HE WHO LEADS, an e-book by M.A.N.

Fifteen year old Amare, as the oldest son of the Akachi Clan, becomes the leader when his father insists he leave off fighting and go save the clan while he continues to battle fearsome demons who eventually kill him. He takes over his leadership role and almost immediately makes costly, leadership/political mistakes. He constantly faces tremendous odds in battling other clans with mysterious magical talents of his own and those exhibited by members of other clans and more demons who ‘cannot die’. But gradually he manages to bumble through with the help of a very intelligent warrior wife, her even more intelligent younger brother, his warrior mother, and most assuredly from his childhood friend, Ime.

Reviewing this book provides something of a challenge. The style of writing is quite unique but often confusing, especially when determining who is telling the story and the shifts that occur from the present to an earlier event, often by adding further detail. But the challenge arises largely from a section “About the author” because as just described, this book, along with others he has published all appear to offer stories in the “action-adventure fantasy” genre. I have not read any of the others but the section explains that “M.A.N. is an aspiring entrepreneur that uses his creative writing and original ideas as an outlet to express his imaginative vision. M.A.N. uses his discipline and experiences to provide a world of fun, and at times deep thought for the reader.” The provision of “fun” is evident in this offering. Additionally, the stress placed upon the importance of preparation and inclusion of mental activity in war, as well as other activities, is an obvious plus for young minds. Regrettably, I was not able to discern any ‘deeper meaning’ from the stated “(he) uses his creative writing and original ideas as an outlet to express his imaginative vision” and “ … his discipline and experiences to provide … at times deep thought for the reader.” My disappointment in not finding a deeper level may result from my misinterpretation and greater expectations or possiblely simply an inability to do so.

Conclusion: Primarily the author presents an excellent fantasy adventure with a plot that is relatively cohesive and moves at a fine pace with wildly fanciful action figures indulging in just as well-described and lengthy battle scenes. As such, it is exactly the type of story that should appeal greatly to young teens. Beyond this, the reader’s expectations raised by the author’s note may be rather disappointing.

4* Fantasy adventure for young teens; questionable for other readers as described.

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