It was a suggestion by the author Al Romeo that I do a review of his book and I wanted to personally thank him for even letting me know of a book which frankly I think is in short amazing. All the while reading this book when I think it’s going to go one way. It goes off to in a direction that is completely unexpected, and that is the best thing I can say about The Tail of the Order of the Blue Maiden. It doesn’t follow the same old cliches used in other books. For example, the girl wanted to be kidnapped, the hero has to think of his family and his own personal safety before rescuing the fair maiden. Find a mysterious castle that is too good to be true. Very few books and even fewer authors literally have the guts to try something the reader isn’t expecting. Like 2 fair damsels beating the crap out a group of Squires. In short, this book is fantastic.
Now since the more or less, a spoiler-free review is over. Keep in mind there is a lot I am leaving out, a lot of personal stories that last less than 1 chapter that literally would require their own review to get into more detail. Seriously if you want to know more get a copy of the book and read it yourself.
I am writing this review in my own style, let’s say I took advice from a book.
It all starts out focusing on a rider and entering a world, not unlike Game of Thrones with some obvious differences of course when it turns this rider was the dream of a servant named Ayan who labors like a slave for the Cossaro family.
We discover that Ayan seems to be the butt of every joke, but yet someone we want to see lives out his dreams. Not stand there shivering after someone threw a bucket of ice-cold water over his head.
Until Julietta (his mother) comes to the rescue and defends her son. We also meet Rando (his brother) But when a pair of beggars arrive at the door of the kitchen we learn of land Ayan and his family originates and how it is begin ruled to the ground by it’s very disagreeable master.
We soon learn of Rhyuus (Ayan’s Father how just happens to be a brewer), Baron Bravato who helps out the less fortunate and of their god Griol, and of Guider Giovan (their holy man). Meanwhile, Ayan is studying their faith while wishing he was a knight. Which seems him lacking of a tail and of not being noble of birth makes him ineligible.
Ayan eventually finding himself at Wulveraken castle has a brief encounter with Princess Mieu and her magic lair in the sewer. Before seeking into a training session of young squires who are eager to become a knight and of how his eagerness gets him into trouble later.
Despite some setbacks, he manages to hold his own against the other students.
And Ayan’s own personal doubts that Knighthood was all it was cracked up to be. When his true identity is revealed, and he gets punished for his misdeed.
Later while walking outside the city wall he runs into his brother who we learn will soon be going to college. Meanwhile, his life is seemly going nowhere or is it. Then suddenly Ayan and his good friend Jon ran into Earon Deacon. Which then leads to The Seventh Day Bandits and Princess Mieu being kidnapped by them. More or less willingly. But the story then takes a darker turn as we learn this world is not all that peaceful, as there are refugees, slavers as well an uneasy peace with this one Duke Deseo DeLasombra, a man who we learn Mieu’s Grandmother wanted Mieu to marry. But the same man who destroyed Mieu’s homeland.
Then out of the blue, the story takes a very strange turn. Giant Grim Reapers and Angels as well as demons…not to forget a long-lost legendary sword called “Shadowgleam”. Being taken to a different dimension only to return to see a battle among them destroyed his family’s home….which as it turns out was only a nightmare. But when Guider Giovan says later, “Dreams are visions of the future” You wonder where this will take the characters in the story. Like when Ayan discovers that Shadowgleam now inhabits the wooden toy sword he always carries.
Then Mieu leaves the Hideout of the Seventh Day Bandits. Not to make her escape but more so the way she is, abandoning those around her to travel to a different place and a different adventure. Besides she didn’t want to be forced into the marriage especially with a man she hates.
It wasn’t to an ill-fated attempt at suicide that Mieu calls for her giant frog Knappis that they travel to a far distant land. Which holds a castle with seemly no way to enter it and a belligerent hermit. Whom after their encounter Mieu seems to found a hidden entrance into the castle. Like the entrance, it seems the castle itself is a magical place. The castle can decorate any room to any design of Mieu’s imagination.
The Drunken Kerfuffle AKA The Eight Liyote Inn seems to be an important place. Because you have Ayan and his friends helping female cousins who own the inn, along with The Seventh Day Bandit going there to meet their client one Guider William there. As soon as they all discover one another that is when the fun begins. Crash, bang, Klunk more of a case of the robbers fleeing for their lives after their client refuses to pay all because Mieu was kidnapped supposedly and that the original robbery didn’t go off all that smoothly.
But it is when it appears that Motlinger one of the Seventh Day Bandits actually captured Ayan and is ready to plunge his dagger straight into his heart. That is when Shadowgleam literally comes out of nowhere and Ayan says he had enough and plunges directly in the heart of the bandit.
Not to kill him, but make him see everything that he did from every angle. Finally, it was Motlinger himself who called for his capture and arrest why because the reward for him would help out orphans whose pies he destroyed when Shadowglean shot him more than 10 feet backward.
After all, the bandits suddenly take a mad dash except for Molinger. They are eventually captured and placed in a cage in the center of town. As the reward for their capture was being paid out. Countress Cortina arrives (Meiu’s Grandmother) who seems more interesting to recover a stolen item rather than recovering her own granddaughter. Who wants revenge against these thieves so badly she then uses her magic to end the life of the thieves youngest number, Wheelin. But before this could happen Baron Bravato arrives and uses his own magic to prevent the young man from being killed. Meanwhile, Motlinger calls forth Ayan and asks him to find Mieu. It seems the Seventh Day Bandits had taken a pendant which Ayan can use that to find Meiu. Motlinger even tells Ayan where is the key to the chest where that item is hidden.
But as Ayan leaves the scene as he really wants to rescue Meiu. Ayan is confronted by those squires he faced earlier. Who wants to beat the crap out of him for being a thief (as he supposedly stole from the thieves), then take him off to the cage. But as it seems this was going to happen. Then Jon’s female cousins show up and together they beat the snot out of the squires.
Then things happen fast Ayan is invited to see a blacksmith friend on Nextor and is told a remarkable tale that there god Groil who turns out to be both a liar and a thief. But that isn’t all they do confirm Ayan’s toy sword is actually Shadowgleam. Nextor even gives Ayan one of his swords for added protection. Then offers in a weeks time to give his lessons in swordsmanship.
Eventually Ayan and his friends Earon and Jon go out and seek out the thieves pendant. But who knew they would not only wind up being surrounded by soldiers, but soldiers of the Sirce and soon the 2 group battle with Ayan, Earon, and Jon in the middle of this all the while trying to stay alive.
Once the battle is over they are once again on the hunt for that pendant. But it turns out the passage through the thieves hideout is rather complicated and Ayan forgot the directions. After getting totally lost they manage to find a way outside, they agree to rest while trying to get their barrings. When they spot what seems like a giant haystack, which turns out to be a beast called Cacco and after it rips a Sirce soldier apart, the trio then flees for their lives. Which becomes more intense when Cacco comes after them. They just manage to save their own lives after stabbing that beast in the paw. We learn that the beast is owned by Deseo DeLasombra.
Speaking of Mieu we return to that magical castle and it seems that castle can also change the way things are based on her fears. As the castle seems to want Mieu to marry Deseo DeLasombra double. It was the combined efforts of both Meiu and the hermit she had imprisoned earlier. To get back to reality that when Mieu climbs upon the back of her giant frog Knappis and decides to return to the thieves hideout, the same one Ayan and his friends are attempting to find.
Even as Ayan’s and his friends eventually find the thieves hideout, that things don’t go as plan. First of Cassaro and his 5 Squires who followed Ayan just to get him and his friends in trouble with the law. Next comes a ghost named Lord Capt. Yerlington Bismouth who repeatedly sings this song that he composed, then forces everyone there to singalong and worse yet being forced to dance to that number. Until one of Ayan’s friend’s figure a way out of this mess, that they free themselves. But before we can figure out what will happen next Mieu arrives.
Worse yet Mieu is downright pissed off after seeing the Thieves Hideout almost destroyed by their efforts to free themselves. She is mad at all of them, and maybe herself after learning of the thieves plight. That is when she admits there is nothing that she can do. Her Grandmother is far to powerful, and she won’t marry a man that destroyed her homeland. In fact the only thing she can do is runaway. So calling forth a magical Knight, she joins him on his horse and flys away.
Meanwhile, to discourage anyone from following her she calls forth her frog Knappis to attack everyone in the hideout. It seems Mieu has her reasons but she is confused like Ayan who had admitted he loved Mieu and all have gotten in return is a giant frog swallowing squires whole. It is all they can do to defend themselves as Knappis is willing to destroy what is left of the hideout to go after them.
After a series of adventures, Ayan and company were made a prisoner of the forces of The Duke. But later freed by the mysterious Claw and the Forest Fighters.
Meanwhile, Holm and Mieu talk where we learn that Cacco is simply not a beast, but in reality, a demigod held prisoner by the evil Deseo. A battle ten takes place to free Cacco, but it seems both the magic castle and Mieu’s own magic is not enough to break the spell.
Eventually, they are taken to the treetops where they find a village of both refugees and of rebels. As the trio is quickly introduced to Talon and Claw when they and their fellow former captives are brought into this auditorium to listen to the facts of their current situation.
We find out that Talon is the blacksmith and Claw is Ayan’s mother Juliette.
Meanwhile, Mieu finds herself on Artagoneil of the Harvest Moon which as it turns out is a moon of her own planet. Also home to Cacco, speaking of which Holm sends Mieu into a cave to possibly find something to break the spell that him prison, but Meiu only finds memories.
While back at the treetop village Ayan and his friends leave to find stolen magical devices. While Juliette attempts to stop them, she spots a spy and soon gives chase.
Meanwhile back with Ayan and his friends, they run into Sir Cossa and his men who are sneaking into a camp of the enemy as they have discovered the hiding place of the refugees.
As a fight takes place between Sir Cossa and the enemy Ayan sneaks his way into the enemy encampment and the cook. This is where Ayan makes a sickening discovery it seems this enemy feeds upon the Sirce for there food and finds Knappis captured by them and is ready to be sliced up for their table. Ayan then uses Shadowgleam to free Knappis, the Sirce and finally himself.
Jon and Prynn find a crystal cylinder on the desk of Dordoza. soon lead to confrontation and all of them falling into a river they could not get out of that lead to a waterfall. Before the pink tongue of Knappis rescued them leaving Sir Cossa last.
Meanwhile, Mieu askes Holm a series of questions about her future. We also find out that Holm actually made the medallion that is used to control Cacco.
Dordoza gets an update from a fellow soldier, all the while plans are being made to invade the refugee camp in the treetops.
Then a third army arrive it’s the Sirce, as soon as they meet they bring up long-standing issues between the 2 of them. But soon join the battle when Cacco starts tearing them apart under the commands of its master Deseo. Who Knappis aims for with its tongue trying to knock him out of the battle.
Soon Ayan and Deseo face each other in battle, we soon discover Deseo not only doesn’t have a tail like Ayan. But also he covets Ayan’s sword Shadowgleam which Ayan uses against Siouxe. Deseo claims by rights it should belong to him. After which, Ayan flees on Knappis soon joined by his companions. Meanwhile, Deseo has climbed aboard Cacco and gives chase.
Knappis just barely makes it over a canyon. All the while Deseo orders Cacco to follow. But Cacco isn’t up for the task and falls, which only compounds a previous injury of Deseo’s when a part of a spear moves towards his vital organs and he screams out in pain.
Deseo is soon captured by Claw who wishes to take him, prisoner.
Ayan and his friends now find themselves outside of a castle. As Ayan dreams about, it seems his friends had been speaking with Holm who tells them this castle is magic and won’t let them in unless they enter politely. It takes a couple of tries but when they finally enter and discover Mieu. Who Ayan is determined to rescue. But is challenged by a sudden appearance of a Red Knight.
Who them lands an axe right between Ayan’s eyes. The ironic twist is that he winds up in a ball pit, except the balls are actually small bones. As soon as he is joined by Jon and Earon they notice a sign, 2 signs, in fact, one marked “Alive” the other “Dead”. Really this then plays out like a video game, they die they wind up in the pit again, win they win a prize against the enemy they faced and move on to the next battle. Meanwhile, Mieu is acting like a helpless maiden. This then concludes to the Final Battle with the Knight himself.
Now get this even though the trio lived it Mieu dreamed it and was rather surprised when she saw that same trio in the castle, who was surprised themselves when the discovered the knight was just an empty shell. But Mieu does catch sight of her doppelganger who fades into nothing when Mieu tries to face her.
The moment Ayan opens his eyes he wonders if he is in a dream. Trapped in a cylindrical well, abandoned by both parents. Until winged angel arrives using her lyre to create orbs with Ayan uses to escape.
The angel turns out to be Mieu and they visit their friend’s dreams.
When Ayan finally awakens and finds Mieu in bed with him he really doesn’t expect to get slapped. But after they crete an understanding they talk about everything, including Ayan’s ability to speak to the Gods which Meiu was trained for. Ayan learns once again that despite what he has been told Groil usurp his place among the gods and if he had a chance would destroy everything. Naturally, Ayan cannot believe what Mieu tells him.
But when they find a body, which turns out to be an older version of Mieu. Ayan turns to the version he knows for answers…which she has none.
Then suddenly Ayan find himself cylindrical well, with Jon and Earon standing nearby. Meanwhile, Mieu is throwing magical balls of light at her doppelganger as Ayan stuggles to save his own life as he is being dragged in to a coffin. Jon and Earon think this is another dream. But Mieu assures them all this is real. With the help of Shadowgleam Ayan makes a last-minute escape just as the Lich aka Wulven go on the attack as the castle seemly destroys itself. Sucking itself through a pair of doors. The 4 just barely escapes as the last of the castle goes through those doors.
Later they all talk about recent events to get caught up to the same level. Then they start looking for Knappis and to everyone’s horror, they find Cacco eating what is left. All the while Deseo gloats as he joins Cacco in the feast. Even though they all are heartbroken they soon go on the attack. Just as it looks like they could win Deseo captures them one by one.
As Deseo takes Mieu away to be his bride, she believes Ayan and the other died by Deseo’s own hand.
Meiu is then brought on the back of Cacco to a military base set below the trees where the refugees had taken shelter. The attacks go well for Deseo and his men. Things just go from bad to worse to even sickening bad when Cacco joins the battle. Countess refugees die, seeing this along with being carried by Cacco makes Meiu violently ill. Somewhere between vomiting and the purest hate she feels for Deseo she manages, even though her hands are bound tight to produce balls of pure energy. Which not only knocks Deseo off of his ride but allows her to escape.
Being trained in the ways of the Gods Mieu knows there is only 1 and only 1 solution to this to go to the heart of the tree and call for the goddess of the forest to not only free Cacco but defeat those who are now destroying the forest. After a momentary run-in with the Black Knight, she is shown the way.
Meantime Ayan crawls for help after realizing he was going nowhere, and that he is in a place between his world Roan and Heaven/ Hell. Then suddenly through a swirling void, the Massive Armored God Griol appears before him now demanding the amulet Mieu gave him.
After he refuses and Griol attempts to take it then Mieu the Angel like Goddess appears and soon they do battle. Mieu flying around Griol on her wings shotting out bolts of energy from her hands as Ayan holds on tight.
But as Ayan loses his grip, we then turn to his companions Earon and Jon both are near death and regret that they never lived life as they expected.
Then as seemly everyone dies they suddenly appear in that ball pit. As soon as it hits them what they and us has experienced they find themselves laughing happy that they are all well and very much alive.
Meanwhile, the battle between the refugees and Deseo forces intensifies
While back at the castle Ayan and company seriously talk over what has happened and they come to one conclusion if they go into battle unprotected they all will wind up very seriously dead.
I call the author Al Romeo a genius for coming up with the idea for this. But after a few events which are very hard to describe fairly. The castle turns into a high tech Mech with them at the controls. Which isn’t a good thing as later the mech slips and falls into some mud in their path to the battle.
Which they soon join with all it’s firey balls of burning sap, arrows, flying and Cacco killing anyone who gets near. Then the Mech arrives then it’s a battle between Deseo, the mech, and Cacco. The Claw loses a hand, but Meiu releases their suffering.
When it looks like the mech is going to get the upper paw. It is on the ground being attacked by Cacco, Deseo makes his way inside headed straight for the Control Room.
Hold on you’re about to go on one incredible ride…
We start with Mieu and Deseo seemly battling to the death inside the mech. All the while Cacco is beating the crap out of the mech and at one point actually tares off one of it’s arms. Mieu manages to capture Deseo not once but twice. The later time even though Mieu is trying to kill him Deseo still proclaims his love toward Mieu.
Frankly, I don’t get that either…
Meanwhile, Ayan has slipped out of the control room and manages to find Mieu and Deseo battling. But by now everything is so topsy-turvy inside the mech Ayan is standing on the ceiling all the while the battle takes place below him. As much as he wants to strike Deseo he is just out of reach.
Now for the good stuff…
As Deseo gets closer and closer to Mieu, she suddenly surrenders just as it seems Cacco is about to rip the mech wide open. Ayan had figured out how to get down. As Deseo goes to kisses Mieu, she manages to rip off Deseo’s amulet that controls Cacco all the while Ayan manages to stab him with his sword “Shadowgleam” with the hope of seeing what crimes he had committed turn Deseo from bad to good. But all Deseo does is a laugh, as Ayan sees one horror after another that Deseo has committed and thoroughly enjoys reliving. But when he begs for Ayan not to reveal his past wherein Deseo’s own father committed on trauma on top of another that would make anyone insane with evil. That Deseo actually starts to cry as he relives his own past.
Then suddenly an opening appears behind Deseo and he is flung out of the mech. When that happened Mieu yells to Ayan that he must destroy that amulet that controls Cacco. He does but Cacco is still on the attack.
Mieu then winds up eventually in the control room and activates something nobody but her seemed to see. A button that repairs the mech, which she presses. As Ayan joins them Cacco seemed to has lost his mind. But then it turns out with Earon at the controls who literally wants revenge against Cacco for the lives of his own family that wulven has taken.
We suddenly discover that the chains that hold the amulet on Cacco is taring him apart. Burning into his flesh that beast with murdered untold numbers is going to die. All the while Earon battles his own feelings vs Mieu sitting there next to him insisting that he save Caccos life.
The mech then draws it’s fiery blade as the mech gets closer and closer. Will Cacco survive?
This question I will not answer. That would be a HUGE spoiler and frankly, my own description of events does not do this chapter justice.
Well anyway after what happens every living creature finds themselves cheering as the war is over.
The mech turns back into a stationary castle. All the while Ayan and the others are both happy, surprised and even a little disappointed.
You have to read that for yourself to explain why.
Ayan and the others finally leave the castle only to Deseo who by now wants to die. But when Cacco arrives on the scene and actually apologizes that he had no control over his own actions. Yes minus the amulet that once controlled him Cacco could talk all this time. But interesting enough Cacco has a rather unique solution to the Deseo problem. That takes Deseo back to his home on their moon and let him think about what he had done for the rest of his life. There was zero chance that Deseo could ever escape. More or less they agree it’s the right thing to do. So Cacco swallows Deseo, not to eat him. But it seems Cacco can store anyone safely in his stomach to be expelled at a later time.
Speaking of time they finally remember the Seventh Day Bandits and how they were to be executed today by the Countess. Cacco then agrees to take them all on a rescue mission. But the execution doesn’t turn out as plans as much as both Mieu and Ayan try to convince the Countess otherwise. The Countess wishes to continue on with it. But this time Cacco had a surprise one even bigger than the one before. Cacco frees the bandits and underfire runaway with them.
If you survived a war the effects of seeing countless people die and of all those faces of those you killed will haunt you. As the story now focuses on Ayan and Jon they are feeling it, when they go see Durgess. I forgot to mention earlier that Durgess’ son Earon disappeared during all that mayhem. But only to find the Durgess home emptied.
Later when they return to town after a good night sleep and a couple of good meals at the Eight Liyote Inn they encounter 2 of Baron Bravato’s knights and ask that they come with them.
Both Ayan and Jon think the worse as they encounter every royal they ever encounter. Everyone from Sir Bravato’s Squires to Sir Cosso himself. But what happens next shocks the pair of them as a reward for them saving their world the Countess gives them a chest filled with gold coins as a reward.
Jon wants to take it all awhile Ayan is racked with guilt over the deaths he caused. Namely the sirce Siouxie and her eggs, whom they also meet there. Meanwhile, Ayan wants to give the chest to Siouxie to try and make things better for her and the sirce.
Which she takes despite Jon’s objections and promptly uses those coins to buy the land the sirce is now occupying.
Sir Cossa later reminds Ayan that he could have bought freedom for him and his entire family for just 40 coins. Which he gave away, as Ayan starts to cry Sir Cossa gloats and in his greatness he misspeaks and suddenly Ayan and his family are free.
Now for the big news, Baron Bravato offers both Jon and Ayan a chance to become real Knights they have to go through the training. Jon says no, but Ayan says yes. Despite having visions of their god Griol and his eternal damnation, instead of pledging his life to the Baron pledges it to Mieu who promptly kisses him. Everyone cheers except for Sir Cossa who storms out of that place.
It is in the epilogue we learn more. Back at the refugee camp in the trees, every single available space has been turned into a makeshift hospital room. This is where we learn from Julietta Ayan’s Mother that Ayan has a destiny and that is to destroy Griol. But we also learn of a prisoner named Muria who Julietta then clubs to death in order to protect her family
A long story isn’t it. I don’t want to say how long it took me to finally finish this. I want to say I did leave stuff and as this went on wrote down only the highlights. But what I said at the beginning of this piece, it is one amazing story and even though it will take time to read. You will be completely satisfied when you finally finished. The Tail of The Order of The Blue Maiden by Al Romero is an amazing story with so many twists and turns you will be frankly unable to out guess which direction the author will take you. Amazing work, and I want to publicly thank the author Al Romero to get to read his story thanks.
You can find it here on Kindle and paperbackHere
There isn’t much left I could say except for a photo of the author
and a link to his YouTube Channel