Forbidden Lands and Hidden Secrets

Written by on 5th June 2024

Detailed Information

Son of the Sanctumite by Icarus Kote on Amazon

Book Review by Geoff Carter from the flagship breakfast show at UK Talk Radio


Son of the Sanctumite: A Dark Fantasy of Sword and Sorcery (Ivory Saga Book 1)

Authors: Kote Icarus, Jonas Peres

“Son of the Sanctumite” introduces readers to a vividly crafted world shrouded in mystery and foreboding. The opening chapter sets a compelling stage with a lively squall that offers a rare respite from the oppressive conditions of Sanctum, a valley cloaked in thick green fog. The narrative seamlessly blends elements of dark fantasy and sorcery, drawing readers into a tale of survival, duty, and forbidden knowledge.

The setting of Sanctum is meticulously described, evoking a sense of bleakness and confinement. The inhabitants, marked by their green skin and lowly living conditions, are portrayed with a depth that makes their struggles palpable. The sudden clearing of the sky serves as a poignant symbol of fleeting hope, contrasting sharply with their usual reality.

Central to the narrative is Maya, a strong and complex character who grapples with her place in this harsh world. Her internal conflict and reflections on the nature of her existence in Sanctum provide a rich emotional layer to the story. Maya has ventured beyond the valley where the residents are told they will die if they leave. Maya’s determination and dreams of a better life make her an engaging protagonist. She is also one of the few people in the valley who questions the ruler, abet secretly.

The introduction of Lady Kerra Tullin, with her fierce demeanour and the baby Asher in her arms, adds tension and intrigue, hinting at deeper conflicts and power dynamics within the community. First seen looking down from the tower that dominates the valley, where all the inhabitants have been summoned, Lady Kerra is a ruler who, at the age of 12, had two of her caretakers killed. People avoid making eye contact with her due to her ruthless reputation.

She entrusts the care of her baby to Maya which makes escape more difficult because she will be watched by Lady Kerra and her fearsome reputation means Maya could be put to death at any time raising the stakes for Maya’s thoughts of escape even higher.


The Ember Jackals, enforcers of the valley’s ancient laws, add a layer of dark mysticism to the story. Their presence and the strict tenets they uphold create an atmosphere of fear and control, challenging the characters to navigate their oppressive environment carefully.

The authors excel in building a world that feels both expansive and claustrophobic. The attention to detail in describing the physical and social landscape of Sanctum immerses readers, making the valley almost a character. The intertwining of personal and communal struggles reflects larger themes of freedom, faith, and rebellion.

The complexity of the world-building can also be overwhelming at times, requiring careful attention to fully grasp the nuances of the plot and characters.

Overall, “Son of the Sanctumite” promises a captivating journey through a dark and mystical world. It is a story of resilience and defiance against a backdrop of sorcery and ancient laws. Fans of dark fantasy and intricate world-building will find much to appreciate in this opening chapter and the promise it holds for the rest of the saga.


In conclusion

Maya is a plucky and complex character, constantly battling against overwhelming odds. Lady Kerra, though a ruler, often disappears for days, raising the question of whether she is as much a prisoner as her subjects. The valley and its surrounding dangers play a significant role in the book, with the land and countryside beautifully crafted. The landscape is vividly described, drawing you deeply into the setting and making you eager to return to it and the people who live there.

I highly recommend this well-written book. It’s a journey worth embarking on. Enjoy!


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Son of the Sanctumite: A Dark Fantasy of Sword and Sorcery (Ivory Saga Book 1)

by Icarus Kote (Author), Michael Brown (Editor), James Powell (Editor), Jonathan Oliver (Editor),

When Kerra plunges her son into the river, she sets him on a path of blood and suffering. Taking his first steps, will he emerge the same person?

Kerra is the notorious matriarch of the valley known as Sanctum, a merciless leader of warriors known as the Ember Jackals, and a new mother. Since her initiation, all she’s known is a ravenous bloodlust. Now, her priority is the wellbeing of her son, Asher. Can she preserve their bond in the wake of her bloody history? Or will love turn to ire, as Asher learns the truth of the world and what it means to be an Ember Jackal?

Maya is the lowly Sanctumite charged with the honor of caring for Asher, but she harbors a dangerous secret: under cover of night, she regularly journeys into the forbidden lands beyond the veil. Her ultimate goal is to escape, but how can she hope to succeed with an Ember Jackal in her care? Can she trust Asher to protect her? Or will sentiment be her downfall?

Asher is a young boy caught unaware in a cruel world. For Kerra, he must struggle in combat, uphold the ancient traditions of his lineage and bear the sorrows they bring. For Maya, he must share his knowledge, guard her secrets, and undermine the laws of the valley. But what does Asher want for himself? And how can he reconcile the startling revelations he discovers?

Son of the Sanctumite is a character-driven, coming-of-age dark fantasy adventure perfect for readers who enjoy rich worldbuilding, layered characters with clashing motivations, and lively stories that delve into complex themes.


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