ILLBORN, Daniel T. Jackson's powerful and gritty debut novel, has been officially published by Troubador on 28th May 2021. The novel is the thrilling opening to the epic fantasy series The Illborn Saga.
ILLBORN is available for purchase NOW, as both a paperback and as an ebook.
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Daniel T. Jackson is on Goodreads. Please see the website address link on this page. I would be grateful for any Goodreads reviews on Illborn.
What an amazing novel! I was gripped from reading the prologue onwards, and after that it was a late-night page-turner. What a great story!
If you like epic fantasy for adults, then this is the kind of novel you will love. Loads of gritty action, and a really interesting cast of grown-up characters. I love politics, war, and intrigue, and I haven’t been able to get enough of that since Game of Thrones ended. This book has all of that.
I read this book (which is over 700 pages) in a week, which shows just how much I enjoyed it. I am going to be recommending this novel to all of my friends, and I definitely recommend that other people read it.
by Jeremy Gray
I just want to put on record how much I loved this book. Great characters, loads of action, and a central mystery which runs through the entire book.
It is an epic fantasy with a story which spans war, religion and politics across a continent. I liked all four of the very different main characters, who develop supernatural abilities, and there are also some great villains.
The writing was of a very high quality, throughout.
I can’t wait to see how this series develops, and I'm already looking forward to a sequel.
by Daniel Barlow
Truly epic fantasy novel - highly recommend
I loved this book. I’m a big fan of truly epic fantasy novels, and there haven’t been enough high quality books like that published in the last few years. Generally, I enjoy fantasy for grown-ups, and this delivered. The plot was gripping from the prologue onwards, with a good mix of heroes (some flawed) and villains. The plot features a mystery of a dream which links the main characters together, and the story also has loads of politics, war, religion and action. It’s certainly epic in scope.
The style of the book reminded me of Game of Thrones, with chapters generally alternating between the perspective of one of the four main characters (two men and two women). Game of Thrones is also probably the best indicator for me of whether you would like this novel. If you liked GOT (which I also loved), then this book is likely to also be for you.
I read Illborn cover to cover (700+ pages) within a couple of days, and that for me indicates just what a good read it was. I would highly recommend this.
Awe-inspiring fantasy at its best!
This book had me gripped from the moment I picked it up and I enjoyed every minute. I’m just hoping that the next book in the series won’t take too long as I am completely invested and need to know what happens to Corin and Agbeth and all the others. It is a truly epic fantasy which has been compared to Game of Thrones but is in no way a copy.
Personally, I think it’s better than GoT. There is the odd brutal moment but the author clearly cares about his characters and rarely lets things get too harrowing. And there are plenty of satisfying moments when our heroes/heroines beat the odds and vanquish their foes. The world is exquisitely crafted and unique. The main characters are likeable despite their flaws.
The plot is clever and intriguing with plenty of twists, turns and surprises. I can’t remember when I last read a book that I enjoyed as much as this. I do hope there will be more soon.
Superb epic fantasy from the first to the last page.
The pace is fluid, whilst giving ample time for great characterization, and the plot arcs weave nicely together towards the conclusion of the book.
All four main characters are well fleshed out, with Corin being my particular favourite, moving from underdog to powerful protagonist over the course of the story. There are plenty of action scenes, thought-provoking exchanges and deserved comeuppances!
A great first novel and one that sets the scene nicely for a gripping series. Roll on the next one!
by Ben Appleton
A truly compelling Opener, really enjoyed this first novel in the series. The author has a fluid writing style combining quality with pace and I could easily visualise the lands, characters and actions depicted. The switching between narrators with differing traits gives the book variety and vibrancy. The next installment can't come out soon enough!
Blown away by this debut fantasy novel
This book centres around 4 characters and as each chapter tells a bit more of their story the intrigue grows as to how their lives will come together and who they really are. I am a fan of fantasy series like those of Tolkien and Goodkind, and compared to others I've read this didn't disappoint. It was exciting, passionate and at times un-putdownable! There wasn't a moment of the book that I didn't enjoy. I now just can't wait for the next book in the series.
It's been a while since I last read an adult fantasy book and I'm so glad I decided to pick this one up. Illborn is Daniel. T. Jacksons debut novel and has one of the best prologues I've ever read. It shook me to the core and having just finished the book the ending did the same.
The story follows four main characters, Corin- the meek, Arion- the warrior, Leanna- the religiously devout and Allana- the lustful. In the year of their 19th birthday they each have a dream, they are standing on top of a mountain, entering a gate. In the dream is themselves and four others. However, none of the four characters have ever met each other before or even know of the others existence. Once this dream has occurred a power is unlocked inside each of them. In a world ruled by Aiduel's guards, a religious sect set out to eliminate heretics and those with magic, survival is key.
The character development in Illborn, particularly in Corin, who quickly became one of my favourite characters was amazing. He and his best friend Agbeth, who was my favourite character, a girl who is physically disabled yet has the courage, loyalty and determination of a queen showed the best character growth.
The format of the book follows each character in turn with most chapters ending right when you want more, a perfect way to keep you turning the page. The story just gets stronger and stronger building tension the further in and my heart was beating fast in those last 100 or so pages. The writing itself flowed beautifully without being flowery or pretentious, but every word fitted perfectly.
This book was a whopping 714 pages long and contained War, corruption, family bonds, fear, betrayal and a will to survive. I am now totally addicted to this series and cannot wait to read book two. I highly recommend this one for a fast paced, page turning time.
I love discovering new gems in the fantasy genre, and "Illborn" is definitely one of them! Five solid stars for a new fantasy series, classic and beautiful!
"Illborn" set in a cruel, medieval-like world gripped by strict religious rules and a code of behaviour. Should you step out of the line and you can be outcasted as a heretic and burned on the pyre. Religious fanatics maintain the order and wish to spread that further to other kingdoms and lands.
There are four main and diverse characters in the book, yet they all united by a strange dream and a set of different supernatural skills they all possess. All four of them were born on a particular date and destined to change tides in the world. Having those powers is a dangerous thing. People like Allana, Arion, Leanna and Corin pursued by Aiduel's Guards for execution.
I loved a different scale of depth in all four characters. Allana, the daughter of a courtesan, has the power of domination and lust. She is a survivor. Even though I questioned her methods to get what she wants, I could understand that she had no other choice but to make complicated decisions to avoid danger for herself. Her storyline is complex and the most interesting to me.
Corin, a member of the Karn clan, can order and control others' minds. He is a nice guy but, in my opinion, very naive. I was screaming while reading his chapters! He has much to learn that breaking long-term traditions will never be an easy choice. I hope to see his growth in future books, but currently, he is doing okay only because he has his powers and amazing pet to assist. Or, he is also a lucky one because he has Agbeth by his side!
Arion, the youngest son of Duke Sepian, possesses the power to win in combat and lead armies toward victory. I think he is yet to demonstrate his best in future books despite his victory in the battle of Moss Ford.
Leanna, a religiously devoted girl, can read emotions and heal people. I think she is the most complicated and deep character with an inner light in her very core. What Leanna had to experience toward the end of the story is just astounded me. I think she is the key to milestones in the future.
I love the medieval setting in a fantasy series. It has its beauty, that charm only a person that appreciates history and fantasy can understand. It was so masterly done as I could imagine the world, places, people and the characters. This book doesn't feel like a writer's debut. This story is so beautifully crafted, and it had hooked me from the beginning. I am certainly interested in reading the rest of the saga!
by Valeriya Lloyd
First impression of this book - OMG it's huge (like War and Peace Huge!) it is going to take FOREVER for me to read it. 6 days people! and that wasn't even spending hours everyday reading it. This is a book, that once you start, you don't want to put it down. I spent the time I wasn't reading, thinking about the book, trying to get things done, so I could get back to it. It was slightly (code for VERY) addictive.
Though, the closer to the end I got, I started to procrastinate a little. I could see those pages dwindling away ans I just wanted it to keep going. This is the first book of a series, so it will. Thank you Daniel Jackson.
This is the story of 4 main characters who all have the same strange recurring dream. They are all born around the same time. That is about where their similarities end. Each character comes from somewhere different and they have no common social status. They don't know each other are not connected in any way. (At first). With each chapter, we get to know each of them, their backgrounds and their life stories.
Each character has a very interesting stand-alone story. But together, it makes it epic.
These characters are wonderful. They all begin as 'underdog' types, overshadowed by someone or something. Their lives are not easy and they each have trails to overcome that shape their lives. There is the warrior, the peacemaker, the religious devotee, the 'circumstances mad me into a criminal' type. They are inherently good and some, at times, are a little on the vengeful and violent side. But you grow to like them all and are totally invested in their stories. I found myself willing them on when they found themselves in unwinnable situations and hoping they would find a way out of them, but how? It was like when you watch a horror movie and you yell at the screen "don't open the door!", wanting them not to do the bad things.
There are also the inherently evil characters, you love to hate. Those who you would yell "BOO!" at when they came on stage in a pantomime show. You REALLY don't like them at all.
This a 'get to know the characters' type of story, but the way you get to know them is beautifully written and so clever. It takes you on their journeys and you feel like you are right beside them as they manoeuvre through the obstacle course of their lives. You feel proud when they achieve good things and so bad when things go so wrong.
The setting of the book is a very medieval fantasy world. As a historical fiction fan, this was right up my alley. The references to Holy Crusades and Knights, appealed to me a great deal. The author has built a vibrant and colourful world for these characters to live in. Each character possesses a mystical, magical power and each is different. So this rounded off everything for me. History, fantasy, magical powers, it was all there in abundance in a beautifully described world of the past.
When I had finished this book, my reaction was "WOW!" . The last chapter and the epilogue both presented twists, I didn't see coming an that really shocked me. The whole book went along pathways, that weren't predictable and added to the mystery and intrigue. It certainly keeps you guessing, right until the end and then some more. What is going to happen now? I can't wait to find out.
So I would say to anyone who is a fantasy or history fan, you will love this book. Don't be in any way. put off by the size of the book when you get it. It couldn't have been any smaller. This is a big story, full of very big characters and significantly huge events that shape their lives. You will get through the book in no time and be waiting eagerly for the next one, like me.
Thank you to Daniel Jackson for suggesting I read this book. So glad you did.
by Leaha Hosking
I started reading Illborn by Daniel T. Jackson recently and it is one of the most fantastic debuts i've read and i'm glad this is going to be a full series. I went into this book with no prior knowledge of anything but what intrigued me was size of the book - i do enjoy a behemoth fantasy story. This doesn't take away from the story Jackson set out to tell and i was left wanting more by the end.
This is a story about love, lust, betrayal and conflict. Our characters confront an ethereal Gate which haunts their visions whilst wondering how this connects to their new-found, potentially heretical abilites.
There are multiple POV characters that we experience this world through: Corin, Leanna, Allana and Arion. These characters interlink as the events of different parts are influential on each story. The strength of Jackson creating these characters that we care for is incredible and handled extremely well. These characters carried the book and whilst more could have been done to expand on the setting, the lack of action was certainly not downplayed when the characters were as interesting as these.
There are certain religious aspects that i'm unsure if i can offer a perspective to. I'm not particularly religious and it plays a big part here however whilst this was a massive plot point it never unnerved myself or put me off. If anything it made the story more interesting showing how the characters and surroundings played into certain beliefs.
The characters were undoubtedly the strength of this story and the mystery of visions and religion helped push the story forward to a strong debut. I enjoyed every moment of this and definitely recommend it. It can be brutal yet wondrous and i can't wait until book 2 offers so much more. The way that Jackson kept me enticed with the story, the writing and the characters stuck with me and this is strongly recommended for those looking for a new series.
I was completely and utterly blown away by this debut fantasy. Jackson is a master storyteller sucking me in from the prologue. This book has all the makings of high fantasy without the need to drone on for pages about how the sunset looked on a particular night. The dialogue and the style of writing was absolutely brilliant. I honestly can’t believe this is a debut. Illborn reads like a well established experience writer. Switching soo many points of view usually leads me to not have a string of attachments to characters however this has the opposite effect. It was done superbly and has me reading long into the night because i just did not want to stop reading.
I do believe Corin and Agbeth have taken place as my favorites. Seeing as they were the underdogs who have to overcome soo many obstacles. Allana I am on the fence about as well as Arion… but time will tell. Leannas story was heart wrenching and my pulse was pounding towards the end of this book soo hard I was sure others could hear it.
Needless to say I 100% would recommend everyone who enjoys fantasy to pick this one up immediately. Give this author all of the support he needs. Because you will immediately need the next book in this series… I honestly do not know how I will possibly be able to wait for the next one.
Original review: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/book/228878/review/628805
by NetGalley review
Another great read and great new name in fantasy. This is crazy how many pop out in the recent years! This one as amazing characters, great world and very immersive and engaging story! I will continue on this series. Don't know how long I will have to way but I will be here waiting!
Original review: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/book/228878/review/732304
by NetGalley review
This is a wonderfully written, fast paced, action packed medieval set fantasy book and I can not believe this is a debut novel.
It's written so beautifully with fantastic world building and unforgettable characters. This novel had 700 plus pages and I finished it in three days. I just couldn't put it down. Absolutely gripped from page one where you meet the healer to the last page.
The four main characters are from different backgrounds and develop different powers but they come together for a greater purpose. I liked the way each characters had their own stories to begin with and how they learn about themselves.
I'm a huge fan of epic fantasy novels and this one will be with me for along time. I hope we don't have to wait for the second installment of this series and I can not wait to read it. I highly recommend this debut fantasy novel.
by Nimalee Ravi
Sitting here, trying to write this review, and my brain is just making noises that my fingers don't know how to translate into letters that make any kind of sense. "Illborn" is flipping fantastic! The setting and characters are solid and richly constructed. The writing is astonishing. The plot is far more than enjoyable - it's all-consuming. Pack a survival kit for this one because you are not going to want to stop after you start reading... and this is only the beginning!
My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley. This review was written voluntarily and is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.
This was an interesting read. The cover and description intrigued me. With Illborn being a debut novel the world was intriguing and the magic system was great. The differing POVs throughout the book was great as the different POVs allowed for a greater understanding of the world. The characters were great and my favourite were Corin and Agbeth. I will definitely read more from Daniel T Jackson in the future.
Original review: https://www.netgalley.co.uk/book/228878/review/741831
by NetGalley review
So this book gripped me with the prologue, dug it’s claws into me deep and didn’t let up.
I will admit I am a sucker for the ‘chosen one’ narrative, so when you throw 4 chosen ones at me with concurrent and interweaving storylines I am not going to say no.
During the first half of this book I knew that I was being lead in multiple directions. The author played chess 8 moves ahead of where you currently were, and by the time what was set up arrives, it was nothing like I predicted whilst reading. I was kept guessing and following red herrings from the first page to the last.
Taking the usual European fantasy setting and throwing in a large Scandinavian and Roman feel helped Illborn stand out against many other fantasies as it was a very unique setting. With its highly religious themes and everything that can come with that it was a world that I cannot wait to go back to.
Character development is a huge strength of this book. With character growth that feels natural and with a large coming of age feel. Nothing about it feels forced or for coincidence. Everything leads onto something substantial cohesive making me care about what they care about, and hating those which want to harm them!!
With an overall 4.5/5 I will be waiting with bated breath for the second instalment of the Illborn saga.
Daniel T. Jackson is a fantasy enthusiast, with a love for fantastical worlds and epic adventures. After 25 years of creating stories for friends and family, Daniel finally escaped from his day job to fulfil his lifelong ambition of writing Illborn. With The Illborn Saga, he hopes to create the next classic fantasy series.
Daniel is married with four children, and lives in the United Kingdom. He also loves hiking, cycling and piano, and volunteers for a number of good causes. Illborn is his first published novel.