It’s been a difficult year for fifteen-year-old Garith Wynd. In the aftermath of his father’s sudden suicide, he’s moved with his family into a stuffy camper in the Virginian forests during the hottest month of the year.
About the only good thing to come from the move are Garith’s new friends, the inseparable Selena and Blaine. The three friends arrange a campout, but Garith is sidetracked when he comes face-to-face with a terrifying creature ripped from the pages of Arthurian lore—the Beast Glatisant. The only thing standing between him and a grisly death is the alluring White Knight, a shape-shifting enchantress who happens to be the family cat.
Hurled into a fantastical world where knights battle witches, Golems, and forgotten evils, Garith discovers he’s the Dragonstone Protector, tasked with safeguarding an artifact capable of healing or destroying dragonkind—a relic an ancient enemy of the Round Table will do anything to possess.
Surrounded on all sides by unfathomable danger, Garith has no choice but to trust the knights. But even within the ranks of his new allies, treachery lurks. Unless Garith can discover who’s trying to kill him, his legend as the Dragonstone Protector will come to an end.
First, I will start by saying Kyle R. Zeller knows how to write and knows how to write fantasy. Knights of the Withering Flame (A Saga of Sword and Stone, Book 1) is a riveting and engaging young adult fantasy that even adults will enjoy. The story revolves around fifteen-year-old Garith Wynd, whose father committed suicide. While this may seem inappropriate to some for a YA book, Zeller handles it tastefully, and it is a tragedy that unfortunately too many young people must cope with. Following the death of his father, Garith moves with his family to a stuffy camper in the Virginian forest. There, Garith meets new friends, Selena and Blaine.
The three friends arrange a campout, but Garith is sidetracked when he comes face-to-face with a terrifying creature ripped from the pages of Arthurian lore — the Beast Glatisant. The only thing standing between him and a grisly death is the alluring White Knight, a shape-shifting enchantress who happens to be the family cat. And that's where the excitement begins.
The characters are well developed and real. Garith is very likable and I did want to give him a hug sometimes. The dialogue is well-balanced and well written. Fantasy can be dialogue laden and Zeller found a fine balance, making the book much more readable. I also like that Zeller didn't over complicate the plot so that it was easy to follow, and he did a great job with plot development. I highly recommend this book to any fan of fantasy. It's a book that I would read again, and I would definitely read the next book in the series.