Do you enjoy escaping your reality and entering into a new world of excitement and adventure? A place where you can forget all your troubles and be transported to a land of fantasy and reverie? If so, then author Simon Lindley’s novel, Mannethorn’s Key, is just what you are looking for!

Essentially, the story focuses upon the epic journey of characters from two very different worlds. First of all, there is Algarth Willowbrow; a wizard whose previous order lies in virtual ruins. Possessing greatly diminished powers, he is set to face his ultimate enemy…Grailborn! However, all is not as it seems. Algarth has a secret which will ultimately determine his own destiny and the very fate of his world.

With that tantalizing tidbit in mind, we travel to another world and meet the pathetic Bartholomew Waxman. Through deceit and chicanery he has destroyed his own life and has turned to the bottle for solace. Unemployed and divorced from the love of his life, Bart makes one last desperate attempt to find work and gradually start building his life up again. Little does he know that this attempt will end up in his small, pitiful world and existence soon becoming intertwined with Algarth Willowbrow’s in a way neither of them ever imagined. What follows is an exciting and classic fantasy story of epic proportions.

Make no mistake about it, this is not your typical good versus evil storyline. The main characters in this tale have some serious flaws. Indeed, just when they start to redeem themselves, they quickly do something which sinks them back to a depth even further than from where they started. While many may pick good versus evil as the main theme of this novel, I prefer to perceive it more as a “one’s own worst enemy” motif.

The characters and plot of this novel are exceptionally well developed. The plot flows seamlessly between worlds and manages to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. The author knows his craft! Also, the characters are interesting and provocative. They are not your typical “hero” type of characters who will fly in and save the day. They are flawed, but in such a way that they are entirely relatable for the reader. One would be amiss to overlook the awesome job that Lindley does in depicting the setting as well. To become involved and entrenched in the story, the reader must be able to visualize and believe in the fantastical world. Lindley capably manages to immerse the reader in the fantasy world of Drageverden. He is able to aptly describe the setting in such a way that it can easily be visualized and appreciated, but not lose the reader’s interest at the same time. A very delicate balance!

Another important point to espouse about this book is the obvious attention to detail. The author has a remarkable ability to describe the plot, characters and setting in such a way that it is very detailed and exciting at the same time. As the reader, you quickly become engrossed in the description and the world which has been created. I would hazard a guess that Mr. Lindley spent a lot of time contemplating, researching and formulating this story in his mind before he put pen to paper. Mannethorn’s key is the result.

If you are looking for an escape to a world of exceptionally well written fantasy…then I suggest you consider Mannethorn’s Key. I can hardly wait for Part 2 of the Trilogy!

5 Fantastical stars for this one!!!

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