Book Review: "Sorcerer’s Code" by Christopher Kellen

Cover of Sorcerers Code Sorcerer’s Code is the second book in Christopher Kellen’s Tales of Eisengoth series. However, having read The Corpse King (book 1 of the series), I can attest that this novelette stands completely on its own. It is the tale of Edar Moncrief, a sorcerer who discovers a magical artifact and inadvertently attracts the attention of a dangerous warrior/priest known as an Arbiter.

Technically, Sorcerer’s Code is probably dark fantasy, but the humor Kellen weaves into the story lightens up the dreary backdrop of the city in which Moncrief lives and the gravity of the Arbiter’s personality. I found the book to be an enjoyable read, and I’d recommend it to any fan of classic Swords & Sorcery fantasy.

The story was short but satisfying. The plot proceeded logically, if somewhat chaotically. Don’t get me wrong; the chaos is one of the fun aspects of this adventure. Readers get a glimpse into the shadowy fantasy world of Arbiters, who are sworn to protect Manna, which is essentially “life force” and the source of all magic. It left me wanting more.

The entire story is written from Moncrief’s first-person point of view, which gives you an intimate and often amusing perspective on events as they happen. Moncrief is a sorcerer of questionable character living in a city populated with people of questionable morals. Kellen does a good job of revealing the personalities of Moncrief and the Arbiter, D’Arden Tal, through dialog and action. In contrast to The Corpse King, D’Arden Tal comes off a bit one-dimensionally in this story because of the POV, but I felt his treatment was sufficient given the brevity of the book.

Kellen’s editing was solid and clean. I encountered a few places with questionable use of punctuation, but that is often a matter of opinion. No typos or grammar errors stood out to me.

The formatting of the ebook was good. The things I found were pretty nit-picky: indented paragraphs at the beginning of a chapter, inconsistent use of single quote versus apostrophe, and spacing of em-dashes and ellipses. I doubt most readers would even notice these things.

I look forward to reading more of Kellen’s work. I really enjoy his natural sense of humor and his skill at integrating it into a story in an unforced manner. I hope to see more of that in his future works.


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  1. Great review. You did Kellen good by writing it. I am of course, intrigued.

  2. Thanks, Michael. I’m not actually much of a dark fantasy fan, so most of Chris’ stuff is not my cup of tea. However, he *is* a good writer–one of the bright spots in the world of self published authors–and I genuinely enjoyed Sorcerer’s Code.