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Lou Diamond Phillips’ ‘The Tinderbox: Soldier of Indira’ is a Captivating Retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen Tale – Book Review

Every good Indiran man is expected to be a soldier and for Everson, things weren’t any different. While it wasn’t the path that he envisioned for himself, he did as he had to – especially since it was something that his parents forced upon him. However, everything goes awry when Everson’s first battle goes terribly wrong and he ends up stranded on the planet of his mortal enemies. 

Surrounded by enemies on a planet covered with blistering desert, Everson must do whatever he can in order to survive. Just when things cannot get any crazier, Everson runs into a group that wants to overthrow the King of Mano, Xander the Firm. The only way to achieve this is to have Everson retrieve a powerful piece of ancient technology known as the Tinderbox. 

The Tinderbox: Soldier of Indira - Book Cover
Cover art for The Tinderbox: Soldier of Indira (Courtesy of Aethon Books, LLC)

At his wits end, a chance encounter with the king’s daughter, Allegra, changes the course of Everson’s plans. Despite being a princess, Everson finds that Allegra is in just as much danger as he is and the two form an unlikely pairing. With various threats around every corner, Everson and Allegra must do their best to make it through all of the uncertainty that surrounds them. However, the two find something with one another that they weren’t expecting or prepared for: love. But while it may cause a speck of light in the darkness around them, it is also something that doom them both and everyone else.

Lou Diamond Phillips creates a captivating retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen tale. The sci-fi/fantasy leans into a plethora of action, intrigue and romance with ease. Despite a prophecy being part of the story, you never once feel as though you know what will happen next as you read. Phillips did a great job at making sure there were plenty of twists and turns throughout, making the The Tinderbox: Soldier of Indira quite the page-turner. It is the kind of book that once you start reading, it’s very difficult to put it down. Not only are you anticipating all the excitement of what’s to come, there are many unexpected happenings that keep you wanting more. This is a testament to Phillips’ writing.

(Illustrations for The Tinderbox: Soldier of Indira by Yvonne Phillips)

In addition to the great writing, the novel is filled to the brim with intriguing characters, especially the two leads in the story: Everson and Allegra. Each of them brings something different and entertaining to the book. Everson and Allegra work well with one another and as they interact with various friends and foe throughout the book. The pair make quite the dynamic duo and while I do wish we’d spent some more time with some of the other characters introduced in the book, however, it wasn’t something that I would consider to be a deal-breaker.

Smartly paced with well-written action sequences, great world-building, compelling characters and a story you won’t be able to get enough of, The Tinderbox: Soldier of Indira is a worthy ready for any sci-fi fan looking for a great standalone novel to add to their collection.  

The Tinderbox: Soldier of Indira is available for purchase now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and your local independent bookstores!

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