I do quite a variety of editing and proof-reading, from academic papers to fiction and everything in between. Sometimes, the work is painfully dull but for the most part, it’s mildly interesting and besides, I’m not doing it to be entertained. Sometimes though, on the rare occasion, I get to work on a piece that is not mildly entertaining but is addictive and thrilling and The Valadin by Wayne Farrugia was just that.
In two volumes (as it stands, although more are to follow), The Valadin follows Barak, the eponymous Valadin, through the world of Xixersha – a perfect world that is kept perfect by the harsh and unforgiving Overlord. The Valadin is part of his rule – he works to stop the Immunda (those with a wide and fascinating range of superhuman abilities) from wreaking havoc on the world.
The books are stand-alone stories, each a new adventure for the Valadin as opposed to a continuing tale, although there is some over-riding themes that trail through both books. What’s more, each book is separated into Codexes which are, again, individual stories. So in just two volumes, you get six full and well-developed tales. This, I think, is both a blessing and a curse. On my first read, I was unaware of this structure and so I was left floundering and a little overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content. I had continued to read the second Codex as though it was another chapter of the same story and I found myself confused and a little frustrated. I couldn’t understand why they hadn’t been produced as separate books and still, I maintain that this would be a good alternative, but once I had settled into the design of these books, I found the structure in itself charming and inventive. Besides, who can complain about getting three books for the price of one?
The individual stories themselves, although short in terms of word-count (they are only a third of a book, after all), are huge in another sense. They grab the reader’s attention and make you want to read more. The Valadin as a character is intriguing and I would definitely like to know more about him – the books tend to focus more on the tale and on the ‘villains’ rather than Barak. The Immundas themselves are even more fascinating and their huge range of superhuman powers makes me wonder at Farrugia’s imaginative abilities. The fantasy world as a whole, too, is consistent and well-thought out. It was believable and that’s quite a feat given the rather fantastical elements of these stories!
A final thing worth noting is the production of this book. Not only has Farrugia written a enjoyable tale with loveable characters (or not so loveable, as the case may be), he has put it all together with a bunch of beautiful and unique illustrations by artist Tyler Clark. The images really do add an extra element of sparkle to an already enjoyable book, creating a full and well-rounded reading experience. If you enjoy fantasy, if you enjoy shorter stories, and if you enjoy imaginative and intriguing characters, then these books are most definitely for you.
Welcome to Xixersha, the perfect world for the flawless.
For almost three centuries everything has been as immaculate, just as the Overlord intends. No Yashaii. No Pulkans. You won’t find anyone or anything here which is considered undesirable in the eyes of our benevolent leader.
You’ll fit in well, provided you contribute to this utopia in the utmost positive way. Don’t worry about the threats from the Immunda, those with superhuman abilities who wish to undo the peace that the Overlord has established. We have a solution to that problem.
Barak, the Valadin.
He will stop anyone who threatens to unravel our Overlord’s order – including you.
Welcome to Xixersha. May the Overlord watch over you.
Xixersha continues to exist as perfectly as our Overlord intends.
We understand you may have some concerns about recent events, but be assured that the violent protests, shadowy assassins, and re-emergence of once extinct creatures are insignificant, nothing our Valadin can’t contain.
Chaos will not reign. No one shall undermine the Overlord’s establishment.
Long may Xixersha stand against adversity. May the Overlord watch over you.
Amazon (purchasing the paperback copies through Amazon should allow you to download the Kindle version for free)
Also available through Apple, Barnes & Noble and other online stores
About the author:
Wayne Farrugia was born in Melbourne, Australia where he continues to live. He discovered his love for writing during his early years of education, a passion that still continues to this day.
The greatest pleasure Wayne finds through writing is knowing that he has provided a new world full of excitement and adventure for people to escape to.
When he is not writing books, Wayne keeps busy by spending time with family and friends, reading, and traveling.