Book review: The First Ancestor by J.D.L. Rosell (Ranger of the Titan Wilds #2)


Book links: Amazon, Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: J.D.L. Rosell was swept away on a journey when he stepped foot outside his door and into The Hobbit, and he hasn’t stopped wandering since. In his writing, he tries to recapture the wonder, adventure, and poignancy that captivated him as a child. His explorations have taken him to worlds set in over a dozen novels and five series, which include Ranger of the Titan Wilds, Legend of Tal, The Runewar Saga, and The Famine Cycle.

When he’s not off on a quest, Rosell enjoys his newfound hobby of archery and older pastimes of hiking and landscape photography. But every hobbit returns home, and if you step softly and mind the potatoes, you may glimpse him curled up with his wife and two cats, Zelda and Abenthy, reading a good book or replaying his favorite video games.

To check out his writing for free, pick up his series starter story bundle at

Publisher: Jdl Rosell (May 1, 2023)  Length: 362 pages Formats: ebook, paperback, hardback, audiobook

I devoured ‘The Last Ranger’ and jumped into the sequel almost immediately. In ‘The First Ancestor,’ Leiyn ventures north to aid the Gasts in their ancestral war. Fighting comes naturally to her, more than thinking ahead, but she finds herself out of her element in the Gasts land. 

First, people expect diplomacy from her; Not her forte. Second, one warrior has a strange effect on her. Third, she may have an innate talent for magic, but she lacks the discipline and balance to master the skills and tricks necessary to survive.

Trouble, trouble.

The sequel answers many questions about how the magic works and introduces new creatures. Rather lethal, these guys. The writing remains strong and evocative, but the pacing slows down. Probably a good thing, since the story gets more complex, more introspective, and romantic. There’s still plenty of action and mayhem, but quieter moments balance the pacing. 

And one more thing, the sequel lacks the journey element that made the first book so exciting. Here, the author focuses on different things. I loved an in-depth look at Gasts beliefs and culture.

There’s not much I didn’t like about The First Ancestor. Perhaps some developments are rushed and some events are easy to guess, but, y’know, we’re here for an exciting character journey. And Titans. And we get more than a fair share of it! 

 What counts for me is that the series is so readable that I literally blasted through it and want more.

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