Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Book Review: 'The Arclight Saga (Four Book Epic Fantasy Box Set)' by C.M. Hayden
'I’m not sure if I can bear to stay at the Magisterium anymore.’
Michigan author Cameron M. Hayden, a young handsome new lad with a long-time love of fantasy and science fiction, made his literary debut with the REACH BETWEEN TWO WORLDS and interestingly enough he has designated this novel as Book 1 of The Arclight Saga – reassuring us that he is in the business for the long run. And from reading his first entry it appears he has a solid start in the realm of science fiction/fantasy writing. And with the release of THE REACH BETWEEN WORLDS, THE STARS THAT FORM US, and ALLTHE GODS BELOW Cameron’s literary future seems secure. Now as he publishes the box set we note he has included Book 0 WHY DRAGONS HIDE – a prequel to the set. He has offered an Author’s Foreword that allows us to better know Cameron: ‘When I wrote the first chapter of what would eventually become the Arclight Saga, I was quite literally destitute. I had no money, nowhere to live, and no family to help. This was the summation of a lifetime of poverty, both with myself and my family. My earliest memories, in fact, are of being in homeless shelters on the streets of Chicago. Then, another homeless shelter somewhere in Minnesota. Once, my family had to stay in an abandoned bank property in a strip mall simply because we had nowhere else to go. Eventually, we upgraded to the basement of my grandmother’s house. All nine of us. I was too young to truly understand the situation we were in; I trusted that my parents would take care of me, and that was that. Don’t take this as a slight against them. To their credit, they did their best, and I still love them both. When I was nineteen, I wrote the first page of the Arclight Saga while I was sitting, temporarily homeless, in the deli area of a local grocery store, contemplating the poor decisions I’d made in my life. In my backpack, I had a notebook and pens, and with them, I began to write about a poor beggar man that was actually a powerful sorcerer—eventually he became Aris.’
So now we have the entire set described as ‘The Arclight Saga centers around an ancient military organization called the Magisterium; using sophisticated combinations of magic and engineering, the 'magisters' are charged with defending their kingdom, and training future generations. To become a magister, new recruits are put through deadly trials that test their skill in magic and military tactics. The classes are grueling, the trials can drive recruits mad, and the magic taught can be as deadly to the caster as it is to the target.’
Adventure, intrigue, mystery and a hefty splash of science fiction make this book a pleasure to read. Cameron M Hayden is a writer to watch!
Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.