“The Prophecy” is a solid, well-rounded fantasy novel with a combination of good protagonists, intimidating antagonists, solid world-building, and a great sense of adventure.
At first, we thought this was going to be a book about Drake, a legendary dragon slayer who—the story goes—lived in Scotland around 2,000 B.C. We then soon realized that our main character was actually going to be Warwick, who we playfully kept calling “Warrick Dunn” (perhaps “Warwick Dunn” would be more accurate to the story), a young boy unsure of himself and his great destiny. And, really, as much as we love badarse characters doing badarse things like they're Ip Man or Bruce Lee, it's usually better in a work of literature to introduce a character with a great deal more room for growth, someone like Warwick.
Indeed, the confidence, faith, and maturity that Warwick gains throughout the story is a huge part of his arc and the story as a whole. Warwick comes into contact with Rowan, who we playfully kept calling “Erick Rowan,” an old seer who acts as a sort of Gandalf or Obi-Wan-like character. Warwick comes into possession of a special metal key that may be the literal key to stopping the massively powerful and dangerous dragons who are terrorizing the countryside.
Is Warwick kinda a generic protagonist? Yeah. Is Rowan kinda a generic sage-like figure? Yeah. Are the dragons kinda the most generic antagonists imaginable next to “evil kings” or “dark sorcerers?” Yeah. Is the setup kinda the most generic ever with the promised-one-protagonist finding the charred corpses of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru? Yeah. But does all this generic-ness really matter? No. Mostly. Because Luke, Anakin, and Frodo were awesome. Gandalf and Obi-Wan were awesome. And dragons will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever cease being the coolest, most awesome, most imposing, most captivating mythical creatures ever. The pieces are all there for a great story that's already been stress-tested and has stood up for centuries.
They don't make them like they used to. They certainly don't make them like this anymore. Whatever happened to just plain old fantasy tales about a young heroic upstart going off with a wizard to fight some dragons? It's a tale as old as time, it's a tried and true formula, and yet for some inexplicable reason, fantasy authors are just terrified of using it. Why? Because they're afraid to be seen as “too basic” or cliché, perhaps? Probably. But here's the thing: you don't want to avoid giving the audience what they want. True fantasy readers and fans of fantasy love to read about dragons. They love to read about young upstarts going on adventures. They love reading about mages, witches, and warlocks. They love magic. They love magical items. They love prophecies that need to be fulfilled, as generic and cliché as that trope is. They love David-like characters going up against Goliath-like characters. They love dragon slaying/giant slaying. That's just the way that this audience is wired.
When fantasy authors keep figuratively giving vanilla cake with strawberry syrup to an audience that actually loves chocolate ice cream with cookie bits, all they're doing is hurting the appeal of their book. That's where this book by JB Liquorish shines. It doesn't try to be a vanilla cake with strawberry syrup. It just is a bowl of chocolate ice cream with cookie bits, and we appreciate it for this reason.
Perhaps the best thing about this whole entire novel is that it captures the sense of adventure that all fantasy readers really want. This novel is never stagnant. The characters are almost never not going somewhere, often against great odds. They cross bodies of water, climb mountains, endure hunger, thirst, and lack of funds. The dragons are a constant threat, and we can truly grasp the sense of desperation the people of the land feel about them. There's almost no stopping them. We're along for the ride as Warwick and his fellowship of the ring takes them on.
Check out this novel if you love fantasy done the old school way!