“Evil surrounds everyone, but not everyone is able to confront it.” – George A. Kos

Author Gary Caplan’s new book ‘Clues of Chaos’ is set in an ancient continent known as Eidelon. The land of Megalos faces multiple threats to its citizens and property from numerous enemies. They unleash spell weavers and night crawlers upon the land to harm the people. A master wizard trying to uncover the murderer of a senator’s sister accidentally stumbles upon a plan of Chaos Warriors to attack his land. Faced with seemingly insurmountable danger on all fronts, he must ally with a mystic Knight and a Shaman to thwart the advances of foes within their ranks and outside them.

‘Clues of Chaos’ is the latest addition to the ever popular genre of fantasy fiction in novels. But it also brings with it a refreshing story and voice. At its core, the novel is a gritty and dark adventure where the heroes and villains are quasi mythical figures who have control over sorcery and arcane powers. Such adventure stories usually have their set of faithful followers and ‘Clues of Chaos’ shouldn’t disappoint them. Even though the theme and feel of the book suggests a strong story based narration, it’s actually character driven, and the main protagonists - Leo, Erios, Sirus and Niya are great characters that you can relate with.

Leozanthicus or Leo is an experienced wizard/warrior whose control over spells and a predisposition to deductive thinking makes him sort of a super detective/PI of the middle earth. Erios is a mystic Knight who has his own arcane powers; and an advanced mode of transportation in the form of a skyship by which he and his allies can travel to any place undetected.

In the opening chapter itself we are introduced to a pulse raising action scene that announces succinctly what we can expect from the rest of the book. The narrative hits the ground running from there on out and doesn't slow down until all the obstacles in the lives of the protagonists are overcome.

Gary Caplan has created a wonderful world for his characters to exist in and he really gives you a sense of it through the depth in his writing. Even though the narrative is filled with characters and situations that are engulfed in magic and arcane powers, the author doesn’t let the narrative wander by filling the pages with unnecessary details. If at all there’s any negative to be found, it’s that the prose in some places are choppy and certain dialogues felt too stereotypical & mechanical.

The story in ‘Clues of Chaos’ ends after a critical objective is carried out by the protagonists and doesn’t bore readers with an unnecessary cliffhanger. But at the same time the story and the characters have enough potential for sequel adventures.

Readers who like dark fantasies set in middle earth with characters that have arcane powers should definitely not miss ‘Clues of Chaos’.

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