The Peace of Freysdal (A Light-Twister novel), by Michael Richards

6 Nov 2023

The Book

The Peace of Freysdal
Series: Light-Twister
Pages: 361
Age Group: Young Adult
Published on 1 Aug 2023
Publisher: Lodestone Books
Epic Fantasy
Available on:


Freysdal is a peculiar place for more reasons than one. Besides manufacturing radiant items for non-Light-Twisters, it's also the only place in Thadren where thralls and freemen work side by side. Jaren knows that he's no more than a small piece in the effort to overthrow Thralldom, but he's comfortable with that role. That comfort is shattered, though, when he learns that he can control radiant energy. Now, instead working to be reunited with his sisters, Jaren must resist the burden that drives Light-Twisters to cruelty and survive an abusive radiance instructor long enough to figure out who's trying to kill Freysdal's founder. The stress ramps up with growing rumors of an impending attack on Freysdal, and Jaren must decide whether he's willing to give up the Peace of Freysdal and become the Sword that defends it.

My Review

The Peace of Freysdal is the first novel in the young adult fantasy series Light Twister, the debut book of Michael Richards. A story that follows Jaren, a thrall in Freysdal, one of the few places in the world where freemen and thralls (basically slaves) works side by side, and who discovers by accident that he's able to control Radiance, and become a Light Twister.

However, from the start, we have a main character who is young and struggling, as the myths around Light Twisters imply that he might succumb to corruption; soon, we discover that reality is not always white or black, but a complex shade of grey. This new ability seems as an opportunity to help those that live in Freysdal, and a way to preserve this place where Thralldom is not existent.
In the style of coming of ages stories, we will have a young hero, who is destined to do great things, but who firstly needs to be trained in using his powers; a process that will eat a good chunk of the book, introducing us to the nuances of the magic system, a quite original one based on nuclear radiation (I think it's the first time I see this kind of base).

I found refreshing the figure of Jaren, as instead of trying to avoid his new responsibilities, he just accepts them; even when the training becomes especially hard. He fits so well the hero role; and honestly, I ended liking him.
The rest of the cast might not be too memorable, but they are good complements to an interesting world where the spotlight will be centered on Jaren.

Despite the pacing in the first half might be slow to my taste, it acts as our introduction to accelerate it in the second half, and to introduce plenty of action scenes, which are cruder than I expected, but nonetheless, really impressive. Once Jaren is able to use his power, things escalate quickly.

In general, I think this is a great novel if you like YA coming of age stories, with hard magic systems and a main hero in the spotlight. Overall, solid debut from Michael Richards.

The Author/s

Michael Richards

Michael Richards

Michael Richards is an engineer in the United States Air Force with a PhD in Energy Science. He was born in Texas but has lived in 10 states, 6 countries, 3 continents, 4 planets, and 2 galaxies. While there’s no place like home—because no place is home—he’s always happiest around his magical wife and five mischievous children. He’s currently stationed in downtown Tokyo, Japan, where his assignment is to find and fund top quantum-science researchers in Asia. He likes growing beards (when on leave), smashing atoms, and making cheese, but not at the same time. And he loves squeezing stories out of the diverse experiences he’s had.

He’s written one book, and is making his way through a couple more. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook to see what he’s up to!