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Young Vandar, by Michael DeMers

Thousands of years after the global nuclear conflagration, Earth had reverted to a primitive world of sword and shield, bow and arrow.

Amidst this sparsely populated world, the infant Vandar — by legend, son of the god Volcar — lay in a cave next to his dead mother. He is rescued by Janura Chen, general of the army of New Cordillera, and his future stepmother. Through the years he is mentored by Janura’s friend Kevin Olsgaard resulting in his admission into the military academy. His future as an army officer assured by his superior strength and military acumen is suddenly terminated by accusations from his stepbrother. Rather than face disgrace he journeys to find the truth of his parentage. He is attacked and kidnapped by Janura’s enemies and allies of those who would overthrow the government. Meanwhile she is also kidnapped and killed by these same insurgents. Rescued by his close friends from the academy, Vandar begins a new quest to save his village and find his stepmother’s murderers.

Michael DeMers beautifully weaves a complex Conan-like adventure with overtones of the intrigue of Game of Thrones. The reader finds surprises around every turn where one is never sure who is villain and who is hero. A nail-biter from beginning to end.

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