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4-star Review

Reviewed By Jamie Michele for Readers’ Favorite


Into The Lair by Jerry Bridges is a high fantasy military adventure situated around an elven Shala’lir warrior, his wife, and the family they build for themselves along the way. In a loss of control due to his elven wife Laurealis' estrus cycle that triggers supercharged pheromones, Kailynn finds himself at an unavoidable meeting convened in the midst of 'kaipoctouyevva'. It goes very badly and his powerful clan leader, who is also his grandmother, is not pleased. He is sent off to fight and try to save the dying remnants of the human species. Kailynn's wife is left to care for Raina and Duncan, two war orphans that Kailynn wishes to adopt but has no time to explain to Laurealis as he exits for battle. While Laurealis is away with Raina and Duncan, she fears Kailynn is dead until she is able to determine he is not with the help of her friend, Astoria. Kailynn is a Champion, and the one known to have been captured while fighting. The four of them venture to find Kailynn, alongside a dwarf named Fausto who journeys with them. Between the landscape, elements, and circumstances that conspire against them, all five also have emotional carnage to contend with. The mental demons that haunt their thoughts, feelings, and motives can be just as dangerous as the hybrid demon race ready and willing to stamp out everything that gets in their way so they can breed their way in.

Shifting points of view in the first person give the characters of Laurealis, Raina, Duncan, Astoria, and Fausto the ability to develop to near completion in Into The Lair by Jerry Bridges. Kailynn is also given some time in the point of view spotlight, as is the terrifying Queen of the Asmodians, Ereshkigal, and a couple of others. The novel is massive and a resolute commitment to continue as valiantly as Laurealis is required for the first sixty or so pages, which are notably prolix. The story takes a more comfortable stride after Kailynn is exiled and adopts a steady jog as soon as Fausto enters with a remarkably bitter outlook and the best book within a book ever: A Travel Guide for the Rough Country. Yes, the dwarf is armed with magic and a travel guide that helps them fight dragons. The title Into The Lair is a worthy indication of how crucial dragon facts will be. He's also got a whip of a tongue that can level anyone in a game of deadpan humor and sarcasm. Levity is not easy to find elsewhere as the weight of collective experiences is immense... The battles happen as the quintet journeys in Kailynn's direction and have the customary grit, but the former brutality is more brutal. The ending is satisfying and ties up loose ends but leaves a door open, figuratively and literally, so there's room for more. Recommended.


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