Opprobrium: Book One of the Lamentation’s End series by Wade Lewellyn-Hughes embodies a fantastical quest overflowing with magical beings that will leave readers thirsting for the next page, next chapter, and next installment in the series. Lewellyn-Hughes assembles a well-rounded, diverse cast to battle the dreaded Dregs and discover the true meaning of the Tek’aran on an expedition fraught with ogres, sorcerers, magus, dragons, elves, wolfkin, and a satyr. The first installment follows Cord, a secret magical being initially committed to living in the Light and upholding the values set forth by his Chancellor, as he sets out to step into his expected role in society. However, despite his best efforts, Cord is thrust into the middle of conflict as various factions contend for control of the magical world. Along the way, Cord meets a variety of magical creatures that have reflected on and come to embrace their gifts that provide Cord with an alternate perspective of his gift. The openness and acceptance of oneself prevail as a powerful, poignant theme in Lewellyn-Hughes’ work. Through this world, Lewellyn-Hughes explores discrimination and acceptance through the complex themes of class, sexuality, gender, and social norms. One character Cord encounters on his journey is Maeverly, a sorcerer really named Joseb Roux, who draws his supernatural strength from dressing as his sister. While aware of his unorthodox garments, Joseb admits, “I have less power outside of a frock than I do pretending to be Maeverly,” and his cohort “mean well—and they are accepting.” Still, other characters struggle with society’s determination of their spouses and placement in life. Lewellyn-Hughes’ Opprobrium brings so much more to the genre of fantasy quest. These additions bring vibrancy to the text through the integration of genuine emotions, interactions, and revelations. Exploration and discussion of these matters require a mature audience capable of comprehending the intricacies presented. Moreover, this is not a text for the faint of heart, given the substantial page count and connection to future books. With that said, those who make the effort will thoroughly enjoy the plot constructed by Lewellyn-Hughes. Given the growing support and conversations surrounding the LGBTQ community, ideally more and more texts will begin to incorporate themes relevant to and reflective of the community across genres. Opprobrium represents a valuable blueprint for others to follow. Opprobrium charms and captivates the reader from beginning to end with its intricate, well-formed characters guiding the narrative. Readers should prepare to dive quickly into the next installment as soon as they finish the first book. It will be too hard to wait!
|Publisher||Wisdom, Wonder & Whimsy Books|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|
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