I found Joseph R. Lallo, who I knew as Joe, through the Sc-Fi& Fantasy Marketing Podcast hosted with Lindsay Buroker and Jeff Poole. The podcast, which I found through Lindsay Buroker, provided hours of interesting information on independent publishing and marketing. It was this podcast, along with NaNoWriMo that gave me the push to publish a book in 2021. They are also the reasons I pushed myself to start this blog. Sharing pieces of myself seemed so scary. But then I realized the authors I admired were sharing pieces of their writing failures and wins with me and how much I appreciated it. The blog readers and podcast listeners were all people like me, passionate about fantastic stories.
After enjoying hours of entertainment and information listening to their podcast, I grabbed a free copy of The Book Of Deacon. This was early on before I committed more to one e-retailer than an other. Back in those days I might have books from one author on more than two platforms. I would buy a book based on whichever e-retailer I was using at that time. It was a big mistake. Not I have to hunt for the books to finish reading a series I already own. I guess that is my way of asking “Should you still be reading?” As though I am Netflix and worried about a 12 hour read-a-thon. It does work the same. I realize half the weekend has went by and I only left my hammock to warm up my coffee or have something to eat.
I was warned from the beginning, by Joe himself during one of the podcasts, that he did not intentionally write a trilogy. Rather, he wrote an exceedingly long epic fantasy, then realized it could be broken into three books. Armed with this information, I was prepared for immersive settings and epic battles. I was correct on the settings. The grittiness of the landscape, a place worn by generations of war. The remaining battlecry of the lands now the reverence of sacrifice. Where soldiers and their families brag about how many of the enemy they will kill with the unwritten understanding it is hope for before they die. And in a multigenerational war, the only people as vile as the enemy are those who don’t believe in the war. Enter the protagonist Myranda Celeste.
Myranda is an orphan of the war, and feels empathy for all who fall to it. This makes her an outsider and unwelcome in the lands she was raised in. She also comes across as extremely virtuous. She is unwilling to lie about her beliefs to find a place to belong, even though that is her greatest desire. If anyone shows her any kindness, she believes it to is virtuous. Such folly is what leads her into many of the challenges she faces in The Book of Deacon. Scavenging a priceless sword off a battlefield draws her deeper into the Perpetual War she despises. It is also what brings her a baby dragon as a travel companion. Who else would take a baby dragon to care for when she can barely care for herself?
Book One, The Book of Deacon is focused on Myranda learning who she can be and what impact she can have on the world around her. Her belief in the Five Chosen, and their ability to end the Perpetual War provides her with the resolve to train and learn how she can help end the war, rather than running from it.
In Book Two, The Great Convergence, Myranda continues her journey, this time in search of the Chosen Five. Book Three, The Battle of Verril, is the final book in the trilogy where Myranda and the Chosen Five fight for the end of the war. As I stated before, all three books were written together as one epic novel so they stories run seamlessly together.
I reread The Book of Deacon and The Great Convergence this weekend. A lot of the world build up and Myranda’s character are the focus of the first book. The action picks up in the second book. I appreciate Jo Lallo’s attention to detail with magic development and explanation. It make magic seem matter-of-fact in the world. If you are looking for some deep world building and epic fantasy, check out his The Book of Deacon Series.
You can find Joe Lallo’s work on his website. He also has a sci-fi series for you to check out.