The Severing Son (The Sundered Nation #1), by Vaughn Roycroft

The Book

The Severing Son
Series: The Sundered Nation
Pages: 538
Age Group: Adult
Published on 10/18/2022
Publisher: Self-Published
Historical Fantasy
Available on:


Tales of the Bringer of Urrinan had been told for generations, but never had the prophecy felt so near to so many. Elan wasn't sure if she even believed one man could cause the sort of upheaval that would change the world. And yet, just as the prophecy foretold, dark forces were on the rise-including the many Spali warbands raiding across the borderlands.It was in pursuit of one such warband when Elan's host discovered the hidden compound of the Outcast. She'd heard how the former chieftain of the mighty Amalus Clan had been unjustly accused of murdering his rival. How the conflict had begun over a woman. How the Outcast's son-born of that same woman-perfectly matched the prophecy's foretelling of the Bringer.

Prophecy aside, it seemed that fate had led Elan into the midst of a legend. Because of a choice made in the heat of battle, Elan found herself bound to an outlaw hunted by friend and foe alike. Whether she believed in the prophecy or not, she found herself entangled with a lone figure who vowed to seek the sort of upheaval that might just change the world.

Could Vahldan, son of the Outcast, truly be the Bringer of Urrinan?  

My Review

The Severing Son is the first book in the epic historical inspired fantasy saga The Sundered Nation, written by Vaughn Roycroft. A novel that takes you for a really epic ride, taking inspiration from historical peoples and tribes, such as Goths, Huns and Romans, but giving its own twist to weave a compelling story that transmits the own author's love for historical moments; a memorable debut, for sure.

A character-driven story that puts the spotlight over the relationship of both main character with the concepts of identity and destiny. In the one hand, we have Vahldan, son of Angavar, a banished chieftain due to a crime, living in the exile, and even after the tragedy that hits his family, he's always expected to fill the shoes of his father, to become the chieftain and the fighter he was; but he's not really sure that is who he wants to be, as it implies accepting parts of himself that he wanted to reject. He might be the one prophesized, but that can be a hell of a stone to charge over his shoulders.
In the other hand, we have Elan, blade-wielder of the Skolari, a female led tribe, who doesn't really fits anywhere; she wants to purge Dania of the warbands, and in that context, she's tasked with taking care of Vahldan's family. A task which leads her to create a bonding with Vahldan, even starting to believe that he might the one prophesized.

With this premise, Roycroft throws us into Dania, these lands that are heavily inspired by the Germanic tribes and their conflicts, with his own original layers that separates it from historical fiction; the magic system is relatively soft, keeping it at a minimum, without giving too many explanations, keeping the plausible deniability that all could be explained by natural phenomenons, or just being pure bullshit told by the priests and priestesses.

Pacing was my main concern when diving into this book, but I have to admit that Roycroft has nailed it, being faster than usual in epic fantasy, putting action into the page really soon, and developing the character more later, giving us a moment to take the breath before continue worrying. You could compare with Gwynne, especially because the prose is able to capture the gravity and the importance of moments, but a bit faster.

The Severing Son is an astounding debut; if you want to read Epic with capital letters fantasy, The Sundered Nation is the perfect series for you. I can't wait to continue reading the series, as Bold Ascension promises to be even better than this excellent novel!

The Author/s

Vaughn Roycroft

Vaughn Roycroft

Vaughn’s sixth grade teacher, Mr. Raymond, put him and a half-dozen classmates into an advance reading group, gave them each a copy of The Hobbit, and left them to it. Vaughn was never the same again. Finishing first among the group, the teacher bought him a boxed set of Lord of the Rings paperbacks, and he never looked back. The gift sparked a lifelong passion for reading and history.

After college, life intervened. Instead of writing epic tales, he married his soul mate, and they set about building a successful wholesale business together in Chicagoland. While there, they built a getaway cottage near their favorite shoreline in Southwest Michigan, in a fashion that would make the elves of Rivendell proud. It was the perfect place not only to escape the hustle and bustle, but to bury his nose in epic fantasy novels by the hearth.

Almost twenty years, and many milestone achievements in business, the pair grew weary of the hectic life of managing sixty-plus employees. With the mantra ‘life’s too short,’ they moved to their little cottage, and Vaughn finally set about writing his epics. When he’s not reading or writing, you’ll often find him cooking, walking with his wife and lab on his favorite shore, or working in his woodshop.