An Epic, Epic Fantasy! The Healing Glass: Book I in the Age of Academicians

Okay, so I just finished reading The Healing Glass: Book I in the Age of Academicians by Maria Herring and let me tell you something – it’s one of the best if not the best pieces of epic fantasy I’ve read in a while. And while I’m an author, I’m not a reader. 99 percent of books I open are left unread and deleted from my Kindle. I’m tough to impress.

Not to say that my own work is better than others, but I just need a complex plot with an ensemble of characters to keep me going. Simple plots with a tiny cast and stick to simple minds. It ain’t me. However, Herring’s work definitely satisfied my desire for not only a complex plot but a plot twist that puts anything I’ve ever done to shame.

So, if you’re looking for your next big read, keep reading this post and I will tell you why The Healing Glass should be at the top of your list of epic fantasy reads.

The Healing Glass

Brief Plot Overview

The Healing Glass is set in the land of Taure and in Kingston City where our main character, Audra Academician, resides. The city has been hit by a plague and it’s killing off everyone.

Using an ancient text from a Mage – a race of beings that have long since been extinct – she uncovers evidence that an ancient artifact known as the healing glass exists. If she can retrieve the glass, the city is saved. If she fails to retrieve it, the plague will eradicate the city.

Problem is, Audra is full of theories that her fellow Academicians believe to be ‘out there,’ so her latest theory that such an artifact exists doesn’t win anyone over, including local politicians, a band of glorified tax collectors known as Rebels, and of course, the other Academicians.

But losing her peers’ respect isn’t the only thing plaguing Audra. She begins to experience haunting, bizarre dreams, believing that the insanity that eventually killed her mother is now targeting her.

==> Download The Healing Glass <==

More than Meets the Eye

So, the first twist here is that Audra actually isn’t the only main point-of-view (POV) character. There are a few, and man, Herring does a fantastic job leaving POV characters on cliffhangers before she switches to another POV.

You’ll find POV characters located on the other corner of the land. Characters from a different culture who are also searching for the artifact to save their land that a famine plagued which is now killing off their starving citizens.

I can tell you this about these characters: There’s far more to them than meets the eye. Sometimes they’re accompanied by a mysterious wise woman, sometimes they’re not. But she only seems to appear when someone in the group mentions her. After which she wanders off.

A duo of POVs include a brother and sister named Jason and Kitty, who really remind me of myself and this girl I used to hang out with years ago who loved to date sons of rich vulture capitalists (true story). Jason is the laid back, calm, reserved leader of the duo while Kitty tends to obsess over status and she loves to show off her magic to anyone who cares to watch.

For this reason, I was able to get into their story and while it didn’t seem clear as to what their purpose was initially, Herring steadily makes their appearance clearer, especially in those final chapters.

I was really able to relate to Jason since I saw a lot of myself in him and while I do believe Kitty is inherently a good person, I could relate her to that girl from a time that’s long since been lost.

Again, it’s initially unclear of their purpose when they’re first introduced, but by the end of the work their purpose is crystal clear and man, it sets the stage for something epic in Book II.

==> Download The Healing Glass <==

Who’s The Healing Glass For?

Any avid epic fantasy reader will love this book. If you like multiple POVs, an ensemble of cast and characters, plus a complex plot whose ultimate twist that you know is coming but it’s just a matter of when and how you’ll love The Healing Glass.

Also, if you’re a critical thinker you will love this book as well, and whether I’m unsure it was Herring’s purpose, but the underlying theme is one that completed this book for me: Never, and I mean never, fall for any type of propaganda from who you identify as authority figures.

So, if the bold-faced message is one that rings true to you, then this is a book that is a must-read. It’s a marathon, about 520 pages according to Amazon, but it’s well worth the read.

Fans of Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time, and similar epic fantasy works will love The Healing Glass. It especially reminded me of Lord of the Rings but told in a different manner.

I can’t wait to see what’s next in Maria Herring’s Age of Academicians Series and now you too can download the book for absolutely zero charges.

Click the button at the bottom and download The Healing Glass for free, as it’s the beginning of an epic, epic fantasy series. For more information and for a really cool free bundle that includes a short story, a map of Taure, and Chapter I of Book II, visit

Now, go download your next read. My next review will take a look at another series starter, this one entitled Nightfall by J.J. Coffelt, a dystopian sci-fi fantasy. And I’ll start reading it…tonight!

==> Download The Healing Glass <==

Need a Review?

The Healing Glass is one of many books I’m looking to read and review. This work kicks off several that I have lined in a cue and I can’t wait to dive deeper into my collection of fantasy-based reads.

If there’s a book that you want me to read and review, just pitch it down in the comments section.

I do have a few rules:

1) There’s no guarantee I read every book pitched to me. In fact, I probably won’t, as I read between 1 and 2 books per month, tops.

2) Books must be indie published and must be in the fantasy genre – any kind of fantasy work is acceptable though I won’t read vampire romance or anything with an overly-erotic twist. Dystopia preferred, but not required.

3) The author must have a website. I’m looking to put together joint promos this summer and possibly a giveaway and I’d like to reach out to these authors for this ambitious project.

I also won’t respond whether I’ve accepted to read a book or not, so don’t ask. I do, however, consider all submissions so if you’re a reader or author who needs a review, let me know. If you noticed I reviewed your work, it means it fits MY TASTES. If I didn’t review it, it means it didn’t fit my tastes, but it’s probably a good book.

I also don’t leave negative reviews, so anything I review will earn a 3-star or above. A 3-star review means I liked the work but not enough to read it again. However, I will recommend it. A 4-star review means I liked it and might read it again. A 5-star review means I’ll probably continually reference the work for inspiration to for my own and you’ll probably get a query from me asking to do a cross or joint-promotion.


  1. coralie says:

    I absolutely loved reading the Lord of the Rings.  After reading your review, I am super excited to check this book out.  Sounds very mysterious and dark.  The plague storyline, is certainly relevant to the times.

    I really loved your review, you told the plot line well, without giving away any major direction of the storyline.  Just a taste of it, to reel you in. 
    Thank you for the review, and I really love the site.  Looks fabulous.

    1. Todd Matthews says:

      Thanks, Coralie. I can tell you from experience that this book is an exciting one, especially once you get to the 50% mark it’s borderline impossible to put down. 

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