The Sceptre of Fire (The Magical Instruments Book 1) by Alex Stargazer

The Sceptre of Fire is the first in an epic fantasy series, featuring all the fantasy staples and an epic tale sprawling across continents and different races.

From the blurb:

The Sceptre of Fire is an old school fantasy romp: it’s got elves, dwarves, orcs, necromancers, and a 
campy mage. But there’s a twist—a pretty big one. The orcs? They’re not really the bad guys. The necromancer? Yeah, he’s got history. And the knights in shining armour aren’t always noble…

The necromancer was once a pretty decent guy: he killed pirates on the high seas and did his duty as an Empire subject. But he loved another man, and for that, he had to be punished. Now driven by an insatiable thirst for revenge, he has turned to dark magic—and enlisted the help of orcs. The orcs have their own, very good reasons to hate the Empire, not least of which is survival.

Opposing him are Radu, a mad mage with a penchant for boys and fashion, along with Haraldur—a talented dwarven mage smith. At first they care little for a distant conflict, but things escalate once the necromancer, in desperation, makes a pact with an ancient entity…

Sheena's Review:

Epic fantasy, told from multiple points of view, with all the fantasy staples of Orcs, Elves, Mages, Dwarves, humans and an epic tale spanning countries. It's certainly ambitious, with multiple stories that are seemingly separate at the start slowly coming together as you weave through the book. There is some fantastical world building, with influences drawn from multiples times and places.

Even though I've finished the story, I'm still really not sure who is the main protagonist. It could be the necromancer, the orc, the dwarf, the emperor or even the wolf. Who on earth knows? Maybe by the second book it will become clearer. As is often the case with the first in a fantasy series, this concentrates on world building and introducing the characters and the world they live in. As such, there's a lot of jumping around between multiple characters and sometimes it feels a little disjointed but it did all seem to come together more towards the end of the book. In fact, just as things were getting going, I reached the end.

Overall I liked the story, I especially liked the Orc, Rahash and really want him to get his HEA after everything. I didn't care for all the main characters, Haraldur seemed naive and oblivious and the necromancer I really am not sure of. I enjoyed it enough that I think I'd like to see where it all goes, next time I will give myself more time because this book is long (not a complaint).

The Sceptre of Fire is currently available as an e-book and paperback and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription