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(Dargath Chronicles #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Xelnath of the Gnarled Root—a tavern owner, information broker, healer, and guildmaster of the Blackwind Company—has found a place, far better than the forest from which he came in the magical metropolis and city-state of Lladad in the Magiian Empire.

When a simple act of kindness draws the ire of a troubled assassin, his love-stricken Archmage father and an army of magica
Paperback, First Edition , 440 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Independently published (first published March 23rd 2019)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  63 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Sep 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
“I’m just a modest tavern owner and mediocre healer caught in the middle of these nasty politics, ‘ight?”

Xel is a Renaissance Orc in new land… tavern keeper, knowledgable in medicines, and leader of the Blackwind Company. On a typical day, he heals the sick, manages the bar menu, and takes on a new job for his crew. His background and his status as a relative newcomer in the city proves to be both a blessing and a curse as he wades into the deep political positioning of the royals and mages alik
Apr 06, 2020 rated it liked it
A good solid 3 stars, for this, loved the character, good use of his self doubt made him flawed.

Well worth reading.

Only one thing, there’s too much happening with regard to the environment as the characters are wandering around the city and the like.

Looking forward to reading my of this authors books.
Dave Deickman
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tavern is such an incredible and important novel in the fantasy genre! Tavern is a well-written original with a colorful setting, memorable characters, and clever witty banter that many fantasy writers struggle to achieve. This book was refreshing, original, and a book that i feel answered the desperate call to break the usual mold. The plot was thick and flowed with elegence and while the book was colorful and full of lightheartedness, the danger felt immersively real.
I sincerely look forward t
Jon Adams
SPFBO5 book. DNF at 28%. Waaaay too descriptive. No rating since I didn't finish.
G.M. Nair
Jun 16, 2020 rated it liked it

I struggled with Tavern. It's a very well-written book, and has an incredibly well-built world that is rich in lore and detail, but throughout my read it often felt like it was way too much and often in the wrong places for my taste.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't read a whole lot of fantasy, so a lot of it might have just been my expectations, but given the style of story and the large cast of characters, I felt like there was way too much detail in the world-building and descripti
Sonia P
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book! I definitely look forward to the next one!
I'm gonna start off by saying I really enjoyed this book. This is a difficult review to write because of the fact that many of the reasons I loved it I can't tell about due to spoilers, so I'll try to do it justice without actually talking about some of my favorite bits.

The book is the story of Xel; tavern owner, guildmaster, spymaster, and orc. Yes, our main character is an orc! Also, I really like that our main character is asexual (this is referred to later in the story though it isn't a plot
Melissa Jane
May 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
After this book had such a high rating, my expectations were great. They were not met. I loved the MC being an orc, yet quickly grew to despise his continual internal self negative monologue. Also, his glimpses of his past were very rarely complete and just irked me. I also felt a disconnect with some of his Guild members and so called best friends. They were described well, but for about half of them, the actions between them and the MC were stilted. I wanted more action and less mystery, but t ...more
Anna K Lobdell
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it.

Just finished reading this, and I can't wait for more from this author! It's now well past my bedtime, and I'm all hyper and giddy from reading such a good story. Definitely getting a physical copy to add to my collection ASAP!
(Temporarily?) Dropped @ 35%. I wanted to give this book a fair go, it sounded really good and it is a book with a diverse and uncommon protagonist, but 35% in and I can't say there's anything that's really interesting me, that's really driving me to speed through this book. Or anything particularly compelling.

This was a free copy received from Voracious Readers.

"Don't feel inferior when someone achieves something higher than you. Learn and overcome. Never forget your own progress."

Tavern is a
Ernest Russell
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy a good fantasy and an author who can twist tropes just enough to make the story interesting. The main character in Tavern, Xelnath of the Gnarled Root Clan, or Xel, is such a relatable character, full of flaws and self-doubt. A stout heart, loyal to his friends, and genuinely wants to protect his adopted home. All of this and he is not above using its secrets to make a living. He faces adversity despite his anxieties and depression while maintaining a positive feel to the story. Y ...more
Rebel @Elusiveink
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: indie-authors
I was offered a free copy of Tavern in exchange for a review!

A big, fat, juicy fantasy with a fantastic cast of characters (even if they're a little difficult to keep track of) and packed full of worldbuilding and detail.

For people who love fantasy, there are some really bloody cool elements and some really great lines that I just had to stop reading and highlight - and then sit and think about for a while. The different orc clans, for example, and the individual cultures and characteristics of
Emmet Moss
Jun 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Deston J. Munden caught me a little by surprise with his novel, Tavern. I can admit that I have rarely, if ever, found myself interested in stories built around an Orc character as the main protagonist. I have nothing against the idea, it was just not in my usual comfort zone. Xelnath was captivating from the opening sequence and it was fascinating to find my footing with him and his inner thoughts. There are hints to events in the past that lead me to believe that there is far more story here t ...more
Christopher Barber
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's rare I am able to dig right into a fantasy featuring things outside my normal reading of a strict focus on dragons. "Tavern" was able to provide me with a wonderful surprise element to start off with, in who the races of the world shape your overall look of the story as a whole. You wouldn't realize it at first, but it's a unique break away from the standard fair of traditional fantasy stories for sword and sorcery. The main character Xelnath or "Xel" as well as the group of people he come ...more
Amy B
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing premise that could have benefitted from some strict editing. To me there were three main issues.

My first issue is that the same sequence of events seems to happen over and over again. The main character underestimates his abilities, meets mentor/enemy/friend, and then gets praised by said mentor/enemy for being impressive/important, and if it’s an enemy there is an extra step of trying to bring them over to the light. Repeat like 10 times, sometimes back to back. The insecurity of
Margaret Adelle
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
The author described this to me as a D&D slice of life high fantasy and you can very obviously see that. Xelnath is a very unique protagonist, an orc with severe self esteem struggles. And the interactions with his guild, his "found family" were adorable. There was a very light-hearted tone for the whole thing. I could almost imagine a group of friends sitting around a table, rolling for initiative.

A lot of the plot reads almost like a series of short stories, a tense scene necessary to the plo
Virginia Serna
Deston's worldbuilding is wonderful. His hero,Zel, is a good example of a good person that has fought to and still is trying to overcome the slings and arrows of a person that did not fit into the society he was born to.
It is well, written and I was pulled into LLadad from the first chapter. The descriptions of the weather, the cities and regions made the story real from the beginning. The best part is the character development of all of the important characters and their relation to Zel and th
Mar 23, 2020 rated it liked it
The author created a fascinating world with interesting explanations of the magic and people within it. This fantasy story is heavy on navigating political intrigue and situations, making it a different kind of fantasy novel. It does get dense in places, making it better to skim those pages than to read every little detail - this mostly had to do with including background information that while interesting, really hampered the flow of the story.

There are a significant number of typos in this wor
Jul 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Tavern is a unique fantasy that follows the (mis)adventures of a well dressed orc and his crew. While the writing was oftentimes verbose and overwhelming, Xel is a mostly likable character and Munden's world-building is intricate. I would have preferred a more concise plot and a deeper dive into the friendships of Blackwind Company as the friendships felt a bit weird and disjointed at times. There were points when I had to push myself through... I'm all about self-depreciating humor and surprisi ...more
Lillian Wakulchyk
Apr 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I received this book from Voracious Readers, I found this to be very descriptive and lots of world and creature/character building . Pretty neat world and I liked the fact it was written from the viewpoint of an orc, which was an enjoyable surprise as they are usually the villains . Yes there was hijinks and haberdashery but all in all good book to read !
Larry Shirley
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great story

The is long and winding story that unfolds itself slowly, little by little. You gain little insight here and there people of the story, but never really get the full story about them. In this story :)
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book! Loved the story, could've used more backstory and information on some players in the game! Excited for the 2nd book!!
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful fantasy tale of every kind of creature imaginable. With a Orc for a hero there's no way this story couldn't interest and draw you in. Beautifully written and terrific read.
Mar 13, 2020 rated it liked it
This was an okay book, not the best but certainly not the worst. If you enjoy fantasy definitely give it a try. I received a complimentary copy of this book through Voracious Readers Only.
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book start to finish! Xelnath is forced to fill many different roles to accomplish his goals and is up against advisories that he considers far above himself. The psychological battle Xel fights with them, aswell as himself, keep me engaged and turning the page. The actions scenes are plentiful and well written. The characters vary from lovable ane interesting to pitiful and down right despicable with the main members of his guild being much needed support to Xel throughout the jour ...more
Natasha Kane
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deston Munden sets up an amazing ensemble cast of characters led by an extremely endearing orc (not something you see often too, an orc as our main hero and protagonist!). Xel is a strong character who feels very real and leans on his friends when he needs to but can hold his own...even if it takes some convincing that he is good enough to do so! There's also a nice bit of different types of representation in this book as well ranging from POC, WOC, LGBTQIA, and neurodivergent characters! The ma ...more
Nighat Jahangeer
It is a unique epic fantasy and an Imaginative magical world that has so many elements to love.
It is construction of imaginative world with variety of races, kingdoms and politics. The lifetime journey of hope and determination that is full of twists and turns.
Easy language with well explained events and a magical world. Totally different types of characters are introduced and use the idea of self realization.
This is a pure fantasy book.Recommended to all those who wants to enjoy a life in an ot
Joseph Richardson
Very enjoyable read

The book flows well, has a good plot, and interesting characters. Few tiny typos here and there, but nothing that interrupted how much I enjoyed this book. Looking forward to the next one.
Jason Leach
Good story mediocre writing

The story is pretty good, however the editing needs some work. Looking forward to seeing if the next in the series has improved.
rated it it was ok
Aug 31, 2019
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Deston “D.J.” Munden is a fantasy and science fiction author, living near the Outerbanks of North Carolina. Somewhere in the vague realm of his late twenties and early thirties, he lives with his brother in a small house in the woods where he taught himself how to imagine and write down worlds with orcs, swords, and magic (and sometimes mutants and spaceships). When he’s not writing, he’s playing ...more

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