The stars fell.
The oceans boiled and flooded the land.
A darkness descended.
ECHREXAR murdered our dreams
There was a time, before the breaking of the Golden Age of the world, when the people were as the birds of the air – of a thousand forms – and each of the thousand spoke no single tongue. Until Echrexar, the eater of a million million souls. Echrexar laid waste the land and the sea and darkened the skies so that the people were nearly no more. But the 10,000 Immortals saved the people in their refuges. And it was the black-robed Exarchs of the Faith, sent forth from the whitestone pyramid temple at Cise Hook, who gave them the archives and the teachings.
Eslin grew up with a small band of survivors beneath the permafrost of the deep Svalbard refuge, thrown back into an in-between time of perpetual darkness and grim survival underground. As the world recovers, it has entered a new Dark Age of dream wanderers who foretell the future, fanatics of the Faith and, among the old fortresses, internecine purges between the Lords of Kiangsu Realm. In this febrile empire, Eslin has found a new role as Skava, the spymaster of the once-powerful Kingdom of Honam, fired by a passionate intensity to rebuild the world and all its dreams. Working in the shadows, she must re-unite the old kingdoms and consolidate her power. But she has a terrible secret, both curse and blessing: she is one of the last of the Immortals. Her ancient enemies know it and they have found her again. Harbin of the Hundred Islands and the assassin Kesmet are on her trail, together with the brutal Hunters of Heretics, pursuing her through the deep forests and across the snow-capped High Alnaes mountains.
In this battle for the future, only one side can triumph.
A unique and intriguing story which, at just over 500 pages, I thought would take me some time to get through, but in actual fact I was hooked from the first few pages. With a good solid plot and excellent world building I was swept away in this epic story and the fast pace and action packed scenes hold the readers interest from the onset. The writing is superb, it’s imaginative and so rich in detail. It’s this incredible attention to detail I enjoyed so much. The atmosphere and tension the author creates, particularly in those first few opening scenes, I felt all the emotions and I could feel every shudder and tremor when the comet struck.
In addition to the wonderful world building the author has created some diverse and fascinating characters. All these characters are explored in detail and it is marvellous to learn about their little quirks and complexities. In particular, Eslin, who fulfils the role of the female protagonist. She is fearless, tough, clever and also shrouded in a cloud of mystery. The reader is not sure whether to be on her side but either way it’s absolutely impossible to dislike her. I wanted to explore and learn so much more about her character.
This is truly an epic fantasy, which I enjoyed reading very much. I’m looking forward to the release of the next novel in the series. Thank you to Xiphax Press for forwarding me a copy of this fantastic book to review.
Publisher: Xiphax Press
Publication Date: June 2020
Rating: 4 Stars
✿ 𝓚𝓪𝓻𝓮𝓷 ✿