Thursday, April 18, 2019

Book Review: King of Ashes

King of Ashes

By:  Raymond E. Feist

Publish Date:  May 8, 2018

Format:  ARC

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st to Firemane series

First Impression:  Meet the new fantasy characters and world.

The first volume in legendary master and New York Times bestselling author Raymond E. Feist’s epic heroic fantasy series, The Firemane Saga—an electrifying tale of two young men whose choices will determine a world’s destiny.

For centuries, the five greatest kingdoms of North and South Tembria, twin continents on the world of Garn, have coexisted in peace. But the balance of power is destroyed when four of the kingdoms violate an ancient covenant and betray the fifth: Ithrace, the Kingdom of Flames, ruled by Steveren Langene, known as "the Firemane" for his brilliant red hair. As war engulfs the world, Ithrace is destroyed and the Greater Realms of Tembria are thrust into a dangerous struggle for supremacy.
As a Free Lord, Baron Daylon Dumarch owes allegiance to no king. When an abandoned infant is found hidden in Daylon’s pavilion, he realizes that the child must be the missing heir of the slain Steveren. The boy is valuable—and vulnerable. A cunning and patient man, Daylon decides to keep the baby’s existence secret, and sends him to be raised on the Island of Coaltachin, home of the so-called Kingdom of Night, where the powerful and lethal Nocusara, the "Hidden Warriors," legendary assassins and spies, are trained.

Years later, another orphan of mysterious provenance, a young man named Declan, earns his Masters rank as a weapons smith. Blessed with intelligence and skill, he unlocks the secret to forging King’s Steel, the apex of a weapon maker’s trade known by very few. Yet this precious knowledge is also deadly, and Declan is forced to leave his home to safeguard his life. Landing in Lord Daylon’s provinces, he hopes to start anew.

Soon, the two young men—an unknowing rightful heir to a throne and a brilliantly talented young swordsmith—will discover that their fates, and that of Garn, are entwined. The legendary, long-ago War of Betrayal has never truly ended . . . and they must discover the secret of who truly threatens their world.

First Sentence:
Angry dark clouds hurried across the sky, foretelling more rain.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy of this book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

We start with a prologue that sets the stage for what's to come. We learn about how the kingdoms once were and what happened to the fifth kingdom. We also learn about a baby. We get the feel of what a perceptive man thinks will come to pass in the kingdoms that just went through war. Not tomorrow or next year, but sometime in the future the balance they upset this day will fall for all to fight and set right.

The one thing that pops for me in Raymond's writing is his ability to bring characters to life. He creates solid, full systems in which they live in and then break out of. His world creating is always vast and complete with the lives and characters we have.

Declan and Hatu are two special young men who, of course, don't know how special they are. Individually, we follow them as they journey out into the world at important moments in their lives. They see and learn things they didn't think they would experience, but somehow they survive and carry on. I felt to be drawn into the lives of Declan and Hatu with their experiences. I never grew bored as their lives were always moving forward and we lived with them through important moments that shape their decisions in life. 

Declan feels to be a normal man. He's an orphan but it doesn't change the fine man he grows into. Actually, the people that raised him and taught him to be a blacksmith made a great influence on who he turns out to be. I love Declan for this. Though, as in Raymond's books, he could very well be more than we know. What will be Raymond's outcome for Declan through the series, I do not know, but there could be a few angles he could go. 

Hatu. Aaahhh. Hatu is more than he thinks he is. Hatu feels like he is the main character, with great reason. There is something stirring in him and he doesn't know what it is or why. Hatu has lived through some extraordinary events that leave him questioning about himself. We have more of a clue as to why or what is happening with Hatu as we get the overall picture with different characters and the past. Hatu has been sheltered in some ways so doesn't know what has happened out in the world. 

This book is an introduction. We meet all the players and learn the history. This sets us up to feel comfortable with our main characters, getting us ready for what's to come. Their personalities are set and they are ready to make the hard decisions with what's to come.

I finished this book looking forward to events picking up the pace and moving faster with our characters. There is more to come, and it feels as it's going to get ugly before it gets better. I can't wait to read it as lives cross paths and secrets come to light.

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon. Thank you!

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