First off, 4.5 out of 5. Now to the review, this book was amazing and very refreshing. It is a true epic fantasy in the tradition of Tolkien, Jordan, Feist, and Goodkind. ( I know there are other great Fantasy writers but these are the ones that I am thinking of now.) The story is deep and encompassing, there are twists and turns around each and every corner, some are predictable others are not. The world is also complex with many facets that make it to where you have to learn and grow as your understanding of the story, the world, and the nature of the world changes. One thing I did notice about the story is that it takes place in two main locations but that is acceptable as it is the first book of the series and it uses the locations well to build the proper backstory. The story does alternate perspectives, and I believe it does so very well. These changes are either designated by page breaks and follow a scene that clearly indicates a shift in perspective and/or time or they are designated by a new chapter. Both of these serve to progress the story well as they allow the reader to catch up on events from another character’s viewpoint. It also allows the reader to fall in love with certain characters and to begin to despise others.
With that said my favorite character is Arek. I find that I want him to succeed no matter the consequences of his actions to either himself or those that he loves. I also enjoy following Ash and finding out more about him. I have some predictions about him and why he is able to do what he does but I am going to keep that to myself, at least until the next book is released. I don’t care too much for Niall, which is the king’s son. But that is just because he wants to be a warrior but when given the chance to prove himself he freezes on two different occasions. I hope that his character continues to grow. I also find that I don’t like the Lore Fathers, but I think that comes from the fact that they are manipulators and do not give their underlings the information that they need to survive and thrive.
I truly can’t wait for the next book because there are many question that I hope are answered or at least cleared up a little bit. All in all, I just can’t wait for the next book and I am grateful for being able to read this story.