REVIEW : Reckless Ambitions- The Medford Family Chronicles Vol #1- John Paul Ried

Reckless Ambition Book Cover Reckless Ambition
The Medford Family Chronicles Vol #1
John Paul Ried
Young adult, Historical Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery
AZ Publishing Services
May 24, 2015

The beloved, highly respected, and automatically obeyed Palamaran Emperor John Cardillion III suddenly has died without naming a successor. He has four very powerful sons, An Arch Cleric, a Fighter, a Wizard and a Merchant Prince (aka thief), who are eager to slay each other and claim their father’s Ruby Throne. Earl Thomas Medford, the former Emperor’s best friend and Commander of the Imperial Guard, has to decide which royal brother to support for the throne and marry his deliciously gorgeous only daughter too. Earl Medford intends to either avert or win a bloody and vicious civil war.

Meanwhile Earl Medford’s daughter Christina has fallen hopelessly in love with one of the many Imperial Guard officers, Nick Armand. Christina and her best friend, Abigail Theosoar, do everything they can to hide this passionate romance. The not-so-simple Palace Gardener, Dr. Andrew Numil, who has his own agendas, discovers Christina’s secret and uses it to his advantage. Abigail Theosoar’s father, former gladiator and tavern owner Robert Theosoar, falls under a terrible curse with politics as the new Lord Mayor of the Palamaran Capitol.

Finally, Professor Oliver Wendell Enalan, a middle-aged Illusionist spellcaster from the Gamemasters University, finds new psionic abilities within himself as he falls in love with a beautiful Elven refugee Princess. The Gamemasters University, of which Professor Enalan is employed, is dedicated to searching the limitless multiverse for new and exciting games to play augmenting their magical powers. Will Enalan be able to defend the GMU mission and fulfill his destiny? Is the price of ultimate power bitter loveless loss? You shall judge in the end.

Review By Sherry Perkins

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

“These are the prices one pays for real power. Is it worth it? You may judge.”—Reckless Ambitions

In the Medford Family Chronicles, John Paul Ried has written a story less grim dark than sword and sorcery with a healthy dose of D&D gaming mixed in. This is a dense tale, much as you’d expect—not necessarily dense in its complexity, but in how much information is packed into it.

The story is the basic campaign quest found in any D&D tale of a kingdom torn by civil war and imperiousness: the old emperor dies. He is survived by his sons. They are a cleric, a fighter, a magician, and a thief.

There is also a scheming chancellor intent on marrying his daughter, Christina, into the royal family. But wait! She is a woman who knows her own mind. Naturally, she has no intention of being drawn into the intrigue of a loveless marriage because she (of course) is in love with someone else altogether. The man of her dreams is Nick, one of the palace imperial guards.

“Reckless Ambitions” is book one of the four Medford Family Chronicles. As it should be, the first novel lays down the mythos, the quest that derives from it, and a cast of somewhat disparate characters, one of whom you canclaim as your own. I suppose, if you wanted to stay with the D&D mode, you could keep character sheets as you fight your way through each book. You could just as easily sit back and enjoy the story.

I like books filled with maps, a prologue, titled chapters (including appropriate and telling quotes), appendices and such. Background is helpful especially when there is extensive world building. What is distracting though, is italics and caps. Using these applications in text should be judicious or it becomes difficult to appreciate what is being said as sometimes happened in “Reckless Ambitions.”

“A four-star review for a story jam packed with warring factions, supernatural creatures, court intrigue and the course of true love, all proving ambition is more often reckless than not.”

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