Book Tour - THE ARCHIVE by Dan Fitzgerald

Out of This World SFF Reviews is delighted to be just one of the many blogs participating in the Storytellers On Tour Book Tour featuring author Dan Fitzgerald and his second book in The Maer Cycle, THE ARCHIVE!  Today is day #2 of the tour and I am very excited to be bringing you a synopsis of this wonderful low fantasy tale as well as my official review and some additional links to connect with Dan and his books.

But first I'd just like to mention that Storytellers is currently running an incredible giveaway in conjunction with this tour.  You could win a signed book bundle of the first two books in this series: Hollow Road and The Archive as well as an art print of your choice!  (US/CA only)

To enter, just click this link.  The giveaway ends this Wednesday, December 9th at 11:59pm, so get those entries in now!

And now, here is a brief description of Dan Fitzgerald's fantasy novel THE ARCHIVE followed by my review:

Book Blurb:
In Hollow Road (Book 1), three companions discovered the monsters of legend were all too real...

Rumors among the Maer tell of an underground library called the Archive, which houses a wealth of knowledge and terrible magics that could be used to start the biggest war seen since the Great Betrayal.  A mixed group of humans and Maer set off on an historic quest to find the Archive and protect it from those who would use it to destroy everything they hold dear.  As the cold of winter bears down upon them, they trek through forbidding mountains beset by dangers they could have never imagined.  They follow a set of ancient clues deep into the Silver Hills, forging surprising alliances and making new enemies.

The humans and Maer are linked by more than their quest to find the Archive and stop an insidious war.  A mystical surrogacy may bridge the gap between two peoples, and many hearts entwine as their adventure hurtles toward its bloody conclusion.

It's not often that you come across a book and series with the depth of character and story that Dan Fitzgerald has mustered with THE ARCHIVE and The Maer Cycle.  To say that this story goes well beyond the usual fantasy tropes would be an understatement for there is a much deeper message here.  In Hollow Road we were introduced to mysterious savage beasts known as the Maer.  A marginalized group that was forced to hide in the rocky mountains surrounding the kingdom, superstitious tales were spread regarding them to scare children and keep the population fearful of what might happen if contact were ever made.

Fast forward to THE ARCHIVE and the Maer are very much still looked upon with a degree of fear and suspicion.  They have established a tentative peace living alongside humans but it is difficult to know whether those who have initiated this detente are sincere or merely doing so for their own selfish motivations.  Can the Maer truly trust their human neighbors, or will war break out soon making what happened during the time of the Great Betrayal look like child's play?   

I really enjoyed this sequel a lot.  There are so many different personal stories at play and what remains is the social message that Dan Fitzgerald has been so adept at delivering throughout this series.  It is really what makes this series not just your standard everyday fantasy in my opinion and gives it an emotional added dimension.   You can't help but pick out all of the parallels of real world unchecked colonialism and the oppression of indigenous peoples in this story.  To have it delivered in a fantasy setting is quite original and very effective.

There is one scene in particular in this book that really shook me and brought my mind immediately to the dishonest "peace" negotiations by the early colonial settlers toward the Native Americans.  It was hard to shed that image even as I kept reading with a pain in the pit of my stomach knowing what the eventual outcomes were of those fateful historic events.  Would this fantasy story take a similar horrific turn, or would Dan Fitzgerald go in another direction entirely?  I turned the pages with both a growing sense of dread and tense curiosity.  

Besides the social message aspect, there was also something quite different in this book as opposed to the first and that is the mystery of the Archive.  I enjoy a good mystery in my fantasy and this one was compelling indeed.  The Archive supposedly houses all of the history and achievements of the Maer before they were betrayed, routed, and sent into hiding.  Despite knowledge of its existence, no Maer alive knows its location.  The journey to find the archive is truly what took my enjoyment of this book to another level.  Not knowing whether they would find it or what would be contained within if they in fact did was some fantastic and suspenseful reading.  If the rumors were true about a powerful magic being housed there, it could be a devastating tool for any with nefarious plans.  Would the humans try to control it for themselves and wipe out the Maer for good?   It all had a very Indiana Jones feel to it that kept me transfixed as I progressed through the book.

In the end I came away feeling as if I am experiencing an increasingly important series that needs to be more widely read and a second book that changes the game completely, setting up a potentially stunning final installment.  It's almost as if I know how things are going to turn out, but I need to keep going regardless in the hopes that there will be some sort of salvation or redemption for these characters.  This is not a feel good story, but it is one that engages the reader and compels you to examine what you are doing in your life to combat the prejudice and bigotry happening in today's society.  And I'd say that is a very worthwhile result for any book to achieve on its reader.  Oh and it's also one heck of a fine fantasy tale as well.

Rating: 8.7/10

You can purchase THE ARCHIVE on Amazon.

Author Bio
Dan Fitzgerald is a fantasy writer living in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington DC with his wife, twin boys, and two cats.  When he is not writing, he might be gardening, doing yoga, cooking, or listening to French music.

His debut fantasy novel Hollow Road, the first book in the Maer Cycle trilogy, was published in September by Shadow Spark Publishing.  The Archive comes out on December 4th, and the trilogy concludes with The Place Below in March 2021.

Books and merchandise are available HERE.

You can connect with author Dan Fitzgerald online via his Website, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

And that concludes my stop on THE ARCHIVE book tour!  Hope you enjoyed it.  I would like to extend a special thank you to Storytellers On Tour and author Dan Fitzgerald for the opportunity to participate.  There are many more awesome stops on this tour, so if you would like to follow along, below is the official schedule.

As always, thank you for stopping by and supporting the blog.  Every visit and page view is appreciated more than you know.  Stay safe and healthy and Happy Reading!



  1. Wow, great review, I didn't realize how powerful a resonance to primary world political and social history/contemporary reality the sequel had. Thanks and congrats to Dan!

    1. Thanks for the comment Jonathan! It is definitely a series with a powerful message.

  2. Sounds amazing! Great review, Nick, as always. I'm reading book1 right now!

  3. Awesome review, Nick. You make this series sound really good.

    1. Thank you my friend. I hope you get a chance to check it out sometime!

  4. I loved The Hollow Road. I'm glad this series continues to be great. Awesome review!

    1. Thanks so much! It's a great series no doubt. Hope you enjoy this one just as much!


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