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Friday, June 22, 2018

Review: The Adventurers Guild by Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos




The Adventurers Guild #1 
By Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos 
October 3, 2017 
Disney-Hyperion 
Source: from pub for review 

Few ever asked to join the Adventurers Guild . . . Their members often died young. 

In one of the last cities standing after the world fell to monsters, best friends Zed Kagari and Brock Dunderfel have high hopes for the future. Zed desperately wishes to join the ranks of the Mages Guild, where his status as Freestone's only half elf might finally be an asset. Brock, the roguishly charming son of merchants, is confident he'll be welcomed into the ranks of the Merchants Guild. 

But just as it seems the boys' dreams have come true, their lives take a startling turn . . . and they find themselves members of the perilous Adventurers Guild. 

Led by the fearsome Alabasel Frond, the guild acts as the last line of defense against the Dangers-hungry, unnatural beasts from otherworldly planes. And when the boys uncover a conspiracy that threatens all of Freestone, Zed, Brock, and their new allies-including Liza, a fierce noble, and Jett, a brave dwarf-must prove their worth once and for all. 

This start of a thrilling new series by talented duo Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos is sure to be a hit with readers who like their fantasies clever and action-packed, with a dash of snark. 


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Long ago monsters destroyed most of the world, leaving only a few cities standing. Freestone is one of those cities, whose high walls keep Dangers out and its citizens in. Every year, children of age receive placement in one of the Guilds. Best friends, Brock (son of wealthy merchants), and Zed (the only elf-blooded person in the city) each hope to be chosen by their favored Guild (the Merchants Guild for Brock and the Mages Guild for Zed). But somehow the two friends find themselves in the dreaded and mysterious Adventurers Guild, whose perilous job is to protect Freestone from monstrous Dangers, even venturing far outside the walls to do so. As Zed and Brock, their dwarf friend Jett, and a noble girl named Liza, begin their training with the Adventurers Guild and its fierce leader Alabasel Frond, they uncover a dangerous secret that could destroy all of Freestone. 

After a rather disappointing middle-grade read, The Adventurers Guild has reminded me why middle-grade fantasy is my most favorite genre. Bubbling over with exciting adventure, captivating fantasy elements, stellar storytelling, and fun characters, authors Zack Loran Clark and Nick Eliopulos have spun a pitch-perfect start to this trilogy! 

The world-building in The Adventurers Guild is just wonderful, with a mix of classic and innovative fantasy elements, fantastical and fascinating settings, and well thought out history. Freestone, with its smartly crafted Guild system, complex social hierarchy, and lushly described city, makes for a charming and intriguing main setting, while the wildly beautiful woods outside the walls make for an awe-inducing and bewitching setting with its thrilling unknowns. This is a fantasy world that will effortlessly charm and enrapture readers. And with clever, laugh-out-loud humor, heart-racing adventure, and delicious twists and turns, this story is a definite page turner! 

Clark and Eliopulos have filled the world of The Adventurers Guild with wondrous people and beings (humans, elves, dwarves, monsters, and more!) and an engaging cast of characters. From loyal and mischievous Brock to kind-hearted and brave Zed, strong and compassionate Liza, funny and earnest Jett, fierce and awesome Frond, and more, readers will love this diverse, quirky group of characters and want nothing more than to join them in their adventures. I found myself especially fascinated with the various creeptastic Dangers (monsters) that they authors have imagined up. 

Surprise revelations, secrets discovered (and some still kept), and one action-packed and riveting adventure, all lead to an unexpected cliffhanger ending that will leave readers hungry for more...I know I am. 

I really love The Adventurers Guild and I think young readers will find this imaginative, exciting, and amusing story simply un-putdownable! 

MY RATING 
5/5 cupcakes



ZACK LORAN CLARK and NICK ELIOPULOS grew up in Florida and now live in New York. Best friends, they get together to play Dungeons & Dragons every week. Zack fervently hopes that magic is real; Nick desperately hopes that monsters are not. The Adventurers Guild is their first novel. 


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