I just finished reading The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga by Gail Z. Martin. I’m not entirely sure what to say other than I really enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down.
This is a four book fantasy series (first book: Ice Forged) about a group of convicts who ultimately find themselves responsible for restoring a kingdom destroyed by the collapse of magic. Sent away to prison for various crimes, this group of convicts soon finds that being exiled to Velant was the only thing that saved their life when magic broke and destroyed their home country of Dondareth. Determined to find answers, they return to Dondareth and discover that the loss of magic isn’t the only problem that Dondareth faces.
From humans to vampires to mages to necromancers to ghosts to wraiths, this book has a host of characters that will either endear themselves to you or make you hate them.
Like I said, I couldn’t put the series down. I read all four books within the span of 2 or so weeks. This is definitely going on my “favorites” list for young adults.
The Sevenfold Sword by Jonathan Moeller is the most recent series of books I’ve been enjoying. While the story is slow at times, overall it is an enjoyable read (or listen).
I really enjoy the relationship between the husband and wife. Their fidelity to each other is not a common trait seen in media these days. I also enjoy the internal conflict of the two supporting characters as they endeavor to find themselves and/or heal from past trauma.
One of the things I thought was most interesting was that when you meet the wife for the first time, she is suffering from depression as a result of the death of her infant daughter. After having withdrawn from the world for many months, she decides it is time to return to her duties. However, as she tries to fulfill her role as the Keeper of Andomhaim, she still struggles internally with her feelings of despair and depression. Throughout the early part of the story and occasionally during the latter part, you see her fighting her feelings of self-loathing and guilt as she strives to move past her grief. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety, I appreciated seeing a character who, despite suffering mentally, refused to be conquered by her mental illness and was still valued and respected. (I guess what I’m trying to say is I felt it showed that there was more to people with a mental illness than just the illness itself. I could see in the wife some of the thinking patterns/struggles I had experienced when I was at my lowest, and I appreciated a book that showed how it is hard to remain interested in life when life doesn’t seem worth living.)
I will be adding this book to my “favorites” list.
Note: Audible has the series broken into 3 parts, so I’m not sure how many books I’ve listened to because there was more than one in the version I bought. However, the first book in the series is called Champion.