Dark Fantasy

The Scribe Cycle (Books 1 & 2)


Title(s): Scribes (Book 1 of the Scribe Cycle); Schisms (Book 2 of the Scribe Cycle)

Author(s): James Wolanyk

Genre: Dark Fantasy; Action & Adventure

Pages: 306 (Scribes); 274 (Schisms)

Rating: 5/5; 5/5

Cover: A/A


Book Blurb:


Born into the ruins of Rzolka’s brutal civil unrest, Anna has never known peace. Here, in her remote village—a wasteland smoldering in the shadows of outlying foreign armies—being imbued with the magic of the scribes has made her future all the more uncertain.
Through intricate carvings of the flesh, scribes can grant temporary invulnerability against enemies to those seeking protection. In an embattled world where child scribes are sold and traded to corrupt leaders, Anna is invaluable. Her scars never fade. The immunity she grants lasts forever. 
Taken to a desert metropolis, Anna is promised a life of reverence, wealth, and fame—in exchange for her gifts. She believes she is helping to restore her homeland, creating gods and kings for an immortal army—until she witnesses the hordes slaughtering without reproach, sacking cities, and threatening everything she holds dear. Now, with the help of an enigmatic assassin, Anna must reclaim the power of her scars—before she becomes the unwitting architect of an apocalyptic war.


Three long years have passed since Anna, First of Tomas, survived the purge in Malijad after being forced to use her scribe sigils to create an army of immortals. Safely ensconced in the shelter of the Nest, a sanctuary woven by one of her young allies, Anna spends her days tutoring the gifted yet traumatized scribe, Ramyi—and coming to terms with her growing attachment to an expatriate soldier in her company.  

Away from her refuge, war drums continue to beat. Thwarted in her efforts to locate the elusive tracker and bring him to justice, Anna turns to the state of Nahora and its network of spies for help. But Nahoran assistance comes with a price: Anna must agree to weaponize her magic for the all-out military confrontation to come.
Dispatched to the front lines with Ramyi in tow, Anna will find her new alliances put to the test, her old tormentors lying in wait, and the fate of a city placed in her hands. To protect the innocent, she must be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. For even in this season of retribution, the gift of healing may be the most powerful weapon of all.


First off, Scribes is a GREAT story. The story centers around Anna who is a girl that has never known what peace is. During the story, you find out something special about Anna, and the rest of the world wants her for her gift. I will not spoil what the gift is, but it is really cool and a new and invigorating idea.

The character development is well executed and relatable. Having relatable characters makes a story more influential. When you’re reading a novel, and you can find a part of you in the story….9 times out of 10, you will remember it, and you will recommend it to others.

James has different races with different languages. His use of italics is a great technique…one that I use in my own story.

You can tell that James has a vast linguistic knowledge, and he uses it in his world.

The battles are the right amount of descriptions, and the imagery is so nice. I really loved Scribes. And the ending is AMAZING. Everyone should really give Scribes a chance.

Character development gets an A. Such a diverse set of characters.

World Building gets an A. So much well-posed places and environments.

The cover gets an A.

I recommend everyone to pick up your own copy off of Amazon. There’s the eBook, Paperback and Audiobook.


Fast forward, three years later…..Schisms!

Book 2 of the Scribe Cycle takes place three years after Scribes. I have to say that I loved Scribes, but I enjoyed Schisms more. It’s probably because I had an idea of the MC, Anna.

The characters were dynamic and powerful. The novel has so many factors that pull you into the story. There is a spiritual element in this story, and I truly believe that it is that element alone that makes it my favorite as of now.

Of course there are battle scenes that are well done. In Schisms, a dilemma appears…does Anna weaponize her gift? You’ll have to read it to find out.

The character development gets an A from me. The time jump really helps to show how the characters changed, and their new mindsets will be affected by such.

World Building gets an A. It’s one of the first Dark Fantasy novels where I didn’t have a problem with many different factions/races or what not.

The cover gets an A. I absolutely love the Schisms’ cover, and I can’t wait for book 3.


You can find James Wolaynk on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.