Left Horse Black by S. J. Reisner is an epic sword and sorcery fantasy that interweaves the story lines of various characters from different kingdoms in the West Ocean Mainlands. The tale begins when a sheltered young prince escapes with his cousin to get reinforcements from Danaria to help counter a sinister threat from of a foreign prince who is betrothed to the king’s daughter. Meanwhile, a rebellious Fifth-Gens warrior-sorceress from Danaria is drawn into battle against the nomadic Kersian foes who have kidnapped one of their warlord’s daughters as a sacrifice to the “no name” god. Unbeknownst to them all, zealot Kersian sorcerers are plotting behind the scenes to usurp the thrones of human-ruled kingdoms so they can build a massive army to destroy the Danaria sorcerer bloodline in an attempt to save their own. The destinies of the troubled prince and the inept Danaria sorceress finally join in the labyrinthine plot. Hold on to your seats to the climax. Armed with nothing more than meager weapons and with the help of their friends and instinct, these unlikely heroes are the last hope to stop the Kersian sorcerers.
S. J. Reisner has masterfully weaved together a complex epic fantasy with engaging characters and unique world-building. This fast-paced tale challenges the reader to keep track of the various characters and plot lines. However, in the end, the various subplots tie together for a satisfying and heart-wrenching climax. Author Reisner masterfully brings the myriad of characters to life on the page. These are flawed, three-dimensional characters with distinct attributes and motivations, including the villains. My favorite character is Tnasha fen Schoitt, the rebellious Danaria sorceress who must learn to use her powers which she originally rejects. It is fun seeing her fumble as she learns how to use these powers as a weapon against the Kersian sorceresses.
I highly recommend Left Horse Black for readers who enjoy a complex, fast-paced fantasy with a myriad of engaging characters, including strong female protagonists.