Shadow of the Staff: A Wizard’s Revenge

The story of peace and war in the mythical land of Hatu. A rogue wizard tries to exact revenge on the last descendant of those who destroyed the staff of power thousands of years ago. Elves, Men, and Dwarves join in the defense of all the peoples of Hatu. Orcs, Men, and Trolls are on the hunt to find Burton Brew, last of the line, and return him to the evil wizard Meloneous. Many adventures and surprises follow Burton, and his friend Tordin, one of the few remaining Rangers, as he does his best to avoid an all-out war in Hatu by doing the task he is given by the great Elf Lord. Along the way, he finds powers that were dormant within him. Using these powers he helps unite all the free peoples in a battle that will not only determine the fate of Hatu, but the future of Burton himself.

Haddad shows strong fantasy instincts, and a scene in which Burton finds himself trapped in a house by Orcs feels genuinely harrowing. Burton is also a likable character with several charming moments of introspection. However, his powers do make his struggles feel less urgent. It will also quickly become clear to readers that Hatu is largely a facsimile of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. In addition to an army of Orcs and Goblins, the story includes Myopians, which are nearly indistinguishable from Hobbits.

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