K.E Barron’s THE IMMORTAL SERPENT follows the adventures and many mishaps of orphan hero, Jeth, as he slowly comes to terms and finally confronts his destiny, alongside a diverse cast of supporting characters, which include powerful mages, shape-shifting serpents, harpies, sirens and fairies. Jeth, who is convinced that he is cursed, is driven out of his sylvan homeland and becomes a soldier. However, he is ill at ease among his crude companions and ends up killing a few in order to save a prisoner, who turns out to be a thief. Deserting his team, Jeth allies herself with the girl, Anwar who he finds alluring and mysterious and who in turn leads him to Snake-Eye, the leader of a gang of thieves and the collector of magical artifacts. Jeth is unwittingly pulled into a furious power-play between ancient forces, discovers skills he didn’t know he had, and realizes that he has a greater role to play, even if it means making some difficult choices. He also encounters Vidya–a harpy with a dark and tragic past–determined to put to right some past wrongs, even if it means disobeying the system and taking matters into her own hands.
THE IMMORTAL SERPENT (which is the author’s second novel and the first part of an exciting duology) boasts impressive world-building skills. The several races–inhabiting diverse environments, with their own unique cultures and traditions–are wondrously detailed, especially when it comes to the gender relations in different societies. Both Anwar and Vidya are independent and beautifully-realized female characters. Anwar in particular is feisty, clever and a survivalist who “belongs to no one” and the romance that develops between her and Jeth plays out interestingly. That said, the novel still propagates some familiar stereotypes, such as the “femme fatale” and Anwar’s later arc is somewhat dissatisfying. Some of the fight scenes felt repetitive and at times, the book is a tad crowded with so many characters. Nevertheless, with a fast-paced plot that is full of twists and turns, engaging dialogue, and a few erotic scenes, THE IMMORTAL SERPENT is a gripping novel for fantasy and romance fans alike.
K.E Barron’s THE IMMORTAL SERPENT is a thrilling high fantasy novel, filled with romance, clever plot twists and an intricate magical world in which readers can get lost.
~Archita Mittra for IndieReader