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Jeffrey L Kohanek
Author, Illustrator
The Buried Symbol

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

Discover a lost magic, long buried and forgotten…

Without a rune marking his role in society, Brock is doomed to an existence below the lowest rung of the social ladder. Unwilling to accept his fate, the teen risks his life to obtain a fake rune that marks him as a member of the Empire's ruling class. He then embarks on a quest to join an institution where the Empire’s future leaders are trained.

As a student of the Academy, he soon uncovers a chain of secrets kept hidden for centuries, secrets that expose cracks in the foundation of Empire society. Among his discoveries is a powerful magic, long buried and forgotten.

Brock’s compassion and sense of justice are seeds that sprout tight friendships and a blossoming romance. An unwillingness to be bullied earns him a dangerous enemy, becoming a feud that escalates to a climactic showdown.

Amy Shannon from Amy's Bookshelf Reviews

Brock isn't the only one on a quest, the reader also joins for the magical journey. Brock is a strong character, and is never willing to run and hide. He discovers many secrets, including something powerful and magical. I enjoyed this story and look forward to the next story. Never settling for what seems to be fate or destiny keeps the reader engaged with this story. Kohanek is a remarkable writer and tells a great tale.

Christopher Schmitz - Author of Dekker's Dozen Series

I found The Buried Symbol to be a real page turner! The pacing was wonderful and straight from page one the author does a great job of "world-building." While some of the setting might feel like a trope that has been done before, some of us really like that. As an old RPG gamer I immediately felt at home and saw the beginnings of the party develop when Brock picks up his buddy and saw interesting traits that my mind categorized as "rogue" characterizations. Not enough stories come from that point of view--everyone ins consumed by the glory of a fighter or the mysticism of a wizard, so I appreciated the difference in nature. They are not one-sided characters, though, and you can see/feel the emotional impetus and gold-hearted, heroic aspects that motivate even those acts that cross the law. Pick this one up--just be might not be able to put it down!

M. L. Sparrow - author of Blood Moon Rising

I really enjoyed this book, it was fast paced and well written, with a cast of fun, charming characters. The main character, Brock, was likeable and his motivations were easily understandable, however, my favourite character was definitely Cam, there was just something about him which I though was really sweet despite his size and I hope we see more of him in the next book. This book has echoes of Harry Potter, in the fact that for the most part it's set in a school and it follows a group of friends trying to uncover a mystery. I was intrigued by 'Chaos' and the 'Wailing War' and was a little disappointed not to find the answers at the end of the book, but I suppose that's being save for the next instalment! 

Tracy A. Fischer-Readers Favorite

In an excellent new entry in the genre of fantasy for young adults, The Buried Symbol: The Runes of Issalia, Book I by author Jeffrey L Kohanek is a book that will suck readers in from the very first page and will keep them reading obsessively throughout. Follow the story of protagonist Brock, a teenager who at first looks ahead to a life filled with despair. Destined for a life even below the lowest rung of the social ladder, Brock decides to risk everything to get a fake rune that would mark him as a member of not just a higher class, but that of the rulers of the Empire. He gets accepted as a student of the Academy, the institution where future leaders are trained and, before long, uncovers secrets that could very well shake the foundation of the Empire to its very core. One of those secrets is a magic that has been long forgotten, but is more powerful than most have ever witnessed. Brock’s new life is further enriched and complicated by friendships, a possible romance, and the making of an enemy that could bring down everything that he has been striving towards. Will Brock survive his time at the Academy? You’ll need to read this excellent book to find out!

I very much enjoyed The Buried Symbol: The Runes of Issalia, Book I. Author Jeffrey L. Kohanek has done a fantastic job in creating characters that his readers will connect with, relate to and truly care about. If that isn’t a hallmark of a great author, I’m not sure what is. His world creation abilities are simply second to none, and readers will feel as if they can simply slip through the pages to join Brock at the Academy or in the Empire. Any reader who enjoys a great work of fantasy, whether a young adult or not, would love this book. I am so pleased to recommend The Buried Symbol: The Runes of Issalia, Book I, and will be anxiously waiting for the second installment in this incredibly promising series!