The Combat Codes by Alexander Darwin

Is it bad to say that I got exactly what I expected out of this book? MMA-style fighting… a school for fighters… fighters fighting… a crusty mentor… big fights that mean A LOT!!! This is the kicker (pun intended): Fighters battle for their particular nation. That means that they will go in the ring to solve international disputes. Treaties, land and trade disputes… these are all solved in the Circle! A great concept that spurred me to pick this one up in the first place.

Cego has memories of his first trainer… The trainer who started Cego and his brother are their path away from their island of origin. Anything to develop their offensive skills or their physical training. Yet, he can’t remember much about how he got from The Island to The Deep, a scuzzy neighborhood of fighting bars Cego finds himself in after his memory fails him… Cego does what he can to stand out in the ring or The Circle. Can he get picked to go to The Lyceum, the famous fighting school?

One of the coolest things about this book is the many coaches, mentors, teachers, and others who work to help the main characters. (And like in HP or any other ‘school’ novel there are both positive and negative influences…) They mold their fighting styles and instruct them on secrets of the Circle. Each circle is made with different metal alloys that are found in various nations around this world. One alloy may enhance a fighter’s strength and another may take away a fighter’s balance… an extra layer of difficulty while in the fight of your life!

I read The Combat Codes between two larger fantasy novels and it worked perfectly. Action. Courage. Determination. And some secrets. Conspiracies are the highest level… A secret program that threatens the future of the Circle. It’s a fun novel. Enjoy!

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