Reviewed by Timea Barabas
Knights of the Withering Flame is the start of a magical story named A Saga of Sword and Stone by Kyle R. Zeller. It is a book deeply rooted in Arthurian legends, but the branches of the tree flower a fresh perspective. In a way, it is a sequel to King Arthur’s story. It sheds light on what happened to him, and Zeller cautiously weaves together those mythological times with our modern days.
This fantasy adventure novel centers on a 15-year-old teenager named Garith and his unique early graduation. Although he starts out as an average boy, who leads a pretty troubled family life, he escapes into a magical realm where he is far more than average. Kyle R. Zeller draws an interesting parallel between the troubled family life of Garith and the turmoil in the magical realm he enters. While this realm is foreign both to our main characters and our readers, it is still vaguely familiar. The inhabitants and the magical elements that build it are inspired from other fantasy worlds, but they are unique enough to stand on their own. So, there is a sense of a warm welcoming feel despite the chilly dangers lurking in the shadows. Basically, it is about the eternal war between the shadows and the light. But, this confrontation is set on many planes, both geographical ones – where the armies of the two sides fight – and immaterial ones – where invisible forces battle on the field of human conscience.