAN CLARK and NICK ELIOPULOS grew up in Florida and now live in New York. Best friends, they get together to play Dungeons & Dragons every week. Zack fervently hopes that magic is real; Nick desperately hopes that monsters are not. The Adventurers Guild is their first novel.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of TWILIGHT OF THE ELVES, US Only.
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