Book Review: The Trials of Caste

May 10, 2014 at 1:07 pm 1 comment

Book 1 Final Cover for KindleTitle: The Trials of Caste

Author: Joel D. Babbitt

Genre: Fantasy

A Game of Destiny, a Throne, a Paladin, a Prophecy… and Kobolds

In this explosive first novel in the Paladin of a Hidden God Series, the ancient game of destiny known as the Trials of Caste shows the Will of the Gods and reveals the Hand of the Fates.

A fresh voice in the Fantasy genre, Joel Babbitt’s story of Durik the kobold and his companions is genuine, triumphant, and absorbing. In two days and two square miles of caverns, Joel takes the reader deep into the heart of a tribe in turmoil. Looming insurrection, insurgent pacts, ancient powers, noble designs, and young aspirations combine to make the unforgettable coming-of-age tale of Durik the kobold and his companions.

With their year of training now past, Durik and six other young warriors are about to undergo the Trials of Caste where all of them will strive for the coveted position of elite warrior and the prestige and power that comes with it, though only one will win. Simultaneously, a deadly conspiracy threatens to destroy their tribal leaders and seize the throne for its own evil purposes. Durik and his six companions must each chose sides as the actions of an insurgent pact bring a day of decision for all the children of Kale. Yet through it all, as if from beyond where the ancestors go, an ancient power calls to Durik, strengthening him as he and his closest companions risk everything to fight against this encroaching evil.

NO HUMANS. That’s the first thing I noticed when reading The Trials of Caste, and it’s amazing. Even in fantasy novels, we find ourselves way too often reading about humans. There may be elves, orcs, dwarves, and your typical fantasy-five, but main characters tend to be human. Not here. Their descriptions are very vivid, and the gorgeous cover makes it all the easier to picture our main cast.

A downside perhaps of this book’s originality – which puts it miles away from other fantasy novels – is that it takes a lot of time to explain the world our characters live in, how the world works, and how the characters look like. This sometimes slowed down the book, but overall, it’s a necessity to understand the entire story, so I didn’t mind that much.

A clan of kobolds is eagerly awaiting the trials that’ll determine their future in the clan. Trials are nothing new (think Hunger Games, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and even Divergent) but the trials are interesting enough to entertain, and during the second part of the book, there’s plenty of mystery to force to reader to keep on reading.

An intriguing, well-written fantasy novel. I can’t wait to read the sequel.


Entry filed under: Book Reviews. Tags: , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Joel Babbitt  |  May 12, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks so much for reviewing The Trials of Caste! Glad you enjoyed it! Would you mind cross-posting your review to Amazon and Goodreads? It would be much appreciated.
    Joel Babbitt


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