Review: Tavern, or the first five stars review of 2020!

Hello, people! How are you? Are you safe? I really hope so! Today I am here with a review for a book that I loved! I have tried to make it justice, but I don’t know if I managed. I really hope so!

I received a copy of this book but the opinions on this review are mine and completely objective.


Title: Tavern
Series: Dargath Chronicles #1
Author: Deston J. Munden
Page Count: 440

You can buy it here: Amazon

Xelnath of the Gnarled Root—a tavern owner, information broker, healer, and guildmaster of the Blackwind Company—has found a place, far better than the forest from which he came in the magical metropolis and city-state of Lladad in the Magiian Empire.
When a simple act of kindness draws the ire of a troubled assassin, his love-stricken Archmage father and an army of magically constructed golems, Xel must scheme with vipers of the high court, mingle with royalty at the castle, blackmail drug dealers in the slums, and fight assassins and mercenaries in the streets.
He needs to lean on the support of his motley crew of a dark elf assassin, a dragon pirate, a high elf royal, and a talking dog artificer to keep him from his own inner demons and doubts.

I don’t really know where to start here, because all I want to do is fangirling as crazy, because this book was so incredible, so beautiful and I loved it so much that I don’t know how I could make it justice, but I would try!

The worldbuilding in here is rich and so full of life, colors, and differences that it was amazing. On one hand, I can’t say that it is perfect, but on the other hand I can say, as sure as hell, that it was amazing. The author creates an interesting and complex world, populated by a myriad of different species, we have orcs (and they are really well done here!), elves (dark and not), dwarves (sky dwarves, how cool is that???), dragons, magiians, and many others. And all of them are well characterized, they are not just plain etiquette attached to characters that are, in the end, all the same things. Oh no! Every different species is real and full of life.
And the colors! They are everywhere. Both in a metaphorical than literal sense! We have so many different flavors and things, in there, but we have also a lot of colors, and it was quite pleasant!

And I have also appreciated Lladad, the city in which the story takes place. It is a unique place, and I mean unique. We have some great cities in the fantasy genre, cities that seems real to us readers (and, more often than not, cities which we would gladly take a trip to, even when they are not the safest place to be) and I think that this one could rightly claim a place between them. We can really see it, with all its peculiarities, and, again, its colors. It just felt so real! And it really seems like an amazing and fascinating place!

The world is quite amazing, and I am dying to know more, but let’s not forget about the story. We have an entertaining and captivating plot, with fights, twists, plots and machinations, fights again (we have quite some of them) and politics. We just have all we can ask for and even more. Because aside from all these things, we have also a story about friendship (and I love so much when books portray a solid, real and amazing friendship. This kind of stories always manages to move me, and this one was no exception) and about family, the best kind, the family you choose, consciously or not, for yourself. And even if it is a fast-paced story, with a lot of things going on to keep your attention on the page, there is also a lot happening on a more intimate and inner level.
I know that it doesn’t make sense, but I try to clarify: this is a book about our own insecurity, too, and about responsibilities.
Our Xel is just full to the brim with insecurities. He has accomplished a lot in his life, but he constantly feels like that’s not enough. He is not enough and he feels like he doesn’t deserve all his amazing friends, their loyalty and their friendship. He is constantly doubting himself. And this was quite refreshing, to see an MC who really and deeply doubts himself. He was so relatable.
I have to admit that, sometimes, it was a bit much. If I have to move a critic to this book it would be that the author sometimes overdoes with self-doubt. But it was just a minimal thing, it is not so exaggerated, and all in all is a thing that I appreciated a lot.

And now there is the part I liked best. The characters! We have Xel, the main character, an orc who owns a tavern (and I really appreciated his relationship with the tavern. I appreciated that he loved it, and a remarkable thing about the book is that time and again, we see the characters, Xel overall, but he is not the only one, feeling good for a job well done. The sheer appreciation for doing well your job. It was quite satisfying to see!), does some works as a healer priest, and he’s the boss of a Company of assassins and spies. And just like that, I was in love!
But he is not the only one. We have so many great characters in there! Sett is the most… unique. He is adorable, and he is a good guy at the heart. And I just loved him too.
Rynn and Nilia are two amazing women, full of surprises at every turn, with great characters and personality. And so resourceful and powerful in their own right. Also, they really are kick-ass heroines!
Those are my favorite, but let’s not forget about Char, Albek, Orianna, Rohmal (oh my god, Rohmal!!!!), Wilhim (he was quite amazing, too!), Zaev and many others.
I just can’t wait to be with them all again. Every one of them is unique, and special. We have so many diversity in here, too. And it all adds to the reality of the experience.

This was an amazing reading, that kept me enthralled from the start to the end. We have a complete, diverse and fantastic cast of characters, with the right amount of plots, politics complications, and action in it. Fast-paced and fascinating, you would be in for a hell of a ride!
And, what’s more, is that we see, here and there, some sparks of the modern world, in a quite classical fantasy world, and so we see skateboards and spas, and it was just so right, and so damn fun!


This is a book with all you can ask for, and more! What do you think about it? Have you read it? Or have you on your TBR? Let me know!

Happy reading!

17 thoughts on “Review: Tavern, or the first five stars review of 2020!

  1. maddalena@spaceandsorcery says:

    This sounds like the kind of fantasy world where it’s easy – and so very satisfying! – to lose oneself in. Since I saw it showcased in a previous post I’ve felt that it might be an intriguing read, and once more my “book vibes” seem to have pointed me in the right direction 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: March Wrap-Up!

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