Editorial reviews

Book: Jarren Heartwood, Quadrant of Balance book 1
Reviewer: Floyd Largent (StormWriter Writing and Editing Services)
Genre: High Fantasy

Jarren Heartwood was by turns heart-wrenching, chilling, exciting, cathartic—and always highly entertaining. While somewhat dystopian, with an insidious, overarching villain in the Rot, it nonetheless contains hopeful elements that help lift a novel like this above many of its peers. I’ve read many dystopian fantasy novels, and some are just exercises in depression and futility (I could cite you some examples if you like). That’s not the case here; Jarren’s struggles to find a place to belong, his ability to overcome nearly all obstacles, his mother’s obvious love for him, Kaelan’s love for his lost family, and the dryads all provide the hopeful touches that prove that all the good things in Elonia are not yet lost, making the tale bittersweet and memorable.

The writing is very well-done and hard-hitting, the characters vivid and distinctive, the settings compelling, and the narrative convincing. Overall, Jarren stands high on the list of the outstanding works I’ve had the pleasure of working with this past year. Daniel has a gift for characterization, and for working within the complex details of a human mind—not only those just trying to survive, like Selene and Jarren, but also those like Alec and Leister, who are using said survivors to their advantage. Though Jarren goes through hell (literally, if you count the Realm of Shadows as such), he never loses touch with his goals or his humanity, unlike many in the story, despite the influence of the Rot. This makes him a deeply sympathetic character the reader can feel for. And while it’s sad to see Jarren have to become steel-hard in his struggle to survive, it’s also a tribute to his toughness and resilience that he does; and viewed from that perspective, it’s uplifting. It’s certainly enlightening, even before the reader realizes how badly the Rot is affecting the human mind as well as the landscape.

Book: Jarren Heartwood, Quadrant of Balance book 1
Reviewer: https://www.silverstarreview.com/
Rating: 5 stars

This review may contain spoilers.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It is written well without visible grammatical or spelling errors. This book flows medium to fast pace read with a perfect satisfying delivery.

First of all, I liked how the Author crafted the main character, very relatable to anyone. From the event of his birth all the way to his coming of age, Jarren’s life journey is like no other.

The story of the circumstances of why he is losing his childhood innocence, is a tad heartbreaking. However, Jarren has guts, and decides that he is going to straighten the wrongs by becoming an assassin. The entire book is character driven. I loved that.

Here the Author created an amazing world where the magic rot is destroying the character’s world. The elite assassins training program and the participants are ruthless and may turn our main character into a cold ruthless human being, but the author here brilliantly gives us hints and clues that Jarren has more heart and fairness than most.

This is an epic Hero’s Journey, with a strong feeling of Assassins Creed theme meets A Court of thorn and roses with a male main character. Also the magical hidden world he finds he is part of, reminds me of the Spiderwick Chronicles.

The Author turns the different fictional landscapes into something worthy of visiting. Jarren’s world is intriguing, dangerous, and mysterious, as our protagonist discovers that everything he knows has been a lie.

This is a story of life versus annihilation of all life. Elonia our mythical dryad world is in utmost danger.

Frankly I could not put it down, despite the many life interruptions I have on a daily basis.
I highly recommend this EPIC-adventure-fantasy story.

Book: Jarren Heartwood, Quadrant of Balance book 1
Reviewer: Evelyn Hadley (https://reedsy.com/discovery/user/evelynhadley)
Rating: 4 stars

Jarren Heartwood is without a doubt an intriguing story from beginning to end, it is a wonderful addition to the fantasy genre and a great beginning to a series. The story is engaging, leaving you wanting for more by the end, and this is all due to D. K. Hansen’s marvelous writing. He created a wonderful world full of magic and full of intriguing characters. The main character, Jarren Heartwood, is someone we see grow up as the story unfolds, which makes the reader feel more attached to him, and it makes us really care about what is happening to him, and the world around him. The fact that we get to see Jarren from birth to adulthood, also gives us a better understanding of what drives him and why he does what he does. We also get to see him change, sometimes for the better, something for the worse, but we know why that change happened. It didn’t come out of nowhere. We can truly empathize with him. The other characters in the story are also engaging, throughout his like Jarren meets a lot of unique people, some standout more than others but overall, they are well-written.

As I mentioned before, D. K. Hansen’s writing is marvelous. The world building was well done, I never felt too overwhelmed with the information I was learning about this new world. It was quite the opposite in fact, I truly enjoyed learning about it. From the magic that exists, to what the Shadow Academy is and why it has conflicts with the Flares of the Sun, and so much more that I want to talk about but I won’t because I do not want to spoil this story.

If you love fantasy, Jarren Heartwood is a book you should read and you should also keep D. K. Hansen in your radar because this is just the beginning of the series. Even if you’re not that into fantasy, Jarren Heartwood is a great story to read. It has an interesting plot, engaging characters and it is marvelously written. I will definitely be reading this again and I will also be reading the second book in the series once it is out.

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