Five Stars for Level One

5star-shiny-webCompleted on: 10/22/2016
Review Rating: 5 stars!

Reviewed By Faridah Nassozi for Readers’ Favorite


In The Black River Chronicles (Level One) by David Tallerman and Michael Wills, the Black River Academy of Swordcraft and Spellcraft is a go-to training centre for rangers, wizards, fighters and rogues. Its current newest group of students has been at the academy for three months and, as such, it is time to group them into parties of four – one from each craft – that would henceforth execute their quests together. Durren – a ranger with a big secret – is grouped with Tia – a rogue who thinks she is too good for the group, Arein – a wizard too emotional for her own good – and Hule – a fighter who acts before he thinks. Together they will be sent on various missions for the academy. After their embarrassingly disastrous first quest, the group is spared punishment only after a staff member desiring a challenge offers to take them on as their mentor. The group can barely stand each other, yet they must work together to prove they deserve the second chance they have been given. But when your tasks include capturing a wicked unicorn and stealing from a monastery filled with crazed priests, a lot can go wrong. Noticing something weird about their tasks, they decide to take on a side quest of their own and get to the bottom of it all.

The Black River Chronicles: Level One by David Tallerman and Michael Wills is a captivating YA adventure that combines an amazing setting, a fascinating cast of characters, and flawless narration to give you a thrilling reading experience. The descriptive narration is very vivid and draws you into this world of magic, adventure and action. The entire story could have been set within the boundaries of the academy and still be a winning setting, but then quests, each set in a unique and memorable location, added even more adventure and thrills. David Tallerman and Michael Wills produced one hell of an adventure – a must-read for all who enjoy thrilling, fast-paced YA adventures. The Black River Chronicles: Level One is a brilliant start to what will no doubt be an award winning series and I cannot wait to see what trouble the group gets into at the next level.

The Black River Chronicles: Level One (Black River Academy Book 1)

The Black River Chronicles: Level One (Black River Academy Book 1)

You know these characters: The ranger, the fighter, the wizard, the rogue.But haven't you ever wondered how they learned to be those things?Three months into his studies at the Black River Academy of Swordcraft and Spellc...

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About the Book

You know these characters: The ranger, the fighter, the wizard, the rogue.

But haven’t you ever wondered how they learned to be those things?

Three months into his studies at the Black River Academy of Swordcraft and Spellcraft, Durren Flintrand is shocked by the news that from now on he’ll be assigned to a party, and that his only hope of progressing beyond the lowly rank of level one is to succeed with his new companions. However, Durren has a secret that may make that impossible, and his three partners have problems of their own. Wizard Areinelimus is terrified of her own magic. Rogue Tia has no patience at all with others. And warrior Hule is just an idiot. In fact, when a disembodied, floating eyeball is your most competent party member, you know you have serious problems.

To stand a chance of succeeding, they need to work together, and that means learning to tolerate each other, while surviving a world of angry rat people, murderous sorcerers and homicidal unicorns. But even if they can somehow find a way to get along, dark and ancient forces are stirring, ones no level one students should ever have to confront…

The Black River Chronicles is a new fantasy series from David Tallerman and Michael Wills. Set in an academy for young adventurers in training, the Black River Academy, our new dungeon crawlers set out to learn the ropes. Follow them in their adventures and misadventures and see if they save the day, or flunk out of school before earning their next level.

Thank you for your interest.

About the Author
David Tallerman

David Tallerman is the author of the comic fantasy novels Giant Thief, Crown Thief and Prince Thief, the absurdist steampunk graphic novel Endangered Weapon B: Mechanimal Science and the genre-bending novella Patchwerk. His short fantasy, science fiction, horror and crime stories have appeared or are due in around eighty markets, including Clarkesworld, Nightmare, Lightspeed and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Learn more at

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