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.
While I enjoyed Michael Wisehart’s first book, The White Tower, I found I enjoyed his newest series – Street Rats of Aramoor – far more. It was simply less violent and more fun.
This series, so far consisting of two books – Banished and Hurricane, takes place before Wisehart’s The White Tower. It follows a 13-year-old boy named Ayrion, a character you meet as an adult in The White Tower, and tells of his life before he ended up serving as the king’s protector. You learn where he came from and how he ended up in Aramoor.
While the series at this point stops short of telling how Ayrion first meets the king of Aaramoor, I would not be surprised if there are more books to follow, and if there aren’t, as it stands now, the ending of the second book will leave you satisfied.
This is definitely a book worth reading (or listening to if you prefer audio books), and it will be added to my “favorites” list.
Echoes of Fate, a book series by Philip C. Quaintrell, is a very engrossing story. At first I wasn’t sure I would like it because the story follows many different lead characters, all with weird sounding names. I didn’t think I would be able to follow the many different story lines. However, it was not long before the stories intertwined, making it easier and much more enjoyable to follow.
My favorite aspect about this story is the path for redemption that two of the characters – Asher, the main character, and Galanor – are on. Each of these characters has had a tumultuous past. Whereas Asher has already turned from his old life as an assassin when you first meet him, Galanor is conflicted between duty, which calls him to perform unsavory actions, and his desire to be a good person. While you get to see Galanor in the before-and-after stages of his path to redemption, you meet Asher after he has turned away from the life of an assassin. However, trusting and friendship are two things foreign to Asher, and it is fun to watch his relationship with the characters develop as he struggles to live life as a better person while carrying the guilt of his past life.
Due to the content of this series, I would say it is rated R. There is intermittent use of the F-word and some fairly graphic violence (at least by my standards). However, it is the scenes in which the Darkakin torture/rape the queen of the elves that is primarily responsible for my rating the book as R. It is hard to describe these scenes; they are not graphic but there is enough description and allusions to what is going on that it is bothersome. While this did not stop me from reading the book (as you can easily skip those scenes), it does make me hesitant to recommend it to anyone but a mature audience.
Note: I continued reading the book despite the scenes with the Darkakin because I am enjoying (I’m on the last book) the path to redemption of Asher and Galanor. I also enjoy the internal struggle of the other characters who, after experiencing horrendous torture or loss, fight to retain their virtues and moral beliefs. The characters in this book experience very real, human emotions. You see them struggle to be the people they want to be despite the torture they’ve experienced or the losses they have endured. For that reason alone, the book is worth reading as you see that no matter how horrible life can get, you should always strive to be the better person, even if you don’t always succeed.
P.S. I will be adding this to my favorite books for adults.
I eagerly awaited the release of Age of War by Michael J. Sullivan. It is the third book in the Legends of the First Empire series. The book is well written, but a little slow. The characters are well developed, but overall I was disappointed.
As the title suggest, there is a lot of war and death in this book (not graphic though). There is also a lot of scheming among many characters, and no humor like in Riyria Revelations (his first, and by far his best, book series.)
Will I continue reading the book series? Yes. Will I buy the books/audio? No, I will wait for it to arrive at the library. It will also be removed from my top-10 list of favorite book. It just doesn’t live up to the standards he created when he wrote Riyria Revelations.