Aylun: David Scidmore *Review*

Cover image of Aylun is in the centre of an image of a icy mountain vista and moon. Added text: Can Aylun let go of his grief to save the world?

Genres: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy | Release Date: 23 October 2023 | Series: The Ever-Branching Tree | Series Book: #2 | Pages: 1034 | Publisher: Meerdon Publishing | Review

“Do you have any idea what it is like to be the only one to survive?”

David Scidmore

Overview:

A massive thank you goes to Books Forward and the author for letting me read a copy of Aylun, an epic fantasy which can be read either as a companion or sequel to Dellia, the first book of The Ever-Branching Tree series! And let me tell you, that was really handy as I haven’t read Dellia, but was too intrigued by the blurb to say no to this opportunity. So what are we waiting for?! Let’s give you an overview…

When Megan and her best friend Jon end up in an alternate world after a lab accident, they’re soon torn apart against their will. Aylun kidnaps Megan from Jon’s side, and a Protector named Dellia takes Jon in the opposite direction. Grieving for loved ones who fell on a recent mission, Aylun’s been exiled from his home among the Augury. But even apart from them, he knows of their prophecy which speaks of the Otherworlders. And he will not let this be the end of his world. Megan and Aylun must venture into darkness to find answers, while Jon and his new companions face off against an ancient evil… Can Aylun let go of his grief and live for the future? Who is trying to bring about the destruction of this world? And how will Megan find her freedom, when a prophecy mentions her by name?

Cover image of Aylun by David Scidmore is to the bottom left of an image of a tree at night, against a moon. Added text: Is Megan capable of fulfilling a prophecy? Or will she die here, so far from home?
Aylun is an epic quest of monsters, darkness and terrifying prophecies…

Happiness Boost:

This epic fantasy by David Scidmore is a mammoth read, coming in at 1034 pages. While that may put off some readers, I’m here to tell you that at *no point* does this tale seem like it’s lacking for pace, action and heart. Every page gives us something. Every chapter is vital to the plot. It’s a massive compliment, because there are very few authors who could write a book this big and still deliver a tale that hooks a reader from beginning to end! Seriously, there was *no* lull, how amazing is that?!

Aylun is a tale of monsters, consequences and how the heart can change the course of the world. The characters within these pages are flawed and fallible, which is something I absolutely love whenever I find it in a story! David also deftly includes some snarky banter and sarcasm, never letting this fantasy get overwhelmed by the encroaching darkness spreading across the land. Because even when it’s darkest, these adventurers can find a moment to say something which makes the heart sing. And can I just say, witnessing Megan’s newfound abilities combining with her fiery nature? I’ve been positively beaming, reading of her experiences!

The world building in Aylun is incredible, and I’ve never been so invested in lighthouses and temples in my life. I wanted to be there (although impervious to monsters, naturally) and feel the ground under my feet. I wanted to be able to touch the light stones or splash the water around Athene’s statue. But even though I couldn’t be there in person, David’s ability had me living and breathing it through every written word. It’s such a magical gift to give readers!

Downside:

I have to admit, I’m grateful I started with Aylun. Because Dellia’s actions annoyed me in this book, and if she was like this throughout the first book? I may not have kept reading, as that instalment focuses on her. While I know people can take out frustrations and fears on others, when you have a gift and can actually see the damage you’ve done to a heart? I don’t believe you keep hammering in more nails. And for much of the story, that’s exactly what she did. Is there character growth? Yes. But was it a painfully long process for someone who can feel what another heart experiences? Absolutely.

Final Thoughts:

Aylun by David Scidmore is an epic fantasy, featuring a terrifying prophecy, daunting monsters and a ragtag crew who must learn to work together. It’s been such a joy to read this tale, and I’m really looking forward to what comes next for these characters! If you love the sound of this wonderful fantasy? Make sure to click a link below and order yourself a copy! Happy reading, glitterbugs!

You can order Aylun via these links:

Amazon | Blackwell’s | Booktopia | Fishpond

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