Review: Song (The Manhunters Book 1)

In just a few short weeks, Jesse Teller will publish the second book of the Manhunters series. This is the perfect time to grab book one, Song. The beautifully stylized covers of The Manhunters don’t reveal the depths or origins of the story, they just invite you in so nicely. The creative work of Jenny Zemanek at Seedlings Design Studio , the same cover designer which afforded Benedict Patrick‘s Yarnsworld  contribution, the honor of winning the cover competition in SPFBO 2017. Their simplicity is stunning and very inviting. They most definitely make this reader want to see the blurb on sight.

This truly riveting tale is told in the characterizations. The world building in Song is mostly done through them as well. Having read a truly dismal piece of work by an aspiring author just last night, I can come back to Song again with firm resolve about it being just damn-good and entertaining story telling. It’s a sword and sorcery piece with delightful dark twists. It is grim and bloody, but from the very first chapter, you know that Rayph Ivoryfist is someone you want to know a lot more about. We manage to get served a decapitated head on a silver platter, and a demon threatening a child’s life, with the barest of descriptions of our characters at the start. This raises a ton of questions that will hook the reader deep into the character of this wizard immediately, and what it is he is currently troubled with.

Rayph Ivoryfist is a powerful wizard. When he walks out of his service to the king of Lorinth and spends the next few years traveling. The king is enraged by his desertion and the bitter hatred the two have between them plays a major role in the story which begins with a devastating attack on the Mending Keep, an inescapable prison for the most foul and powerful enemies of the land, created by Rayph, the breach has him scrambling to find the escaped criminals and calling on a truly wild assortment of old acquaintances to help him discover the plot behind what should have been an impossible break out.
In Song’s second alternating arc, Konnon and Glyss are a pair of deadly bounty hunters and mercenaries for hire. While there is plenty of bloodshed in their arc, there are scenes that will bring you near to tears while the author reveals their past in pieces, the motivations of his characters become clearly centered on one common denominator. Love. In the heart of the struggle, and the battles, and the choices, lies one truth. People will do whatever they must to protect and defend what, and who, they love.

Inexorably, the story arcs blend together in one place, the city of Song, home to a noble family and host the Festival of Blossoms. This is where Teller’s outstanding execution in this book reveals itself. The story arcs intertwine and take you to the end result that will leave you amazed and wanting more. What is even better? You’ll get it too. Rather than finish the main conflict and end it on a cliff hanger, the story continues to deal with the aftermath and sets up a great story lead for a second book.
Great execution and well written prose, with alternating the chapters in two arcs, that some may find a distraction, but I personally love books with this style. There is plenty of action and plenty of scenes that tell us a great deal about the characters themselves, who are on a collision course, but for entirely different personal reasons.

A highly enjoyable book, that has been edited well and a story that, at it’s end, makes the reader realize there is so much more to tell. In Song you are just skirting the edges of something much bigger, the world of Perilisc and characters you will actually hunger to find out more about. You won’t have to wait long. On April 15, 2018 you can continue the journey. Just click the cover below to pre-order Hemlock: Manhunters Book 2.




Synopsis: Some of the darkest minds in Perilisc attacked Mending Keep, releasing all its prisoners. Despite his strained relationship with the crown, Rayph Ivoryfist calls old friends to his aid in a subversive attempt to protect King Nardoc and thwart terrorist plots to ruin the Festival of Blossoms. But someone else is targeting Rayph, and even his fellow Manhunters might not be enough to save him.

Highly recommended for book lovers of Sword & Sorcery,  magic & mayhem, with some Grimdark elements. You can find Song, The Manhunters Book One here:

  • File Size:1846 KB
  • Print Length:321 pages
  • Publication Date:October 5, 2017
  • Sold by:Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language:English
  • ASIN:B074GP13JC


B1HZAWBLsOS._UX250_About the Author: Jesse Teller fell in love with fantasy when he was five years old and played his first game of Dungeons & Dragons. The game gave him the ability to create stories and characters from a young age. He started consuming fantasy in every form and, by nine, was obsessed with the genre. As a young adult, he knew he wanted to make his life about fantasy. From exploring the relationship between man and woman, to studying the qualities of a leader or a tyrant, Jesse Teller uses his stories and settings to study real-world themes and issues.
He lives with his supportive wife, Rebekah, and his two inspiring children, Rayph and Tobin.


SPFBO 2017 entrant
Literary Titan Gold Book Award Winner, April 2017
Drunken Druid Editor’s Choice, March 2017
Drunken Druid 2016 Book of the Year Short List
Hungry Monster Gold Book Award Winner, September 2016

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