Read The Buried Symbol by Jeffrey L. Kohanek Online


Buried away for centuries, a forgotten magic lurks...waiting to returnThey tell Unchosen, "Accept your fate and you'll be rewarded in the next life." The threat of execution is their recourse.Rejecting his role as an outcast, Brock risks his life and obtains a false rune, marking him a member of the Empire's ruling class. Under a veil of deception and backed by natural talBuried away for centuries, a forgotten magic lurks...waiting to returnThey tell Unchosen, "Accept your fate and you'll be rewarded in the next life." The threat of execution is their recourse.Rejecting his role as an outcast, Brock risks his life and obtains a false rune, marking him a member of the Empire's ruling class. Under a veil of deception and backed by natural talent, the teen then schemes his way into a school where the Empire's future leaders are trained.Within the Academy, a legendary school of magic, science, politics, and combat, he uncovers secrets kept hidden for centuries - secrets that expose cracks in the foundation of Empire society. Among his discoveries is a long forgotten magic, powerful and dangerous - a magic he is determined to wield. Caught between his continued charade and a desire to tame his frightening new abilities, one misstep on either front could destroy him....

Title : The Buried Symbol
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781612966922
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 356 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Buried Symbol Reviews

  • Dianne
    2019-02-04 15:32

    Meet your next unsuspecting and unlikely hero. In Brock’s society, individuals are marked to show their status in life, as well as their vocations, talents and gifts. Those left unmarked are the social cast-offs and must rely on thievery, pity and sheer luck to survive. But are they really useless members of society, destined to be worthless and frowned upon?Brock is unmarked, yet he longs for a better life, he just knows there is more for him out there and he wants the chance to prove himself. Some stolen money, and shifty deal and an unauthorized ruin tattoo will give him that chance, IF he isn’t caught in his own web of deceit.Now marked as a member of the Empire’s ruling class, he begins a journey that will take him to the Academy, where the best of the best are educated and the darkest of secrets have been hidden and the truths of the unmarked are revealed along with a powerful magic that has been long hidden.THE BURIED SYMBOL by Jeffrey L. Kohanek brings this tale to life with characters that are innocent, misinformed, forced to be molded into a Fate that may never have been meant for them and force-fed the bias of prejudice that has endured for centuries. Meet the heroes you want to emulate, feel their compassion, their innocent zest for fairness and equality and discover that even heroes are human. Brock is “that” boy, the one who is meant for a greatness denied him by the powers that rule. Follow his daring journey, his “education” at the Academy and meet the enemies as well as friends he has made along the way. Feel his confusion at the discovery of his “power” and what it means, how he uses it and how, even he can make mistakes.Jeffrey L. Kohanek has created a fantasy for all ages, I would almost recommend it to Middlegrade readers where reading isn’t always the joy it should be, BUT, perhaps this is best left to more mature young adults as these are “very real” teens. Powerful story telling that releases the imagination to live in another world, to feel the awe of new places, the fear of discovery, the determination to stand tall and the heart to set things right in a world of small-minded power mongers and monsters.Mr. Kohanek has put his pen to paper and created a must-read fantasy that reveals people at their best, worst and most vulnerable as one boy becomes the force for change in the best ways.I received this copy from Jeffrey L. Kohanek in exchange for my honest and voluntary review.Series: The Runes of Issalia - Book 1Publisher: Black Rose Writing; 1 edition (May 19, 2016)Publication Date: May 19, 2016Genre: YA fantasyPrint Length: 356 pagesAvailable from: Amazon |  Barnes & NobleFor Reviews & More:

  • Online Eccentric Librarian
    2019-01-17 15:32

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog, life would be easier if I could just give rainbows and unicorns to every book review and never have to have a conscience about the poor author who will have to fend off an attack on their 'baby'. But then I wouldn't have an honest review so I would leading some people to disappointment. So I will lay it out: I found the writing here to be problematic, the plot full of obvious holes, and the characters one-dimensional.Story: Brock wants more out of life - he wants a rune of the chosen to mark him as special. So he finds someone to give him a fake tattoo rune and then travels to a school of religion in order to better his life. Along the way, he takes his friend, who is also runeless.Yes, the above is an oversimplification. But that's how I felt when reading the story - it felt so much like a middle grade book or something dumbed down for a young audience. Motivations, world building, setting - it's all distilled to a very shallow level and then written that way. I honestly thought it was middle grade until the main character got aroused by every pretty girl he saw along the way and sometimes fell into bed with them. I guess buxom barmaids is the medieval fanboy answer to green alien slave girls for sci fi nerds. At some point, it felt very Marty Stu.The logic holes were the big problem - nothing was really thought out. E.g., in a society where everything is controlled by those with runes, why is it so easy to get a fake rune? And why does no one wonder when someone with a bandage over the forehead *right where a rune would be* is walking around? Why do the guys who do the illegal operation just walk our hero in to the guy doing it without any precautions or secrecy? Then let him loose in society when one word from him would lead the authorities right back to the guys doing it and their death? Heck, they don't even put him on a boat immediately afterwards and instead let him walk around with a *big old bandage on his forehead!*. How can I take this society seriously if even the author doesn't?Despite what the book says about this being set in an academy, it takes 40% in before we even see the academy. Cue pointless travels and commentary on discrimination against the unchosen in various villages along the way (no, really? People discriminate in medieval societies, too??). Then add in 'mysterious dream' that foretells our main character is a unique magical snowflake - but then not include any reason or worldbuilding why. It just feels so lazy to create a unique snowflake this way.The final insults, though were the characters. Of course, our main character is down on his luck so must resort to stealing to survive. But hey, he only steals from the evil and bad characters in society, so he's a good guy, right? Seriously, we don't need Disney princesses types as main characters in a book that is meant for adults. They can be nuanced and possess good and bad traits.Those were the most egregious issues for me. But the underlying problem was a very simplistic and straightforward style of writing that made our main character seem like an 11 year old on a grand adventure rather than an older teen (arousals from bar maids aside). I kept expecting little birds to comb his hair in the morning as they sang cheerful songs about his new 'strange' powers that have suddenly manifested. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

  • Esmerelda Weatherwax
    2019-01-31 13:25

    Plot:The story is fairly straightforward, and it’s a single POV book all seen through the eyes of Brock, a young kid who’s born into a poor family who works for his father’s tannery. In this society, if you are ‘unchosen’ you’re considered unclean and at the bottom of society. The Choosing is a ceremony that children go through during infancy where they receive a rune or a mark on their forehead to denote what career/craft they should grow up to be. To be unchosen is thought to be a mark against someone and the discrimination and hatred can get to be intense.Brock has been stealing to try and make ends meet because his aunt is sick and needs medicine. She ends up dying, and Brock decides he wants to start over his life. He goes to someone in the criminal underground to get a fake rune marked on his head so he can move out of town and start his life over and someone else entirely.He chooses the mark of the priesthood and takes his best friend along to go to the academy several hundred miles away.He doesn’t arrive to the school until about halfway through the book – and trying to get there he encounters things like banshee’s and other monsters making it a rather rough journey.Once there, he starts training and learning basic education like physics and also magic. While there he encounters a bully who’s the son of someone important, and the bully ends up murdering someone he cares about – so he has to prove it to get some justice for his friend.Final Score: 7.25/10 Characters:Brock is a pretty typical teenage kid, he gets nervous around girls and has a sense of adventure. He has a best friend who’s almost always at his side and helps him out with his journey to the academy. He sort of reflects a high school graduate going off to college and experimenting with stuff – he drinks a little too hard a few times and makes an ass out of himself and has to be told the next day what he did because he’s blacked out.Brock doesn’t have a great relationship with his father and when he leaves town his dad doesn’t even really seem to care. There’s a love interest that comes in later in the book, but it didn’t take up a ton of page time. Overall, he is a nice kid with a lot of drive to prove himself.Final Score: 7/10 World Building:The magic in this book is somewhat mysterious but also somewhat understood. The academy he’s studying at mixes science, math, literature and magic all into one for a well rounded set of classes.Magic can be used to heal, but you can’t heal yourself with it, and you can’t use it to heal the mind. Severe depression or dementia can’t be helped by magic and no one knows why.Brock followed his instincts a few times during stressful situations and ended up doing serious magic without meaning to – he ends up resurrecting someone who had been killed by a Banshee turning him into a red eyed monster of a person.The professors/masters of the school are generally more serious and take their appearance and decorum to be important since Brock doesn’t behave this way he catches the attention of a lot of people.There are stories about a Horde that wiped out towns, villages and cities long ago before they were finally stopped. But, there’s not a lot of information to go off of – the histories are sporadic and don’t describe what the horde was actually comprised of. Brock and his friends spend a lot of time trying to piece together what actually happened during that war.Final Score: 7.5/10 Pacing/Prose/Tone:The pacing was okay, there was a lot of time between the beginning of the book to where he finally got into the academy. There were some interesting encounters with monsters and what not, but it was also a lot of travelling from town to town.It was a decently written book, I caught a few spelling and editing errors but nothing too bad.The tone was definitely lighter, Brock got himself into a lot of mischief and he was overall a light-hearted character with good intentions surrounded by generally decent people outside of the bully.Pacing Final Score: 7.5/10Writing Final Score: 7.5/10 Originality:There was a lot of stuff I’ve seen done before, the YA adventure where a kid goes to magic school/academy with a bully for an antagonist is something I’ve read a lot about. The rune’s and how they effect society was well done, and some of how the magic works and doesn’t work was uniqueFinal Score: 6.75/10Audience:For people who like coming of age storiesFor people who like magic schoolsFor people who like adventures and lost knowledgeFor people who like lighter storiesFor people who like shorter booksFor people who like monsters and legendsFinal Score: 43.25/60 or 7.2/10

  • Chris
    2019-02-09 15:32

    Once Brock gets a rune, the bond between him and Tipper is one of the most controversial relationships in the book, because hardly anyone who has a rune will associate at all with an Unchosen. The bigotry against and ostracizing of the Unchosen is reminiscent of the treatment of blacks in the South.The protagonist begins innocent but law-breaking, a bit like Aladdin, and is fairly likable throughout. The antagonist in this book is not as well-developed, and mainly seems driven by pride and revenge. There is little to like in him. Some of the supporting cast are well-developed, likable, and the combination of their talents makes for an unbeatable force, which I expect will be put seriously to the test in upcoming books. The world is reasonably well-developed and immersive. There are a few plot twists to keep you guessing, and plenty of action to keep you turning pages.Content:Drug Content:PG-13 - Brock gets into several situations where he drinks himself under the table, and cannot remember the next day what went on. He does learn later on to go easy on the booze.Violence:R - There are a few horrific scenes - one where a man's face is ripped to pieces, and his dead body is reanimated to fight, and another where a person's head is crushed in a vise. Several healing scenes occur where blood is expelled forcefully from the lungs.Language:PG - there is not any cussing that I recall in the book. Adult Content:PG-13. The main character seems to be chased by more girls than Captain Kirk. Several of their escapades result in waking up partially or fully unclothed. One of the main Inns mentioned in the book appears to be a brothel, though the book never comes out and says it. The reason this is not R is that there's no real description other than the mention that a character is naked, in multiple scenes. In one scene, the main character is aroused, and the girl with him notices the fact.Christian content:None at all. The main god in this book is Issal, the god of Order, and Order and Chaos are set against each other in the book, somewhat like Yin and Yang. Order is described as the life force in all living things, similar to the Jedi religion of Star Wars fame. There is little in the book that mentions prayer, but many references are made to pleasing the god Issal, and there is a temple or two. Some characters seem devout in their faith to Issal. The passages that mention the god are less offensive to this reader than the ones in The Lightning Thief, if that is helpful.Final analysis:The Buried Symbol is a well-written action-packed fantasy similar in some ways to Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. Intrigue, hi-jinks, hidden potential, and plenty of action and some romance make for a solid offering by Kohanek. I'm looking forward to a sequel. From a Christian perspective I would only give a caveat that this book would be appropriate for older teens grounded in their faith. Five Stars.

  • Books In Brogan
    2019-01-21 15:15

    I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a great fantasy book.  The world building is complex and clever, with all parts of the story being well thought out, from the characters all the way down to each and every detail of the scenery.  All of this helps to make this a well-written and well-constructed fantasy read.This review was originally posted on Books In Brogan

  • Fatima
    2019-02-03 14:42

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacted my views and opinions below.So, I found this book very easy to read. It wasn't the best; it wasn't mindbogglingly awesome, but I certainly didn't hate it. Sure, I had a few issues but... we'll deal with them later. There were so many amazing elements - the world, the characters... They were so refreshing to read about! As always, we'll talk about the protagonist first. I found Brock to be a very pleasant character, to say the least. He was so agreeable and nice, I had no problems reading about him. It's just that, his character kind of lacked depth. He read more like an 11 year old to me. He seemed one-dimensional. I wanted to see what really went on inside him. I just thought his motivations were shallow; I wanted to actually connect, but unfortunately that did not happen. The cast of characters was so charming, though! The bond between Tipper and Brock was really something special and I actually felt like their friendship had an amazing dynamic. What I thought didn't have an amazing dynamic, however, was Brock and Ashland's relationship. I didn't like how fast Brock found himself infatuated with every single woman he met. I mean, come on. Their relationship was so predictable, and the moment she was introduced I was all, "Yep, we're doing this again." I just wish more effort was put into building up their romantic relationship instead of it just being an afterthought. The world-building and setting were very refreshing, though. They weren't very complex, and they made this book just what I wanted to read at that moment. The world is very nicely fleshed out - but not too detailed -which I thought was perfect. I loved the overall undertones of adventure and mystery and friendship in this book. To me, it slightly echoed Harry Potter. Also, the author does leave many things to be desired at the end of the book. So many unanswered questions and loose ends... I'd love to know what happens next!Overall, I thought this was a pretty solid read. It was well-written and had an appreciable amount of action. It has great potential and lots of intriguing questions that I must know the answer to. The main character is kind of too underdeveloped, so what I'm hoping for is that he grows more as a character in the sequel. (:Follow me on my blog, Book Whizz | Bloglovin' | Twitter

  • M.L. Sparrow
    2019-02-09 10:20

    I really enjoyed this book, it was fast paced and well written, with a cast of fun, charming characters. The main character, Brock, was likeable and his motivations were easily understandable, however, my favourite character was definitely Cam, there was just something about him which I though was really sweet despite his size and I hope we see more of him in the next book. This book has echoes of Harry Potter, in the fact that for the most part it's set in a school and it follows a group of friends trying to uncover a mystery. I was intrigued by 'Chaos' and the 'Wailing War' and was a little disappointed not to find the answers at the end of the book, but I suppose that's being save for the next instalment! Also, I just want to add that I liked the pictures at the beginning of each section and the map at the front! I think little touches like this make books far more enjoyable! My only really problem with this book was the so called romance. Personally, I didn't think it was very romantic... Brock is constantly being infatuated by women, first Meg, then Amber, so when he got to Ashland I was pretty much shrugged and went 'here we go again.' Though he actually stuck with Ashland, I felt it was almost like an after-thought, or had just been added in. I didn't find her confession that she liked him all that believable and it was kind of out of the blue. Also, her secret at the end... It was a shock, I'll give the author that, but I was disappointed by it, but I guess I'll just have to wait and see how he develops it in the next book. All in all though, this book is a great start to The Runes of Issalia series and I look forward to learning more about Brock's world!For more reviews, or to check out my favourite quotes from this book, see my blog at

  • Kameron
    2019-01-24 15:38

    4.5 stars: (review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) No matter your race/religion/gender/nationality, at one point in time you’ll do something to improve the quality of your life. Maybe it’ll involve going to college, switching jobs, or your address. No matter the how, it’ll occur and you have a 50/50 chance your decision was for the better. Brock took steps to improve his station and he brought his friend Tip along for the ride.Tip didn’t have a rune placed on his head, he wasn’t off to the Ministry academy, but he was content remaining an Unchosen because he had a roof over his head, food in belly, a bed, and a wonderful woman whom he loved dearly.Brock, on the other hand, felt he was meant for more and his assumptions proved true. He turned out to be a great and powerful student. He was able to harness the power of the Order and Chaos. Not an easy feat. Like his best bud, Tip, he found love — Ashland, a great healer.~~Other notable characters~~Cameron (Cam): tough on the outside but gentle on the inside.Benny: the inventor who brought life to all his scenes.Corbin: He reminded me of Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter series. Both characters you’ll love hating.~~ Favorite scenes~~1.) The boys trying out the Hedgewick Roller (bike). As a mother who’s just watched her daughter learn to ride a 2-wheeler this summer, I had to laugh at their attempt to ride the crazy contraption. Pure hilarity! 2.) Couple years back, my son was assigned the talk of creating a working catapult. It was a happy moment when he finally got the marshmallow to soar across the garage. If I recall, he got an A on the assignment! Thanks for triggering the memory, Jeffrey! (Find more reviews/ratings at

  • Maia Silverdagger
    2019-01-28 12:37

    A thrilling epic adventure that had me completely enthralled! This is seriously one of the best fantasy books I have ever read! With flawless writing and vivid descriptions, you're immersed into the realm of Issalia, where almost everybody is marked with a rune of their vocation on their forehead. For some mysterious reason, the Unchosen- people who were not chosen to receive a rune, are looked down upon as the underbelly of society and are denied the civil and humane rights that everybody else gets. After suffering through loss, young Brock takes his own destiny in his hands and illegally obtains his own rune. He then embarks on a perilous journey to enter the Academy where he takes the place by storm. Along the way, he discovers his latent talents, gains some true friends and uncovers secrets that have been hidden for centuries that were never meant to be revealed. I was completely entranced and absolutely enjoyed this book! There were times I was sitting on the edge of my seat at perilous times, grinning in delight at some incredible magic displays, and other times, my jaw almost hit the floor as I seethed in anger at the injustices and trials some of the other students put him through. I was left with quite a few unanswered questions as the book delved into some hidden mysteries that I am sure will be answered in the sequel! I can't wait to get started on it and live in Issalia some more! This was an absolutely epic book that anybody who enjoys fantasy and adventure will be sure to love!

  • Eirlys
    2019-02-02 12:19

    Fantastic Fantasy This is fantasy at it's best. I got caught up in the excitement of the story of Brock, an Unchosen, the lowest of the low in his society and his homeless friend Tipper. The Chosen have a rune on their brow which shows they belong. Brock pays to have a counterfeit rune in order to start helping others. Brock and Tipper set of to find and enrol at the Academy to begin Brock's training. It is a fascinating story of his exploits and those of his friends which will leave you wanting more.

  • James (ObservantRaven)
    2019-02-05 16:28

    When I first started reading “The Buried Symbol” I thought I was going to be reading a take on the Harry Potter trope but as the book developed it became very unique in its own right.I found the characterisation in “The Buried Symbol” intriguing and very enjoyable as from the outset not only does it make you feel emotionally attached to some of the characters but within a few chapters you are hooked and intrigued about the main character Brock. At the outset Brocks character seems like an everyday run of the mill person but after an incident occurs his story unravels into something of darker and purposeful proportions that will always leave you wanting more. As the story goes on we are introduced to some characters that are loveable from the outset and some not so much. It was nice to read a book for a change that gives you characters that have personalities you will clearly love or hate without complicating the matter to much, also without going into too much detail I loved how Jeffrey L Kohanek wasn’t afraid to give the story a darker twist as I feel this made the book seem more grounded. The world developed in and around those marked with a rune and those not was fantastic to read about as the author clearly shows a divides between them, I somewhat felt it was a nod towards society toward when people are marked for greatness from their birth due to the family they are born into and what one person become if they set their mind to it. One thing I enjoyed especially about the story was the classes Brock and his classmates took at the academy as they were always so interesting to read about especially the engineering and combat classes. This became all the more apparent when delved more into how you progress in the school and how it fits into the classes taken by the students.At the moment we don’t seem to have a clearly defined “bad guy”, this was a breath of fresh air as usually within the first book we are introduced to a character that will clearly become the main focus of evil within the series but Jeffrey L Kohanek moved away from and I believe this is one of the aspects that made it all the more interesting as it left the story open for what is to come in future books.When I first started reading this book I was unsure as to how I was going to feel about it but as the story progressed developed I became increasingly intrigued and found it an extremely enjoyable read. What I will say is that once get a feel for this books and its world you will always be left wanting more as I constantly found myself trying to find time to read more as I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I hope as the books go on we delve more into the runes each characters has and possibly we they were marked with this runes they were and why Brocks is so significant.I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I think it is a hidden gem amongst an array of great fantasy books. If you are lover of fantasy then I would highly recommend you read this book as you will not regret it, Jeffrey L Kohanek is a fantastic reading and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

  • Devyn
    2019-02-09 18:15

    I received this book from Goodreads.The Buried Symbol is a charming book full of adventure, magic, and chaos. Brock, an unmarked, sets out to change his fate after the tragic death of his beloved aunt. Using thievery, Brock and his friend Tipper pilfer enough gold to afford Brock an illegally administered rune with a little coin left over for supplies for the coming travels. With the newly tattooed rune of Issal, Brock can now claim to be a member of the Empire's ruling class. He then embarks on a quest to join an institution where the Empire’s future leaders are trained. His good friend Tipper loyally follows him on his new, unknown path to the Academy.The Buried Symbol has been called one dimensional but I personally loved the simplistically. It was a breath of fresh air to read of Brock's determination, perseverance, and confidence against staggering odds without all the loose ends and complications that could have been easily added with fifty more pages worth of ink. My life is so complicated right now. I'm being pulled in every direction imaginable that it was a sweet relief to escape it momentarily in Kohanek's made up world.The part that officially sucked me into the book and made Brock into a real and lovable character for me was when he brought Tipper along with him. Brock didn't have to. Tipper is unmarked and homeless, barely scratching out a living by begging on the street. Even Tipper assumed Brock wouldn't want him along.But Brock's kind personality proves true and he sticks by Tipper even when others isolate him because of it.Well written with lots of laughs and adventure and with a sprinkle of romance is just how I like my books, and Buried Symbol delivered it exceptionally.

  • Stephen
    2019-02-14 13:27

    The main character, Brock, is likable and easy to relate to. The rest of the cast of characters are interesting and entertaining. The world that the author has created is detailed and complex, but introduced in a way that is easy to follow. Having a theocratic society that exerts control over its citizens by assigning runes that define their roles is quite interesting and unique. The school of magic that the main character attends in the second half of the book. This story really sucked me in, drawing sympathetic emotions of sadness with Brock's loss and the thrill of achievement with his victories. While reader questions regarding the main plot are resolved by the end of the book, there is a deeper undercurrent of conspiracy and secrets that are teased, leaving the reader longing for the next installment. I know that I'm certainly looking forward to book 2! Great Reading Everyone!

  • H.D. Lynn
    2019-02-02 12:39

    I couldn't get into this book. It wasn't bad but suffered from being boring. The characters lacked personality for me and introducing a tragic death at the beginning of a story only works (for me) if I find the characters interesting. It just felt like axing a character for backstory without building the story or world at all. There was just something really under developed about this story even though the writing is fine.

  • Mawebre
    2019-02-12 15:37

    Very good with a fresh look at an underdog to hero conceptI don't write reviews often as reading is My talent. I really enjoyed this book . It has a nice guy as a hero who is open to the world around him in a positive way , without beings preachy . I've already ordered the next book in the series .

  • Higinio
    2019-02-01 14:42

    Awesome Introduction! This book does a great job introducing not only the characters, but also the world and culture of the story. Several ideas are introduced that I believe will make for greater story and character development. The pace ebbs and flows gracefully, making the story more realistic. I cannot wait to get into the sequel!

  • Mandy Ellis-Childers
    2019-02-10 18:33

    Great bookI would definitely recommend reading this book. I don't write many reviews but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's the beginning to what seems is going be a great series.

  • Amy
    2019-02-10 16:23

    An enjoyable introduction to a fantasy series that I won through First Reads. The main character is likeable and the story flows well.

  • John Parchman
    2019-01-18 13:22

    Great readReally enjoyed this book and look forward to learn more about the runes of Chaos and what happens to Brock and his friends.

  • Damon Hatton
    2019-01-31 13:22

    Fantastic book!Loved the system of magic! The book gives you characters you can like while keeping you entertained with a good story. Excellent coming of age story.

  • Erica Herker
    2019-01-29 10:20

    Great story, I'm excited to read the next book in the series! Perfect if you need to fill the Harry Potter shaped hole in your life.

  • Rajalakshmi Prithviraj
    2019-01-25 12:37

    The beginning needs to be powerful enough to leave you wanting more. I must admit this story not only made me sit through the night in order to finish, it has left me keenly waiting for the next book.This volume begins a series of what I feel is going to be an amazing story. The plot is based on the concept of Chosen ones and the Unchosen ones. In a fantasy world Ministry makes use of runes to determine the life path of children. The Unchosen ones are those who are considered to be at the lowest rung socially. Sounds confusing? Actually, its really simple but I am afraid I will end up with spoilers if I get into details. Trust me, you need to read this beginning volume to get hooked on to it like me.Jeffrey is a master storyteller. It is not easy to introduce the characters, the story per se and at the same time inject the right amount of curiosity and intrigue. And he did just that. There were no confusions, no breaks. In fact the flow of the storyline was so smooth that I had to pinch myself to realise that part one is actually over. The language is simple. It has elements of magic and associated terms that are easy to understand. Is the writing akin to JK Rowling? Is the story similar to Harry Potter? Well, no. Jeffrey's writing style is as unique as JK Rowling and the story is absolutely different. In any case it is unfair to draw parallels where none exist. Reading the story made me wish I get to see it as a 'Big Motion Picture' soon. The imageries created out of the descriptions were as powerful as the storyline.The characters are really well etched. The protagonists are clearly identifiable and every character in the story has a significant part to play. Though the story is a fantasy, yet the emotions exhibited by the characters are real. They have their flaws and their strengths and thats what makes it a unique story.To sum up, this story is a must read if you are not hooked to the fantasy genre yet. If the beginning is so good, I am sure the rest is going to be better. An excellently penned amazing story.P.S - Thank you Jeffrey for an amazing story. The review is my honest opinion after I read the book. I have joined the hunt for the buried symbol. What about you???

  • Keira
    2019-02-01 15:19

    PLEASE NOTE: I DO NOT CONSIDER 2 STARS TO BE A NEGATIVE REVIEW. I DNF BOOKS OR GIVE THEM 1 STAR IF I DO NOT LIKE THEM.I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review courtesy of YA Bound Book Tours and the author. This in no way influenced my opinions on this book. Okay, so I accidentally read the excerpt from the next book at the end of this one, which really frustrated me as I'm pretty sure I spoiled myself for something and I hadn't realised that the book ended and kept turning pages, so I didn’t get the satisfying moment of finishing the book, which really annoyed me for quite a long time and left me feeling a little off-kilter. It’s strange how small things like this can really mess up.As for the actual book, I thought that it was good, but there were definitely things that I wasn’t a massive fan of. For example, I typically love romance in books, but I felt like the romance in this book was a little lacklustre. I didn’t really feel the chemistry between the characters, but I have nothing against it either. It just felt comfortable and convenient, which was slightly annoying to someone who usually loves the romantic element in a book. The friendships, on the other hand, were much better in my opinion and I hope they continue to be explored and developed in the next books. Kohanek explored some of the complexities that arise when it comes to rape and rape accusations and dealt with some dark topics such as a teenage boy becoming deranged. However, although these things were good to include, I felt like they should have been developed a bit more- especially the mental state of one of the antagonists. I also felt like the book could have done with some more world-building. One topic which I feel was dealt with very well and will continue to be of importance throughout the book is the inequality between the Chosen and the Unchosen, which parallels many relevant and historic inequality issues we face in our world. Basically, I think most of the problems in this book came from the pacing. The entire book was very fast-paced and easy to read and generally enjoyable, but it ended up lacking a certain depth and as a reader I didn’t really connect to the characters for the most part. The issues in pacing were especially evident at the end of the book which made some of the twists and changes feel inorganic and just generally rushed.I ended up giving this book 2 stars after writing this review and really critically considering the book. However, to be fair to the story, I did give this book 4 stars at the end of reading this book. I have been more strict on my ratings this month as I have read a lot of books which fall in the high 3 stars to high 4 stars area which have to become 3 and 4 stars respectively, so I gave the book a 3 star instead of a 4 star because of adjusting my ratings to reflect that. It was only when examining the book from a critical perspective as to why I didn’t absolutely love the book that I determined to give it 2 stars. Therefore, if the plot is more important than the characters to you or if you don’t mind about depth in fantasy books so much as action, then this will definitely be a good book for you.

  • Brandi Nyborg
    2019-01-23 15:14

    I recieved this book through Goodreads' giveaways. I'm always excited about a new fantasy novel. The writing flows well, and keeps the story moving at a quick pace. I enjoyed Brock's character, and watching him take on challenges head on. I enjoyed the unique world building, and the author does a great job of keeping things simple, so it's easy to follow along. I would definitely read more books in this series to see where it goes.

  • Robin
    2019-02-10 11:33

    Great book. Had me hooked from the start. Off to get the second book!

  • Misty Handa
    2019-02-09 12:37

    This was an amazing fantasy read. I love this magic sysyem. Started off a little slow but picked up quite fast. I can't wait to read the rest of the trilogy!

  • Danny
    2019-01-21 15:17

    I really enjoyed this book, very detailed and creative! Can't wait for the second part :)

  • The Irregular Reader
    2019-02-09 12:23

    A bit rough around the edges, but a promising start with a lot of potential. Full review to follow.

  • Angela Johnson
    2019-01-22 14:40

    This set of books are amazing, the writer sure know how to draw in his readers, I was hooked after a few pages!! Great books check them out!!!

  • Lori Murray
    2019-02-06 13:14

    Review and Spotlight for Book Tour I am Involved with.  Check out my tour stop for The Runes of Issalia series blog tour! There is an excerpt and giveaway below. The Buried Symbol (The Runes of Issalia #1) by Jeffrey L. Kohanek Genre: YA Fantasy Release Date: May 5th 2016 Black Rose Writing Summary: Discover a lost magic, long buried and forgotten… Without a rune marking his role in society, Brock is doomed to an existence below the lowest rung of the social ladder. Unwilling to accept his fate, the teen risks his life to obtain a fake rune that marks him as a member of the Empire's ruling class. He then embarks on a quest to join an institution where the Empire’s future leaders are trained.  As a student of the Academy, he soon uncovers a chain of secrets kept hidden for centuries, secrets that expose cracks in the foundation of Empire society. Among his discoveries is a powerful magic, long buried and forgotten. Brock’s compassion and sense of justice are seeds that sprout tight friendships and a blossoming romance. An unwillingness to be bullied earns him a dangerous enemy, becoming a feud that escalates to a climactic showdown. Review for book 1 Boy did I really love Brock. I thought he was a pretty interesting hero and really looked after the people he loved. I have to say wow the girls were falling for him, left and right.I thought the journey he took along the way to get to the Academy was pretty awesome. Even though parts were boring it didn't make me what to give up on the book. I really loved his friendships with Cameron and Benny whom he became friends with at the Academy. I really loved his love interest Ashland, she was pretty bad-ass. I thought they made a pretty interesting couple. Things that Brock and us readers find out about his abilities made me even more invested in reading this series. Also what Brock is starting to figure out about the academy, also makes this book even more intriguing. The Emblem Throne (The Runes of Issalia #2)Release Date: October 6th 2016 Summary: Journey on a magical quest to save the world...As they strive to become Masters within the Ministry, Brock and his friends resume their training at the Academy, an institution founded on magic, science, knowledge, law, and combat. They soon discover an expansive web of conspiracies and deceit within the Ministry, hidden behind a veil of benevolence and piety. The exposure of one of those secrets forces Brock and his friends to flee the institution with their lives in the balance.Joined by a fierce Tantarri warrior, the group embarks on a quest to locate a mysterious throne that has been lost for centuries. Guided by the cryptic words of an ancient prophecy, and backed by a forbidden magic that they are still learning to wield, they journey across the continent to save humanity from extinction.   An Empire in Runes (The Runes of Issalia #3) Release Date: April 27th 2017 Summary:  A Long Forgotten Magic That Might Save the World…Or Destroy It Led by a boy named Brock, a small team of teens urgently assembles a force to confront an army of monsters, one that ravages and destroys anyone or anything in its path. In a race against time, Brock attempts to train a group of recruits to wield the powerful magic known as Chaos, a magic that he himself is still learning to master. All the while, they must remain vigilant against a secret organization within the Ministry that will do anything to prevent the return of Chaos. As foretold by an ancient prophecy, the human army must face and defeat their ancient enemy on the Tantarri Plains. For if they fail, all will be lost.Amazon Buy Links: The Buried Symbol | The Emblem Throne | An Empire in Runes   Here is an excerpt from THE BURIED SYMBOL. This is a short scene that takes place after Brock and his friend Tipper take refuge in a cave when a rain storm interrupts their journey to the Academy. A noise woke Brock, who sat up to find his clothes still damp. He rubbed the crust from his eyes and blinked to shake the cobwebs from his brain.Recognizing his surroundings, he remembered the cave they had found to escape the rain. Early morning light emanated from the entrance, shedding light on Tipper, who lay asleep beside him. In the dim light, Brock noticed something near Tipper.He leaned close to get a better look, finding bones he hadn’t noticed in the dark of night. Near the bones, rows of four parallel lines marked the surface of the rock. His chest constricted as he realized that something lived here, something large.A howl echoed in the forest outside the cave.Brock urgently shook Tipper.“What? What’s happening?” Tipper blurted, sitting up in confusion.“Shh.” Brock whispered. “Be quiet. There’s something out there.”Tipper rubbed his eyes. “Huh? What are you talking about?”A shadow eclipsed the light at the mouth of the cave. As Brock turned toward the entrance, his breath caught in his throat.Against the light of the morning sky, the silhouette of a massive four-legged creature blocked the opening. Whatever it was, they were in its home and it was angry.A low growl sounded, its ferocity rumbling in the small cave. The boys backed away, and Brock stumbled when he collided with a boulder near the rear of the cave. He scrambled to his feet as his mind raced. The beast blocked the only exit. Like the banshee attack at Glowridge Pass, they were trapped in a hopeless situation with no way out. His mind drifted back to that event and he reacted.Brock scooped a bone from the cave floor and began scraping a symbol on the boulder: the same rune he had drawn on Hank.The creature stepped forward, and Brock noticed the beast’s eyes, glowing an angry red. The smell of wet animal filled the cave, mixing with the smell of fear from Brock and Tipper.Spurred by desperation, Brock closed his eyes and began pushing with his will. He felt the same force as last time, just beyond himself. Pushing harder, he latched onto it and his body grew flush with hot energy. A storm raged within, threatening to destroy him. He opened his eyes and poured the energy into the rune. It glowed bright red, pulsing as the boulder began to shake.Brock backed from the advancing creature into the rear of the cave, against Tipper’s cowering form.The boulder suddenly burst. Bits of rock pelted him, cutting hands held up to protect his face from the beast. The creature leapt back from the blast, dozens of small shards hitting its face and body. It growled in rage. Brock lowered his throbbing hand to see what had happened.The boulder moved toward the beast. The round headless body of the rock advanced on four legs made of stone, emitting crunching and grinding sounds with each movement.The hairy beast attacked, swinging vicious swipes with its huge paws. Sharp claws scraped the hard surface of the living boulder and bounced off harmlessly. The beast backed away, but the boulder continued to advance.The beast attacked again, with little result as the boulder relentlessly forced it backwards. Suddenly, animal was outside, its red eyes squinting in the pale light of pre-dawn. It made one last swipe and then bolted.The boulder turned the corner to give chase, one leg stepping over the edge, and it disappeared. The rumbling and crunching sound of a small rockslide followed as it tumbled away.The cave became silent.“What in the blazes? Brock, what did you do?” Tipper shouted. “What was that thing? What’s happening?”“I don’t know!” Brock yelled back. He was breathing heavily, trying to calm himself. “I don’t know, Tipper. I had to do something, and it just came to me. I don’t know what it is.”“It’s like what happened with Hank. You did it again with that big rock,” Tipper said.“Yeah. I know,” Brock replied. “I wish I knew what it was, but I don’t.”Brock grabbed his pack and headed toward the entrance. “Let’s get out of here before that thing comes back.”Stepping outside the cave, he looked down. The rock-thing lay at the bottom of the outcropping, its legs broken off with the pieces still twitching. A shiver went down Brock’s spine.“That’s creepy,” Tipper said.Nodding, Brock began to climb down as the first rays of morning sun streaked across the valley.About the Author Jeffrey L. Kohanek grew up in rural Minnesota, where comic books sparked his young imagination and inspired fantasies of heroes with super-powers saving the day. His tastes later evolved to fantasy epics, featuring unlikely heroes overcoming impossible odds to save worlds born from the writer’s imagination.Now residing in southern California, Jeff uses that imagination to weave tales of engaging characters caught in fantastic plots to inspire young adults and the child within us all. His first book series, The Runes of Issalia, began in May 2016 and will conclude in Spring 2017.Author Links:    GIVEAWAY: a Rafflecopter giveaway