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Drew Goodman
Drew Goodman, author

Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

Phaidros and Charon, sons of a respected member of The Order of The Ignited, find their lives forever altered when tragedy strikes. As the threat of exile looms and avenging their father's death becomes their desperate mission, the brothers embark on divergent paths. Phaidros, determined to protect his cindered brother, reluctantly joins the Order. Bound by loyalty and a ticking clock, he navigates the treacherous path of following in the footsteps of his father, risking his life and soul in the process. Meanwhile, Charon's affliction takes a surprising turn when he stumbles upon a hidden power, a power that may hold the key to defeating their father's killer and saving his brother from the same fate. Join Phaidros and Charon on their perilous journey, and discover the extraordinary depths of strength and loss between siblings trying to find meaning in the chaos of their lives. Endure the heat of battle, witness the clash of wills, and lose yourself in the breathtaking turmoil of Bonds.
In this assured epic space-fantasy debut, the start of Goodman’s Ignited Galaxy series, two brothers shaken by tragedy—Phaidros and Charon—seek to avenge their father and cement their status among the elite Order of The Ignited. Phaidros embarks on a perilous journey to follow in their father's footsteps as an Ignited, a fierce warrior who, after the “igniting” of their true potential, dedicate their gifts to the protection of the people of the Holy City of Dasos. Facing deadly training and bloody ape attacks in the jungle at the hands of his father's right hand, Zenovia, Phaidros has one month to lay to rest the “shaped” beast that bested his father and restore honor upon their family name. Charon, now marked as a Cindered, a wounded warrior, also takes on a bold venture that awakens a mysterious power that may help reverse their family's tragic downfall and save his determined, headstrong brother.

Told through prose that alternates between lyricism and crisp, clear action, Bonds explores the ties of family, the loyalty of brothers, and the courage of warriors in a vividly detailed universe that draws on sources familiar and surprising—expect guns, carnivorous foliage, bizarre rituals, death magic, and, in the presence of standout creations like the mighty Suneater, “the Unbroken Sage who Devours,” much creepy-cool regal pomp. The brothers’ quests are compelling, as they strive to be “the apex among the strong,” with Phaidros growing from runt to warrior, and Charon, who too often has felt “useless to his brother and the world,” tempted by the power of dark magic.

Featuring multi-dimensional heroes, inventive battles, painful losses, fantastical creatures, and scenes of rigorous training, Bonds will please readers whose bottom line is well-told, freshly imagined space-and-sorcery adventure in a traditional vein, focusing on themes of trust, bravery, loyalty, and the corrupting temptation of power, as two brothers with something to prove fight for their legacy.

Takeaway: Accomplished space fantasy of brothers fighting for their legacy.

Comparable Titles: Christopher Ruocchio’s Sun Eater series, Mark Lawrence’s Book of the Ancestor series.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A