“I read a lot of fantasy novels, and few, if any, could measure up to the sheer scale, or do it with such imagination, strong writing, fantastic imagery, action, plots with subplots within subplots, complex characters with lots of betrayal and double crossing.

 

This is truly an epic adventure.”

 

Dan Myers - WORDlink USA

 

 

 

GOODREADS REVIEWS

 

" One of the best fantasy novels I have read in many a year. Maturely written, with vivid descriptive style.

I know I am going to be frustrated waiting for the second!!!! "

 

                                                                                                   

 

 

I have the utmost respect for authors like Russell Meek. I met him in Perth, Western Australia a few weeks back, and he told me how he has self-published and self-financed this book. As someone who wishes they had the time and motivation to finish a novel I felt the need to support him because his dedication to his art was outstanding. And I tell you what I'm stoked I picked this book up.


I never used to be a big reader of fantasy but I've gotten into it a bit more recently,

and reading this book has solidified my appreciation for the genre.


This story is the first quarter of what truly will turn out to be an epic of grand scale. You can tell from the way that it's written that the story is going to be big, I knew this when I hit the two thirds mark of the book and it was only then that I started to understand what was happening. The pieces started to fall into place and the story really kicked it up a notch.


While the first half of the book was a bit slow, it is necessary to establish the universe and the characters.

Both are interesting and in-depth and by the end of the book you really are enthralled in their lives.

 

I have to highlight Russell's skill in writing conversation. Usually when faced with large blocks on conversation I start to skim it a bit, but the way Russell wrote it, it was all interesting and flowed well.  Credit to him for that, conversation is a very difficult thing to write well, and he nailed it.


Also, Russell's descriptions on violence or any kind of "action" are very detailed, without losing pace, which I was impressed with. As was I impressed with the darker portions of the book, the detail was disceral, and very dark. I really felt immersed in the story. I don't want to give anything away because the mystery of this book is what made it an interesting read for me.  I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys fantasy of any way shape or form.
I will be keenly awaiting the sequel. (Hopefully I can get that one signed too!)

 

                                                                                                   

 

 

I was really impressed with this book and would recommend it to anyone!


The plot is kind of slow but as a set up for three more books it is really good! The only issue I had was something I have not really come across in any book before; the story is told from almost every character's perspective at the same time... the point of view kind of jumps around and can sometimes be confusing... HOWEVER there is a reason for this which is alluded to around half way through the story.


Without giving too much away; the 'bad guys' are well developed as characters and their motivation is understandable, they also have a highly interesting influence over the 'good guys'. I say 'bad guys' and 'good guys' because for a while it is not entirely clear who is who, also it is entirely possible that one or two of the 'good guys' could turn, with the pervasive influence the 'bad guys' have over them.


The magic system is very interesting and well developed.


The imagery is on a grand scale with cities perched on the edges of cliffs or deep within hostile mountain ranges.
While this book is by no means 'grimdark' one character has bloody moments that would be a match for anything

Abercrombie's Logan ninefingers goes through.

 

This author has incredible potential and I can definitely see him running in league with the bigs authors of fantasy today: Rothfuss, Sanderson, Hobb, Abercrombie, Brooks et al.

 

All in all I found this book highly original and very intriguing, needless to say I will be buying the next three books

and can't wait for the next one to come out.

 

FACEBOOK COMMENTS

 

Thoroughly enjoying The Madness of Hallen, can't put the book down as I am totally wrapped up and lost
in the magic storyline, characters and environment that Russell paints!
Get a copy and enjoy!
 
The book is fantastic.
It is the best I have ever read.
 
Thoroughly enjoying the picture being painted in my mind... It's a beautiful, harsh setting for fantasy!
 
 
Just finished reading this book for the second time, awesome read,
it's up there with some of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a few.
Can't wait for part 2
 
I have just finished reading The Madness of Hallen - I couldn't put it down, the story gripped from the first to last page. The visual imagery created by the prose rivals the classics.  I can't wait for the next one -will definitely recommend to others.
 
Wow - Fantastic - Epic - what else can I say, but when's the next one.
Keep up the great work.
Best new read in quite a long time.