The Summoner once had it all in the Empire's land of Malvia. Huge armies to command against the fight against the Rell and the Orcs, money, power, fame. He was a true rock star of his age. But he is also known as the Renegade General - which is what seems to happen when you turn your back on the same Empire that helped make you that rock star. Now, branded with "The Black Rings", everyone in Malvia knows that The Inquisition would be more than happy to get their paybacks.
Tired of being on the run and having no place to call his own in years, The Summoner, embarks on a yearlong quest in search of the best warriors, mages, holy men, thieves, prodigy's, and psycho's that Malvia has to offer. There is just one little problem The Summoner has - how to convince these people to meet him months from now in an out-of-the-way pub without telling them the reason for the meeting. Giving information out is the same as The Summoner writing his own death warrant, especially when you can't be sure that those you invite to the meeting won't just attack you, or even worse, call in the Inquisition on you with the information.
Oh, and before he can even get started, The Summoner must gather enough Messenger Stones (Malvia's version of holograph walkie-talkies) to be able to communicate with his group. Unfortunately, these are usually only carried by the best and the brightest of The Inquisition. Killing off a bunch of their agents isn't going to endear the Renegade General to the Empire or The Inquisition any further.
And, as The Summoner discovers, it sometimes sucks when you ask someone to join your team - only to have them beat the snot of you as a response. Not that The Summoner can't handle himself (magic in the form of summoning elementals and deadly swordplay come naturally to the Renegade General), but healing yourself after time and time again of getting whooped tends to get old after a while.
The author, who goes by the pen name General Asa, does an excellent job keeping the reader guessing and in a good way. The book is large, but if you view it as many different short stories of The Summoner trying to recruit the different members to his cause - it becomes much more manageable.
Asa also does a great job developing the characters. The Summoner is strong and powerful, but not invincible. He also is a very trusting soul, probably a leftover from being a great leader and having people follow his every command without question. However, this can become a weakness with The Summoner placing trust in those who may have motive or bad memories of previous dealing with him.
This novel is chock full of magic, battles, sword play, and even an arena scene that will bring down the arena!
Give Black and Gold: Formation a chance and soon you will be sucked into a world wondering which of The Summoners recruits will join him, ignore him, try to kill him, or just rat him out........ A great blend of mystery, magic, and some good old fashioned butt kicking!!!