Review: Foundation For The Lost by Scott Rhine

 

Title: Foundation For The Lost

Author: Scott Rhine

Published: July 2011

Synopsis: No good deed goes unpunished. A Kabbalah magician, Aaron Walker has devoted the last hundred years of his life to his Foundation, a charity that helps widows, orphans, and the stranger in the land. It doesn’t get much stranger than the Lost: male witches who don’t have parents to train them in the arts. Now, corporate wizards are trying to kill him, and he has no idea why.  With a handful of former students, he hops from one hidden enclave of cultural magic to another, hoping to survive long enough to contact the witches of New Salem. But the assassins don’t scare Aaron as much as the price the witch Rose demands for her aid–to father a child. To keep his magic and save the world, he must remain a virgin. Merodak, the demon, offers a way out but he’s a pathological liar with a twisted sense of humor.

Status: Read from February 25 to 27, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

The premise of Foundation Of the Lost immediately interested me when I was approached to review the book but wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I was a little intimidated by the length (424pgs) for a self published novel but decided to give it a chance and I am glad I did. Foundation for the Lost is an entertaining and inventive urban fantasy that has it all, magic, action, romance, political intrigue, religion, comedy and adventure. Aaron Walker has dedicated his life to saving The Lost, those who possess the ability to do magic and require a mentor to develop and control it. For over a hundred years he has operated unmolested but now someone is trying to kill him and he discovers he has become a pawn in a political game that he must win to survive.

The Foundation of the Lost has quite an ambitious and complex plot but Rhine exhibits skilful mastery over it. Essentially Aaron, with the help of some friends, old and new, must win a complicated real life game of chess crossed with paintball. That Aaron has no idea what he has been unwillingly drawn into leaves him able to do little other than defend himself, luckily that is something Aaron is good at. But by default his friends and allies also become game pieces and they need to find a way to take control and figure out their enemies end game. Despite its length, the story storms ahead from the first page, and barely pauses for breath. There is plenty of action, both magical and physical, and while I did think the pace could have been tightened a little more, it never really lagged.
I liked Aaron’s character, a moral man, both a wizard and quasi-Jewish, he is committed to doing the right thing in all instances. Wynn was probably my favourite character, a young man just coming into his power, he provides some light relief and his goofiness is endearing. Aaron and Wynn team up with various personalities on the quest, not the least Rose, though Aaron is not quite sure if she is friend or foe, or something more.

The Foundation for the Lost is a well written and creative fantasy. Sure to be enjoyed by fans of the genre, I think it would appeal slightly more to male readers but if you enjoy the Dresden series or your own place at a fantasy gaming table then The Foundation For The Lost is worth a read.

About the Author

Scott Rhine reads voraciously and enjoys spending time with his family, writing, and solving puzzles. As a computer programmer for the last two decades for major corporations and universities, he holds several patents. An Air Force brat and techno gypsy, he has lived in or visited almost every state in the US. He highly recommends that every college student joins American Youth Hostels and sees Europe on a youth bus pass. Scott Rhine writes fast paced Science Fiction and Fantasy with tinges of detective, humor, and romance thrown in.

Find Scott Rhine

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The Foundation For The Lost is Available To Purchase

@Amazon {Kindle & print} I @Smashwords I @Createspace

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