Chris Fischer for Readers’ Favorite
Wow. Just, wow. How's that for a review? Pretty great, right? Well, that's definitely what I thought when I finished reading the highly unique, highly inventive and highly fantastic book by author Mark Stone, Calasade: Sanguiem Isle. Follow the story of Caderyn, a wounded and flawed man. Caderyn drinks too much, his wife has died, and he feels responsible for that. When he's commissioned to find and rescue a little girl who has been kidnapped from her own bed, Indrasena, he agrees to go on this journey, mostly because he definitely needs the money. But it's through this adventure, and the secrets that he uncovers along the way, that Caderyn learns what it might take for his own redemption, if only he's up to the task.
I loved this book. Loved. It. And I don't say that lightly. I am a consummate lover of works of fantasy, but lately, I have been getting a bit weary of it. So many books seem too similar; it's almost as if all authors are following a formula when they're writing. Well, that is certainly not so with Mark Stone and his awesome work, Calasade. This book is like almost no other that I've read, and in a day and age when fantasy seems to be the genre of choice for many authors, that really says a lot for the creativity of this author. Any reader who loves the fantasy genre or is looking for a simply great read, should absolutely pick up Calasade: Sanguiem Isle as soon as they can. You won't be disappointed!
Diane Rapp for Amazon
This Greco-Roman tale was very well researched by the author. It conveyed the seedy side of that ancient society and helps us learn about social strata existing at the time. The book is bloody and graphic in a few places but the era would require such scenes to provide a complete picture. As the hero, Caderyn battles internal demons to complete a difficult task, we slowly learn his history and understand what drives the guilt and alcoholic cravings which plague him. As the story turns into a desperate search for a missing girl, we learn about paranormal factors involved in her kidnapping. Interesting twists help the reader learn what combination of factors might drive a man to fulfill his destiny. I recommend it to readers who enjoy learning history, can follow archaic language, and love a good mystery, as well.
K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite
Calasade: Sanguinem Isle is an illustrated fantasy novel by author Mark Stone. Set in Calasade, a Greco-Roman world filled with realistic historical nods and paranormal nuances, the story follows the heroic but damaged Caderyn, who battles crippling personal demons against the backdrop of a harsh world. Caderyn begins a quest to seek out the kidnapped Indrasena, a young girl who faces a potentially terrifying fate at her captors’ hands, but along the way his journey becomes one of working through grief, facing his own problems and moving on with his life. Amid the action, gore and bleak violence of the world of Calasade, a powerful emotional transformation takes place.
I did find Calasade: Sanguinem Isle a little difficult to get into, having not read any of the previous books set in Mark Stone’s gruesomely crafted world. Once I was used to the semi-Latin style of speech, however, I was transported to a new realm that borrows from history and folklore to create something entirely new. Stone’s prose is exciting and well paced throughout the novel, moving readers through vivid action scenes, painful moments of desperation, and clever conversations where characters only reveal what’s needed, never the whole truth. Caderyn is a hero whom many readers will find relatable and endearing in his damaged state, and the author leaves plenty of room to acknowledge the psychological changes he goes through during his rescue mission. Overall, a graphic action novel in a wild fantasy world that also has plenty of heart and soul.
Irene Aprile for Amazon
The first adjective that comes to my mind thinking about this book is different. I am passionate about novels in general and fantasy in particular and I have read many many books, but I’ve never met something like this. This novel is set in Calasade, a Greco Roman Fantasy world. As the author, Mark Stone, says, it has enough in common with Ancient Rome to sound familiar, but it’s also original and unique in its own way. Sanguinem Isle is one episode of many that take place in Calasade world, but it can be read as a stand alone story.
Sanguinem Isle has everything you may want in a novel. There’s action, right from the beginning, and it’s something that grabs the readers attention from the first page. There are mistery and investigation, and the tension is always high. There’s a touch of magic. There are struggles, both inner and outer. And there’s love.
I learned to expect certain things from a fantasy novel: a great danger for the world and its order, a villain who seeks some form of power and a hero who, willingly or unwillingly, undertakes the voyage to defeat the enemy. Well, this time the danger and the enemy are not clear from the beginning, the reader explores this new world without really knowing who is the bad guy and what he wants and this make you read the entire novel with a different perspective. Moreover the hero, Caderyn, is one of the most unwilling and troubled heroes I’ve ever read about. This adds another layer to the story, because along the way he has to fight his own demons (which are strong and dangerous enough).
The pace of the narration is good, not so fast that you get lost and not so slow that you get bored by details. The main issue that slowed my reading a little was language (but it’s my problem because English is not my mother language). The mixture of English, Latin and Latin-like words adapted to sound more familiar to English-speaking persons is sometimes a little difficult for me, but it’s just a matter of getting used to it (which happens after a couple of chapters). Then the epilogue… what to say about the epilogue? Really, I didn’t expect nothing like that! (NOSPOILERSNOSPOILERS) Plus: this book has beautiful illustrations which add an incredible value. On the whole this novel is interesting and innovative, moreover introduces the reader in a world he can find in other novels such as Wayward (you can read it for free!), Foolish Endeavors and Strife
Tracy Slowiak for Readers’ Favorite
Wow! Have you every read a book and immediately thought to yourself, 'Gosh, I'd like to meet that author, if for nothing else than to find out exactly how their mind works?' That's how I felt when I finished the novel Calasade: Sanguinem Isle by author Mark Stone. A completely unique read, different from much that most people have probably read, the story, set in the Greco-Roman fantasy world of Calasade, follows the adventuresome Caderyn as he is sent on a quest to find Indrasena, a young girl who has been kidnapped from her own bed. Caderyn is battling his own demons, including a drinking problem and the guilt he feels for his wife's death. Will Caderyn be successful in his mission and find some redemption, or will this quest end up as another failure? You'll have to read the book to find out.
I so enjoyed Calasade: Sanguinem Isle. I am a big reader, both in the fantasy and general fiction genres, and I can truly say that I have never read a story quite like this before. Finding such a unique story was a real treat. Author Mark Stone has done an excellent job in creating a world that is both fantastic and believable, which is not an easy trick. The characters he has developed, especially Caderyn, are flawed, interesting and readers will relate to them, the perfect mix of development in this reader's eyes. I am so pleased to recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, or just a unique read, and I will certainly keep my eye out for further work by author Mark Stone. This talented author is absolutely one to watch!
KimPitbull123 for Amazon
Set in the Greco-Roman time, a fantasy with barbarians, swords & sorcery: Caderyn lost his wife to his stupidity of the drink and gambling, he had it all, titles, a great job and a fine place to live with his wife Elianne. Now he was battling demons, always being tested with them and life. Will he win his battle, or is the pull to drink to much? Jana had been looking for him for a fortnight, she was sent by Lepidus to ask him to help find Indrasena for coin. Indrasena was a very young girl kidnapped from his home in the night. With all that has happened in his life already, Caderyn wasn't to keen on someone relying on him but, he needed the money to try to make a fresh start. The other part that bothered him was the pull on his britches that Jana has made, he's still married in his heart. He's never strayed (that he can remember anyway). He's seen way to much, it haunts his dreams. You need to read this book to find out about Caderyn's demons. Jana doesn't give up a lot of information on the girl, it makes Caderyn wonder who and what this girl is to Lepidus. Caderyn decided to do it, he made his demands clear, he needed men, weapons and more money than offered. Jana agreed to his terms as along as she can go back and help find the girl with them. This book is meticulously written. I didn't know some of the words but, I knew what that meant by reading the sentence. Download your copy and read about Caderyn and his journey to find himself again.
Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite
Calasade: Sanguinem Isle by Mark Stone is layer upon layer of a great fantasy story. The novel is about Caderyn, a man who is tormented by his past and with a crippling need for alcohol. When he is given the job of finding a kidnapped girl, Indrasena, by Lepidus, he takes the job with gratitude. Keeping money is very hard for an alcoholic who depends upon the numbing feeling it gives. However, he had no idea that his whole life would change with this simple decision to save a girl. But things are not as easy as they seem. Caderyn leaves to find the girl and the person behind the kidnapping, but he is broken inside and he is crumbling day by day. Can he fight the demons inside and concentrate on the job at hand? Will his alcohol abuse destroy Indrasena's chance of getting rescued? Will Caderyn ever forgive himself for what happened in the past.
Calasade: Sanguinem Isle by Mark Stone was just fabulous. Caderyn was just so...loathsome! I don't know if I have ever loved and hated and loved a character so much. I blame Mark Stone for that. He has created this character so beautifully. I really liked the way I could feel his every emotion, his addiction and despair. I liked how there was love, romance, action and mystery, and everything was just balanced. Nothing overpowered the other. This novel has everything you expect from a fantasy novel, but it still has elements that make it unique and stand out! Five stars!
Stacey Roberts for Amazon
Mark Stone is a true artist - he can do things with both word and image that are breathtaking. I have the utmost admiration for authors who can create entire worlds from nothing and make them live and breathe as vividly as our own. Once you read this book, you will be hooked into this series and this author. Do yourself a favor and get started.