Foreword Reviews

Doizemaster: Phantasm Creed

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

In the adventure-heavy fantasy novel Doizemaster: Phantasm Creed, a young man faces magical threats, makes friends, and falls in love.

In Tony M. Quintana’s fantasy novel Doizemaster: Phantasm Creed, a covert group protects innocents from a maniacal king.

Dashiel lives a quiet life in Azahar, a town that’s protected by a magical barrier and the spirit of a forest guardian. He dreams of adventures in the lands beyond it, though. When a squad of robotic beings containing imprisoned souls breaks through the barrier, targeting the forest guardian, Dashiel feels a burst of bravery. He steals his father’s treasured weapon and races off to repel the beings. A trio of covert operatives witnesses his act and recruits him into the Cobalt Phantasms. Dashiel and a fellow recruit are whisked away to learn the ins and outs of the organization, along with magic, combat, and other vital studies.

Dashiel connects with a fellow recruit, Sylvain, but their friendship is strained by Dashiel’s love for a princess, on whom he spends all of his extracurricular time. Later, the Phantasms are called upon to confront a potential coup, and the distant king amasses an army with his own nefarious goals.

Dashiel and his friends are developed in terms of how their individual goals vary, and even veer, from the Phantasms’ main causes, and in terms of how they react to occurrences that are magical, fantastical, and mundane. They are well individuated and form intricate relationships with one another: a matron speaks with a thick accent; another character struggles to protect the person they love from the king’s guards; and another risks everything to keep Dashiel on the right path. But the story’s focus is most on Dashiel, who adapts to his new role and discovers his place in a world that’s directed by magic, technology, and invaluable relationships.

The world building takes fun liberties with established world mythologies and steampunk-styled technologies, resulting in a realm where anything seems possible. Dashiel and company face world-ending threats, but also witness as origami animals are brought to life to send messages to others. They learn about the importance of being true to themselves—and of helping others. Building and maintaining healthy relationships becomes important, as evinced when Dashiel puts off a friend of his to pursue romance, and in the process blinds himself to glaring problems.

While the narrative twists are foreshadowed well, they’re also withheld until the optimal moments, resulting in intrigue. Ruthless robot attacks and tender romantic interludes also contribute to the book’s dramatic tension. Dashiel and Sylvain clash in the book’s emotional and explosive climax, in which the mystery of Dashiel’s past is resolved and his relationships are strengthened.

In the adventure-heavy fantasy novel Doizemaster: Phantasm Creed, a young man faces magical threats, makes friends, and falls in love.

Reviewed by John M. Murray

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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