Erryn reviews ‘Through the Last Door (Sacred Guardian Book 1)’ by J.A. Jaken. This book was released on December 16, 2014 and is 358 pgs long. The audiobook version of this story was released April 27 2021 narrated by Dan Calley and is 13 hrs and 38 mins. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I love Dan Calley so was happy to pick this up.
When Kaori Sansa’s father dies, he is forced to return home to claim the throne as the rightful heir of the country of Kazure. In the aftermath of his father’s death, he learns that the country he loves is riddled with corruption and is hovering on the brink of war. Will he be able to hold the kingdom together despite the odds that are stacked against it and, somehow, unlock the buried powers of Shinja, the Sacred Beast of Kazure?
See the review of the ebook here.
At over 13 hours, this book is epic. It tells of a young university student thrown into the role of leader upon the untimely death of his father. Kaori Sensa is ill-prepared for this position and had believed he had time. He quickly realizes he will be afforded none. As High Lord, he is expected to rule over a vast kingdom. This book is a quest of sorts – he must learn about his people. In the process, of course, he learns about himself.
His adventures are interesting as he solves riddles, solves crimes, and generally brings to light some of the criminal elements of his people. Sometimes it pushed credulity that this young man could find solutions no one else saw, but that’s part of the magic. There are fantasy elements, to be sure, but they aren’t as prominent than in other books I’ve read. There is a timelessness to this tale as all epic quests are.
Kaori’s one blind spot is his affection for Hunter. He knows nothing of this guard who is just always there. Hunter’s backstory is revealed as this book has the dual point of view and it’s tragic and disturbing to be sure. As the men spend time together, Kaori admits his attraction to his bodyguard. But how will that work? He is expected to marry and produce an heir. Well, there’s a clever solution to that which I really liked.
I love Dan Calley as a narrator, and he was one of the reasons I tackled this book. His voice worked in this story and I loved how he brought the words to life. Apparently this is the first in a series which surprised me since the resolution felt true. Ah well, I’m intrigued to see where it goes next.
8.5/10 Pots of Gold (85% Recommended) – Compares to 4.25/5 Stars
She realized at a young age that she was attracted to the darker side of life in the fictional stories she felt compelled to write. She feels there is something enormously satisfying about putting a character through intense physical and emotional hardship, and then carrying him or her through out the other side. She believes that is the main reason why she tends to write stories with a darker edge to them. Characters are the most interesting when they’ve had all of the baggage, all of their many masks, stripped away from them and they’re left with nothing but the purest core of who and what they are.
Outside of writing, her interests include studying foreign languages, riding horses, practicing martial arts, and collecting medieval weaponry. She speaks a little bit of French, a little bit of American Sign Language, a little bit of Japanese, but she’s not really fluent in any of them (although she’s trying!). She’s endlessly fascinated by just about everything she sees around her and is constantly looking for new ways to learn and improve her knowledge of the world.