The Blighted Fortress is the second book in The Allies of Theo series by David Dresner.
This story begins in modern Chicago then moves to fifth-century Transylvania.
The teenage protagonists, Glenda and Traveler, are sent by Theo, their sanctuary god, deep into the primeval forests of the Carpathian Mountains. They must locate then neutralize an ancient demi-god called a “fire beast”.
The two must also survive the daunting challenges of isolated fifth-century Transylvania. Rome is now in its final death throes and the hoof beats of Attila the Hun echo across Europe. Civilization and Pax Romana are distant memories.
Magic, wits, and youthful courage must combine to face the fire creature. Survival, much less winning, is up for grabs.
David E. Dresner was born and raised in rural Ohio. He was an Eagle Scout and later high school president in both his junior and senior years. The social mores, the friendships, and the rivalries of his youth were character building and era defining and have stayed with him into adulthood. Dresner studied physics and mathematics at Carnegie Tech, now Carnegie Mellon, earning a B.S. and M.S, before training to become an actuary. Dresner enjoyed considerable professional success, working at major business consultancy firms at CEO and COO level before taking early retirement and starting a family. He has since dedicated himself to giving back to hiscommunity, supporting small businesses, churches and schools by developing their strategic plans, as well as tutoring children in core academic studies. Having travelled extensively and lived in France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, today David and his wife Nancy live in a rural part of Virginia, near Charlottesville. He is currently working on the fourth instalment of The Allies of Theo series; he will publish his third novel in 2020.
What I Thought
Prologues can be tricky things, but in this case it was useful to ground the story meaning that you could read The Blighted Fortress without having to read book one first.
For me, Book One, The Discovered Sanctuary took time to get into. I think mainly, because although publicised as a young adult book, the early part of the story was told from an adult’s point of view (the father of one of the characters). There was also a great deal of tell rather than show.
However the first chapter of The Blighted Fortress, now in the middle of a story shows development. The language seems more authentically teen and the relationship between the main characters show their level of intimacy having already been through adventures together.
This is a high concept series with a mix of geographical and historical locations. It was full of lots of detail enabling the reader to fully visualise the world created.
My preference is for pacy reads and I don’t always get on with historical language because it tends to slow things down, so the modern day dialogue between the two teens and the humour in their relationship were more enjoyable for me.
I was sent both books for the purposes of an honest review. Thank you to Faye and the publishers for the gifted copies.