Book 1: Praetorian Rising

In a shattered reality filled with questions and secrets, the terrifying truth may not be who she is, but what.

Camille Scipio awakens one morning remembering nothing of her life. The sword and bow feel like old friends as she eases into the safety and comfort of Sierra Village. Able to gut a squirrel in two seconds and hunt in the forest past curfew, she’s devastated when a mysterious beast attacks the village and mortally wounds the family she’s grown to love. The family she failed to protect.

Now, fleeing for her life, and hunted by the tyrannical High King of Aspera, Camille finds herself at a crossroad. Led by genetically superior assassins known as Praetorians, Camille struggles to understand her role in the new reality she’s forced into. As her horrific memories threaten to consume her, Camille must make a choice: join the Rogue rebellion or seek revenge against those who wronged her. Can she defeat the demons within and fight for freedom? Or will she slip into the darkness of her past?


…this was an amazing adventure read that helped pull me out! Perfect for fans of The Lord of the Rings, Throne of Glass, Harry Potter, Eragon, and Skyrim!

Its blend of quest-like elements are a natural fit in a vibrant world strained to the seams by tyrannical rule. The many villages and ports of Aspera are filled with hardworking people trying to feed their families under the weight of taxes. Neighbors disappear and terrifying monsters stalk the woods. Nobody trusts anyone. The locals look to their High King for protection and safety, a deified man with a power complex.

Enter the Praetorians, beings neither human nor beast who serve the High King. It is said no Praetorian can resist his command and for this, they are feared. But some no longer accept being treated as little more than vicious attack dogs on a tight leash. When a massacre wipes out an entire village, a rebellion rises. The High King has finally gone too far.


J. McSpadden is a breathe of fresh air in an otherwise stale world of fantasy romances. Praetorian Rising hits so many points for me as an excellent source of adventure. I thoroughly enjoyed every descriptive scene and would be ecstatic to pick up the next book in the series. Bravo J. job well done.


Wow, this book truly rocked my world! First of all, the world building was utterly phenomenal. Aspera was unlike any other realm I have traveled to. The way things were described was majestic and magical, while still allowing the reader to form their own opinion about things. The action was fantastic! I literally gasped, laughed, and had heart palpitations while reading this absolute gem! 


This is a solid, satisfying entry into the burgeoning young adult fantasy genre. McSpadden creates a vivid, detailed world; one that seamlessly blends genres from fantasy, sci-fi, and military/warfare, and one that her fleshed-out characters expand into nicely. Camille plays an intriguing lead role; an enigma of unknown powers and background that she only discovers for herself at the same time the reader does. McSpadden also doesn’t shy away from tension and tragedy, and she ultimately sets the stage for a promising series from here on out. A great read. I can’t wait for the next book!