Review of A Grave for Kings by Joseph Walter

In the world of Altera, on the continent of Kalidara in the land of Demalja during the years
preceding this story an individual widely known as the “Guardian” had ruled. This person was
known different times by different names but his original name was Cailen Starfire, changed
from “Stormfire” because of suspicion and controversy surrounding the bloodline of that name.
Cailen Starfire (Stormfire) eventually rose to overthrow the rulers of the land and to subject its
inhabitants to his rule.  When he had defeated his enemies, he committed an act of genocide
against his supporters and disappeared. Some said he died, others thought he couldn’t die; in any
event, he became the subject of a manhunt shrouded in fear and magic.

The story begins with the kidnapping of Rodin Velau, Chief Historian, Lorebringer and
Chronicler. Rodin’s kidnapper seeks the truth concerning the Guardian and his whereabouts and
is willing to use whatever means are available to obtain it. From that point, the book becomes the
story of Cailen Starfire as told by Rodin Velau, but as seen through the eyes of several different
characters and through different time periods in their lives. Sound confusing? Yes, it was to me
at least at first. Eventually, I began to sort out the characters and only then began to follow the
story. Once, that happened, I settled down and enjoyed a delightful story, one with a number of
twists and turns, some anticipated and some surprising.

Mr. Walter’s characters are generally likeable and many regretfully fall to a variety of violence
wrought by magic and demons as well as human fighting. One notable exception may be Cailen
Starfire, with whom some will empathize and others will not. He is a complex schizophrenic
character whose fate and spiritual influences drive him against his will. Those same influences,
however, give him unusual powers.

Although the storyline is somewhat confusing, it weaves itself together as the book progresses
and is otherwise well written and entertaining.

Clabe Polk

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