Traditional or self-published: Self-published
Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
Every now and then, I run into a self-published book that I cannot believe isn't a traditionally published one. This was one of those happy cases.
Set in a world that's a cross of fantasy and steampunk, the plot reminded me a lot of Lord of the Rings (in a good way, not like it was just a copy of that book). The main character, Elario, is a simple farmer and a man with a very weak power to heal. All he wanted to do was farm and tend to the health of the people in his little village, when an Object of Power falls into his lap. Trying to do the right thing with that object leads him on a quest from one end of his country to the other, and had an impact on the whole country.
Though this book is labeled M/M, that's kind of an odd thing. The romance is just a minor part of the story (we don't even meet the love interest until well after the halfway point of the book). I did like their relationship a lot, but this wasn't a romance book, so seemed like it really didn't need to be labeled as M/M. (Though, admittedly, that did help me to want to pick the book up, so I guess maybe it could be considered an advertising tactic...)
This book was really long, but unlike other long books I have enjoyed, I never got bored at any point, and I never got into that mindset where I kept checking how much more I had to read. I just kept enjoying it from the first page to the last.
It seems so rare nowadays that a book isn't just a part of a trilogy or a series, but as far as I can tell, this book is going to be stand-alone. It wrapped up perfectly, no loose ends. That's quite a refreshing change.