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The Ventifact Colossus

(The Heroes of Spira #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  33 reviews
A tale of epic fantasy begins…

Banished to an otherworldly prison for centuries, the monstrous Emperor Naradawk is about to break free and wreak havoc upon the world of Spira. The archmage Abernathy can no longer keep the monster at bay, and has summoned a collection of would-be heroes to help set things right.

Surely he made a mistake. These can’t be the right people.

Paperback, 344 pages
Published January 8th 2016 by Jester Hat Books (first published January 7th 2016)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  119 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lately I have developed a bit of a soft spot for fantasy novels that have strong roots in role-playing games, so early on I knew that The Ventifact Colossus was going to be my kind of good time. First off we’re introduced to Dranko, a half-Goblin former Priest who lives by his wits on the streets. He’s behind on rent, he’s lost his faith, he drinks too much and he’s got a mouth that’s blessed with +2 to sarcasm. We spend a little time getting to know and root for him – he’s your archetypal lovab ...more
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-read, own-print
Since December 2017, I have read seven books to my 13-year-old son (Josh), or to my wife and son. For the first six books, we have had a string of very good ones with scores ranging from 4.3 to 4.6+ out of 5. I was looking for another book and asked Esme from for a suggestion. She recommended The Ventifact Colossus (TVC) by Dorian Hart. I reached out to the author and he sent us a signed copy with the warning “Watch out for turtles!”

The first chapter introduces us to one of
Dyrk Ashton
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ventifact Colossus is delightful read and a great fun adventure. Extremely well written, with a wonderfully quirky cast of characters who are gathered together by a powerful wizard and sent off on grand adventures to save the kingdom, and perhaps the world. Each character experiences growth as they learn to work together as a team, help each other develop their strengths, and learn to overcome their weaknesses.

The RPG influence on the narrative is clear and unapologetic, making for a comfortable
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
In The Ventifact Colossus, we follow a ragtag team of hires tasked with helping a wizard in fending off a powerful, imprisoned being. This being is behind a door, and the group must go on missions in an attempt to make sure the door stays closed. Of course, that’s easier said than done.

There are eight members of the group, and we get 8 perspectives–each 3rd person limited. Now this sounds like a lot of POVs that could become really confusing. However, it was handled very well. Each felt unique,
Rowena Andrews
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, indie
I’ve been very much in the mood for this kind of adventure fantasy lately, I blame it on all the D&D that I’ve been playing recently, and it’s easy to see the influence here in The Ventifact Colossus with its wonderful group of unlikely heroes.

This was a very character-driven story, and there are a lot of POV characters, but Hart does an excellent job of handling them all as individuals, giving them unique voices, motivations, and struggles. I very much love the idea that this ragtag group was
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-adult
Thank you to the author for providing me with this book in exchange for my honest opinion. It’s available for purchase now.

One of the things I love about fantasy is that you can take a commonality – like a group of unlikely heroes – and make it something new and different. In The Ventifact Colossus, author Dorian Hart created a world that is full of adventure and heart. Brace yourselves, folks: this is going to be a rave.

Where should I start? First of all, the characters were fabulous. The book
Sara G.
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
After an extended grimdark/adult kick, I was ready for something more lighthearted. And, happily, The Ventifact Colossus turned out to be exactly what I was looking for.

The story follows a group of unlikely individuals who were chosen—seemingly at random, by a wizard’s spell—to carry out a very important mission. Basically, it’s the start to every D&D campaign ever. And, indeed, the ensuing story reads very much like a D&D campaign: a band of reluctant heroes, a mysterious wizard, a series of c
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on Thoughts Stained With Ink:

So, this book was on my radar before, thanks to my friend Caitlin’s positive review, so I knew it was a book I wanted to read at some point. I’m a sucker for adventure stories and I love a band of misfits having to come together to complete a quest, so I was definitely intrigued by this. When the author reached out to me for editorial services for the fourth book–which would, in turn, of course require the reading of the first three books–it
Edward Aubry
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was a beta reader on The Ventifact Colossus, through several drafts. Lest one take away from that some bias that would incline me to overstate my love for this book, let me be clear that beta reading is not a task I undertake lightly, especially more than once on the same novel. The Ventifact Colossus was a joy to read, and joy to watch evolve. It is a solid fantasy tale, with a satisfying and self-contained ending, while also clearly being the entry point to greater saga whose next volume I e ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is exactly the type of book I was looking for and it was wonderful! Lots of interesting characters, overall light hearted and hopeful, the perfect fantasy comfort read for a cold winter night.
It is amazing how well written the characters are. I never had a doubt as to who’s POV I was reading. This is a feat in itself.

I loved the characters so much I attempted to MBTI type them.

Morningstar: INTJ
That scene screams Fe trickster like nothing else.
She is practical, makes decisions fast, is go
Nerine Dorman
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
With fantasy in general being rather grim and dark these days, it's quite refreshing to encounter The Ventifact Colossus by Dorian Hart. This is the kind of book that reads like your typical D&D campaign, but with a slight Disney-esque flavour to keep things from getting too heavy. Magical McGuffins, check; wizards, check; weird beasties, check; a flying carpet, check. Dorian also does what so many authors struggle to do – balancing a story where there are multiple viewpoint characters, and givi ...more
Catherine Griffin
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
A wizard magically summons a ragtag group of adventurers to save the world from the return of an ancient evil.

The Big Bad is bottled up in a prison dimension, and the wizard Abernathy wants to keep him there. He plucks eight people with diverse skills and backgrounds from their everyday lives, and the party go a-questing. Which may sound rather cliché, but this book is a joy to read. It’s got interesting, well-developed characters; a soundly constructed plot; inventive fantasy; lots of humour; a
Rachel Henry
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A genuinely fun and satisfying read. Characters with a lot of humanity, solid plotting. Occasionally felt like I was listening in on a friend's D&D campaign ... but with a truly excellent DM at the helm, it is well worth your time. Definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys fantasy with a twist or two (or maybe just a really bad roll of the d6?) ...more
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The characters in this book are amazing! They all feel real with flaws and strengths of real people. As the chapters change to see things through each persons perspective, the views subtly shift to present new facts as well as new questions.
I am excited to read many more and see the world unfold in a natural telling. Evocative, enthralling, exciting!!
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The Ventificat Colossus is the start of something new for me. Where I don’t necessarily need to worry about it being grim-dark all the time, nor do I need to worry about it heroic all the time. It’s a parody and a satire combined into a package of heroic adventure and joy! It is. That said, there’s an intriguing cast of characters in this book. There are one or two that I don’t think weren’t needed at all, because it didn’t add much to the story in my opinion. I don’t want to spoil the novel so ...more
Caitlin G
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: june-2020-tbr
Review based on a free copy provided by the author in exchange for my fair and honest opinion.

Dranko is a thief, a former cleric, and part goblin.  An outcast of the highest degree, he's the last person anyone would expect to be summoned to the high tower of an archmage.  Upon accepting the invitation, however, Dranko finds himself with seven new companions who are as equally baffled at being selected to perform a task for one of the greatest wizards in the kingdom.  There's a mercenary, a baker
Calvin Park
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I received a copy of this book through TBRindr in exchange for an honest review.

The Ventifact Colossus is a fun, upbeat epic fantasy. Dorian Hart has given us a tale that feels familiar and yet not overly repetitive. The tone reminds me an awful lot of the BBC series Merlin. There is humor, sometimes over the top, sometimes things the characters take seriously that you can’t help but laugh at, but it all comes together in the end.

One of the things Hart has done very well in The Ventifact Coloss
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own-a-copy
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It’s similar to the Mistborn series in the fact that there’s a band of misfits attempting to save their world from destruction; however, you don’t have to get through as much initial world-building and can just dive right in! Sometimes, you just need a light fantasy read that you can just immerse yourself in; this one did that for me!

I loved the multi-povs in each chapter! If I had to choose a favorite character, it would definitely be Morningstar of Ell! I would
Nathan Woll
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fantastic book. It's about an eclectic group of strangers that are chosen to save the world. The characters are somewhat your typical tropes with one major exception. Of course, very early in the book the author kills the most interesting character. It almost ruins the book. The one thing that helps the book stand out among so many similar books is gone by chapter 6. Now I want to read a book about this type of character. Anyway, the rest of the book is still good enough to get 4 stars. It fee ...more
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's not easy to write a band of adventurers well (I assume). To have them all be fully fleshed out and not just cardboard cutouts. Reading Ventifact Colossus was reminiscent of playing D&D with my friends as a kid, even down to the bickering.

Well written, enjoyable read.
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this classic fantasy. A powerful wizard assembles a team to save the world from danger imminent. Characters made the book for me. It takes a while to get used to the various POVs, but around 1/3 mark it becomes just a background detail and you start to enjoy the journey with the team.
Alex Denby
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fun spin on the classical quest-type fantasy novel.
Laura Hughes
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Classic D&D-inspired fantasy with some interesting twists on familiar (and much-loved) archetypes. I look forward to reading book 2!
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an enjoyable story with interesting characters who are sent out to save the kingdom. They encounter a huge turtle - the ventifact colossus.
John Burns
Oct 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall a good book. There were a few minor editorial over sites. Will check out the next one in the series.
Jan 27, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Please note: This review was not written by the author. It is a set of excerpts from a review on the Readers' Favorite website. I have not rated the book here on Goodreads (giving it zero stars), in order to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

You can read the entire review at:

"I always appreciate humor in a story, and Hart implemented this aspect very well... The narrative is flawless, appropriately paced, and not confusingly profound, compared to
Mar 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a great fun adventure. Each character in turn leads you through the story with heart and humor. Just when you think you have a favorite character the next one comes along wins you over. This is a book that absorbs you into its story and does it from multiple points of view making you honestly feel like you are traveling with them. If you want a book that is simply fun, this is it. Grab this book and a nice cuppa and get lost in Mr Hart's wonder adventure. Then be sad wondering how long befo ...more
John Alexander
Aug 30, 2016 rated it liked it
This was quite interesting, with good humour and well written. However, it certainly wasn't unique. It was a story of a wizard who assembles 7 very different characters to try and save their world. A bit too like Lord of the Rings, which was a shame as let the book down, by not having any different or inventive arcs that haven't been done before. For this I would knock a star off, as just not different enough for a new fantasy series, but enjoyable read. ...more
Jason Kivela
Oct 31, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this one. Fun motley cast of characters. Very reminiscent of a D&D adventuring group. And the plot twist at the end sparked an idea for a game. A lot of small plots going on, but since there are more in the series, I imagine that there needed to be a lot of set up for future books.
Feb 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It has such a great story! I couldn't put it down! ...more
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/r/Fantasy Discus...: December 2020: The Ventifact Colossus 1 22 Dec 01, 2020 12:58PM  
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Kindle Unlimited ...: The Ventifact Colossus 1 4 Feb 13, 2016 09:03AM  

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Other books in the series

The Heroes of Spira (4 books)
  • The Crosser's Maze (The Heroes of Spira #2)
  • The Greatwood Portal (The Heroes of Spira #3)
  • The Infinite Tower (The Heroes of Spira #4)

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