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Book Review: The Swords of the Sultan

The Swords of the Sultan. J. Eric Booker. Booker Enterprises Publishing Co., January 31, 2014, Trade Paperback and Kindle, 378 pages.

Reviewed by Dan Burns.

I must admit that when I first agreed to read The Swords of the Sultan by J. Eric Booker, I was a bit apprehensive, maybe even uncomfortable. I read my last fantasy novel a long time ago and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Then I thought about my predicament and realized that is what reading, and living, is all about—forcing yourself to go outside of your comfort zone and experience something new. Well, I forged ahead and read the book and I’m glad I did.

The Swords of the Sultan is the first of three books in The Elysian Dynasty series. The first book tells the story of a young orphan named Baltor, who is plucked from the streets and adopted by a “Guild of Thieves.” The Guild provides him the opportunity to develop and pursue a challenging and yet promising future—one that he might never have imagined. Upon completing his extensive, required training, he sets off on a mission that takes him to ancient and fantastical lands where he crosses paths with a diverse and interesting group of characters—both friend and foe.

The story follows Baltor through his teenage years and into adulthood and highlights his emotional and physical transformations from peasant to Master Thief to Sultan and ruler of the Sharia Empire. The author provides elaborate details of Baltor’s education and fighting regimen, and it was obvious to me that the author included details based on his prior experiences and research. The details regarding the places that Baltor visits on his travels are no less impressive.

Recently, Mr. Booker was kind enough to read the advance reading copy of my latest book and offered many suggestions for improvement of my manuscript. Reading his book, I had a similar opportunity to share my suggestions and I’m pleased to say that he has revised the book once again to ensure an improved experience for the reader. It’s clear to me that he is committed to his craft and willing to continually improve and grow as a writer.

It’s quite an accomplishment when an author publishes a book, but it’s even more impressive when that story is three volumes in length. The story of The Swords of the Sultan is quite effective as a stand-alone book and story, providing the reader with an intriguing premise, clear conflict, and a sound resolution. At the same time, at the end of the first book, the author leaves the reader with a sense of wonder as to what comes next, and that is a sign of a fine storyteller.


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