GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Book Review:Heart of a Lion (Dark Sun Dawn Book 1) by Stephen Zimmer | I Smell Sheep

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Book Review:Heart of a Lion (Dark Sun Dawn Book 1) by Stephen Zimmer

epic fantasy, Stephen Zimmer, Heart of a Lion, image
Heart of a Lion (Dark Sun Dawn Book 1)
by Stephen Zimmer (Goodreads Author), Scott Sandridge (Editor), Bonnie Wasson (Illustrator)
Kindle Edition, 234 pages
Published February 2nd 2015
by Seventh Star Press

Rayden Valkyrie. She walks alone, serving no king, emperor, or master. Forged in the fires of tragedy, she has no place she truly calls home.

A deadly warrior wielding both blade and axe, Rayden is the bane of the wicked and corrupt. To many others, she is the most loyal and dedicated of friends, an ally who is unyielding in the most dangerous of circumstances.

The people of the far southern lands she has just aided claim that she has the heart of a lion. For Rayden, a long journey to the lands of the far northern tribes who adopted her as a child beckons, with an ocean lying in between.

Her path will lead her once more into the center of a maelstrom, one involving a rising empire that is said to be making use of the darkest kinds of sorcery to grow its power. Making new friends and discoveries amid tremendous peril, Rayden makes her way to the north.

Monstrous beasts, supernatural powers, and the bloody specter of war have been a part of her world for a long time and this journey will be no different. Rayden chooses the battles that she will fight, whether she takes up the cause of one individual or an entire people.

Both friends and enemies alike will swiftly learn that the people of the far southern lands spoke truly. Rayden Valkyrie has the heart of a lion.

Heart of a Lion is Book One of the Dark Sun Dawn Trilogy.

Xena the Princess Warrior on Steroids!

This sage (yes, I feel like it was a saga..."a long and complicated series of events") centers around one main character....Rayden Valkyrie. Set in a time of "Kings", tribal Chiefs, Clansmen and what seems to be a prehistoric type creatures, Rayden begins her journey home across Mystic Kingdoms, arid deserts, vast seas and dangerous forests.

Along the way she encounters many hostile environments that tug on her attributes of fairness and desire to squash all types of oppression. In her travels she joins a caravan riding camels, a ship that delivers goods to foreign shores, a tribe of "uprising" slaves and an enemy clan she enlists to help open a path through the mountains to freedom for her charges. (Rather like the stories of the Norsemen)

Rayden is a tall, blonde young beauty with the intuition and fighting skills that more than rivals Xena, Princess Warrior. Her unassuming looks led many male warriors to underestimate her skills and paid the price.

The story was filled with page after page of violence and graphic killing scenes. There never seemed to be must respite for Rayden, always the champion and mainly the one in control. There were a couple supporting characters that at different times accompanied Rayden on her journey but I felt they were introduced to bring a little more meat (no pun intended) to the story. One of the characters, Ammanus, began the journey with Rayden but was left behind after she came to the rescue of a child being "sacrificed" to a local "God". He was never reintroduced in the story.

Romance was non-existent, which I guess is fine, but page after page of torture, revenge, bloodlust and death tended to take a toll on my psyche after a while. Even though the heroine was fearless, talented, loyal, wise and a champion for the oppressed, she seemed almost inhuman. But besides being very intuitive, I didn't feel a lot of paranormal skills in her arsenal.

I have to give "Kudos" to the author for the ability to paint a picture. The scenes left nothing out for those with a desire to hear a story of retaliation for the oppressed and a need for a strong savior to deliver the judgement!

I give this 3 1/2 "fighting" sheep!


About the Author:
Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning author and filmmaker. His works include the cross-genre series The Rising Dawn Saga, the epic fantasy Fires in Eden series, the Hellscapes horror short story collection, the Chronicles of Ave fantasy short story collection, and the Harvey and Solomon steampunk tales. He is based out of Lexington, Kentucky and you can find his site at

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