Legend of the Storm Hawks by L.H. Leonard (Rootstock Saga; 1)


Someday soon, your world will end. Ending is not as final as it sounds. Our world has ended before. When it does, be patient. Those of your time will linger and watch new cycles unfold. Some will walk this spinning blue rock again. A few will shape its destiny.

Get lost in the story. The richly detailed fantasy adventure you’ve been looking for is here. Stunning world-building. Sweeping cast of unforgettable characters. A riveting saga of the magic evolving in us all. Perfect for fans of George R. R. Martin, Brent Weeks, and Brandon Sanderson.

Legend of the Storm Hawks introduces the Rootstock Saga, four novels all due to release in 2020. Not a light read, this is serious fantasy for serious fantasy fans. Set on a future Earth, our own history echoes from the shadows. Adversity awakens gifts in this tale of evolution and survival. Science meets fantasy in a burgeoning of psychic and psionic power, and the mindgifted struggle with bigotry, abuse, theocracy, gender roles, climate change, and the temptations of power and privilege. Their intricately interwoven POV voices and plots converge in a long, rewarding end game.

A master player convinces the pawn the move is its own. Nigel has been at the game longer than most, but lately the pawns keep turning into rogue knights. It’s damned inconvenient of them, considering the world is about to end again.

The Watchers will soon declare this cycle over, as they have so many cycles before, shrugging off yet another rise and fall of humankind, and giving the dragons another turn at dominion.

I received this book from the author via Reedsy for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.


A world that takes place years in the future, yet it feels like a historical novel with it’s clans, livelihoods, and castles.

When this fantasy world is called “richly detailed”, there is no doubt at all in the accuracy of that statement. Also, when said to be a “serious fantasy” for “serious fantasy lovers”, don’t question that either, it’s a pretty serious novel, in that it is intensely detailed.

I’m not going to lie, I thought I was in the category of “serious fantasy lovers” until I tried to wrap my head around this book. I felt as if I was trying to learn an entirely new theology while just trying to understand what was going on in the story. I’m not kidding, I needed a pen and paper to write down the characters and who they were connected to. I would have benefited from a print out of the map (I am glad that there was a map included in the book, but it’s not easy to get to on kindle). And I could have used a booklet for other miscellaneous notes that I would have liked to take.

I had originally started listening to the book on audio, but about 15 chapters in, I was so lost. I think it was the narrator’s different accents that threw me through a loop. They were spectacular, but I couldn’t understand a lot of the dialogue between characters and I was having a hard enough time understanding the story world, so I dropped the audiobook and completely started the book over on my kindle.

On reading through those first chapters again, on my kindle, I was still pretty lost but I was able to grasp enough understanding to push forward. I’ve read enough books to know that sometimes it takes a while to untangle the webs and make sense of things, so I wasn’t going to give up easily. I made it to, according to my kindle, 64% into the book. And I was STILL more lost than a goose in a snowstorm. This is a 568 page book. That’s a good deal into the book to still be lost.

I really feel like this is a good story, from the little bit I have been able to follow, and the writing is really beautiful. But it seems like every time I started to get a hold of something, someone came along and completely shattered what I thought I understood. There were so many angles and other stories going on at once that I really don’t know what the MAIN plot is supposed to be. Maybe it’s supposed to be like that? If it is, I’m not fond of not being able to follow a story line for that long. There were so many characters too. Man, I think I knew like, 4, well enough to not panic when their names were listed at the top of the chapter. I had such a hard time distinguishing and remembering all of the characters because sometimes the characters only appeared once, or they only appeared once every fifteen or twenty chapters, and I just couldn’t follow all of the little trails.

I hate to give up on a story, but I feel as if maybe I missed something important in the beginning, or I’m just not focused enough to understand? I don’t know. I really enjoy fantasy as a genre and I’ve read some doozies before, but I have really struggled with Legend of the Storm Hawks. I’d like to start it over again in the future (let’s try a print copy next time so I can reference the map more easily??) because I really do feel like once everything clicks for me I’ll like it, but for now, it’s going to have to be set aside so my brain can un-muddle itself.

So I don’t know whether to recommend it or not, I’m really unsure if I’m just not quite the fantasy lover that I thought I was or if this book is overboard. So I would say give this book a shot if you want a thorough, mind-boggling fantasy and come brag to me if you were able to follow it!

I really didn’t come across any content that turned me away. There was little to no cursing, sexual content was spoken of and demonstrated mildly (usually the “camera” panned away before getting detailed), and the action/gore was present, but minimal. A trigger warning that I do want to mention is fatherly abuse and mention of scars, though there are no scenes (outside of nightmares) actually portraying that.

So, I’ll be giving Legend of the Storm Hawks 2 out of 5 stars and I do intend to try to reread it. I have grasped enough of the story to be intrigued, but at this point, finishing the book with so much still not understood and me not being able to recall who characters are or what significance certain places or religions are, I feel that finishing the book now would only result in me being more confused or even unsatisfied at the end. So, I intend to start it over completely and give it another shot when I’m more prepared to study it completely, but as of right now, I’ve got to take a break from it and read a chic-flick or something lol.

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