Beginning of Arrogance: A Paladin’s Journey is a captivating fantasy journey that takes you into a world of gods, paladins, and monsters; Bryan Cole subverts the tropes of the paladin genre and delivers a compelling story of courage.
Beginning of Arrogrance is the first book in Cole’s Paladin’s Journey series, which follows a reluctant hero who must face his destiny and save the world from a terrible threat. Krell has little interest in gods or paladins until he hears a voice in his head claiming to be ReckNor, the god of the seas and skies. ReckNor tells him that he has been chosen as his paladin, a holy warrior who must serve his will and fight his enemies. Krell is skeptical, but soon realizes that he has no choice but to follow ReckNor’s commands. He embarks on a perilous quest, accompanied by Olgar, a priest of ReckNor and Krell’s mentor and friend. Along the way, he meets other paladins, some of whom are allies and some of whom are foes. He encounters various creatures, not least of all a mysterious force that is rising from the ocean, threatening to unleash chaos and destruction.

Cole’s writing is smooth and engaging. He creates an immersive world with rich details and a wealth of unexplored history. The plot is well-paced and unpredictable, with plenty of twists and turns that will keep readers on their toes. The characters are complex and relatable, each with their own personality, motivation, and arc. Krell, of course, stands out as a striking protagonist. He is not your typical paladin, but rather a flawed and reluctant one, who struggles with his doubts, fears, and flaws. Olgar is a humorous and wise character, who guides and supports Krell along his journey. The antagonists are menacing and formidable, posing a real threat to the heroes and the world. It’s everything you want and expect from the genre, but has just enough to set itself apart as an original contribution.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the book is how it explores the themes of religion, morality, and free will. Cole does not present any god or belief system as inherently good or evil, but rather as complex and ambiguous. He challenges the reader to question their own assumptions and values, and to empathize with different perspectives. Krell is selected to serve ReckNor, in large part, because he does not have the same relationship to the gods as other paladins, and this makes his journey thought provoking. Cole also shows how faith can be a source of strength, hope, and inspiration, especially in times of crisis. He portrays Krell’s relationship with ReckNor as dynamic and evolving, not as static and dogmatic. He allows Krell to make his own choices and mistakes and to decide for himself what is important in this world.

Beginning of Arrogance is an original fantasy novel that will appeal to fans of the genre and newcomers alike; it is equal parts funny and exhilarating.