In The Guardians of the Temple by Michael Shevlane, when country-born Aaron Farthing mysteriously receives a tattoo on his back, his life is forever changed. The tattoo is of a word written in an ancient language that means “Finder.” Aaron has no clue why he was gifted with this tattoo and the mystery further deepens when he is called to train to be a guardian of the temple.
Most lads volunteer for this honor, and Aaron is greatly surprised to discover that he has been selected to be an apprentice. Leaving behind his simple country life, Aaron heads for the temple which is situated in a great city
Wealthy, city-born Tagger Dalton also discovers a mysterious tattoo and like Aaron, he finds himself being called to be an apprentice at the temple. Out of the large group there are six young men who have been selected to serve while the rest have volunteered and hope to make it through the rigorous training so that they can become guardians or even be selected for a more elite group in the guard.
Shortly after arriving, Aaron feels that something is amiss. Scolded and ostracized for asking questions, Aaron risks being sent home. Instead he receives a secret letter directing him to talk to Colton Wells, a former temple guardian. Upon meeting Colton he gains more information about what is going on not only at the temple, but throughout the land. Colton makes it clear to him that there will be very few people that he can trust.
Aaron and Tagger are secretly inducted into the Royal Order and sent off on a mission to find something lost. It turns out that this lost item is “The Book of Doom.” This ancient text contains the words from The Great One which will allow those in possession of it to conquer The Shadow and his Army of Terror who are about to make an appearance and attempt to rule over the nation.
As the men journey to a hidden ancient city that is believed to hide this book, they meet an exiled king. This king still appears to be a great man, and has hopes that these two men can change the evil darkness that is about to fall across the land. This is where the great adventure begins.
The Guardians of the Temple by Michael Shevlane is an incrediblely good fantasy. Written in vivid detail with interesting characters, I totally found myself caught up in this fantastical adventure.
Incorporating the concept of using the power of words over force to conquer evil allows the author to give readers something truly unique to enjoy. There are a few grammatical errors throughout the book that proper editing would clean up and allow the novel to truly be a classic.
Still, this is highly recommended reading for fans of fantasy.
(Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views)