Elemental Links, by M.A. Leon – Book Review
Author: M.A. Leon
Amazon: 4.20 (buy)
Our review: 5.00 (read)
This book has a stunning cover that fits perfectly this intriguing story. Elemental Links is a gripping fantasy in a medieval setting that follows the coming of age story of two Brothers: Jake and Louie. It starts amid a tragedy when dark forces slaughter the entire family to get to one of the boys.
We learn that Louie is an adept, meaning he can perform elemental magic.
“Changing elements from one natural form into another was one thing. Dirt to stone and water to ice, those were easy transformations that Louie had mastered years ago.”
The villains of this story are Necroms, beings that started as adepts but were corrupted by evil spirits called wraiths.
“Necrom have existed nearly as long as adepts. They were once regular adepts, but were corrupted through hardships or natural ailments. They are the criminals of the magical world. An essential criminal will resort to thievery, lies, deceit, and even murder, whereas the adepts have the power to become much more. […] These adepts, corrupted as they were, evoked the most vile, nefarious spirits. Such spirits are known as wraiths. They induced fear, hate, and every other painful emotion you can imagine.”
For years these Necroms have been hunting gifted humans, adepts in an effort to increase their numbers, leaving a bloodbath in their wake. For this reason, most parents, when they realized they had a gifted child, would give up the kid for the rest of the family to survive.
“Our parents knew? They knew that I could cause this?”
“You didn’t cause anything Louie,” Witherton said gently. “Many parents leave their adept baby in the woods, or worse, when they discover his or her gift. Your parents didn’t even hesitate in their decision to keep you. They loved you both with all of their hearts.”
Louie and Jake’s parents knew and took the risk anyway, but they moved to a secluded area in the woods and asked Mr. Witherton to train the boys. As an afterthought, I imagined Mr. Witherton as a medieval version of Mr. Miyagi 😉.
After witnessing their parents' murder, the boys took off and went to Mr. Witherton for protection. That’s when the real adventure begins, and the narrative picks up. It is Mr. Witherton who explains about the Necroms, why they are coming after Louie, and then introduces all the magical creatures that the boys didn’t even know existed.
Apparently, Necroms have been seeking gifted people throughout the ages. They want to increase their population, and the only way to do that is to abduct and convert adepts. That’s why they’re after Louie, and his brother Jake thinks he alone can protect him.
“I’ll take care of him,” Jake countered.
“And fight their fire with what? A sword?” Witherton pressed gently. “No Jake. Only magic can fight magic.”
The story is sprinkled with humor and brotherly banter.
“Jake lowered his stick and stood straight. “You’re alright, for an amateur.”
Louie half-smiled. “You’re okay, for a prick.”
Louie learns that to protect himself from the influence of Necroms, he must allow good spirits, called seraphs, to possess him.
Against his brother’s wishes, Louis accepts, and three seraphs “move in”.
Jake squinted. “You’d better not have done anything stupid.”
“If by ‘stupid’ you mean agreeing to move against the necrom with only me, my seraphs, and any other crusaders we find along the way? Then yes.” Louie bowed his head sheepishly.
Elemental Links is the first book in the Steel and Magic Series, an enchanting story, well crafted, and full of adventures and magic.