The world of Elerea was dying, and Asahn was the only one who could save it. At least that’s the tale Old Durn the tribe storyteller was weaving this time. It seemed absurd at first, but then everything spun out of control.
A strange new religion is hunting the Kahn Shogal, and the secret to why may reside in the clouded history of Asahn’s people. The mighty Highlands warriors are left with no choice but to flee into the wilderness of their homeland, but it has become a harsh and unforgiving place as the world withers.
While the Kahn Shogal face danger on every side, their great chieftain is too consumed by pride and tradition to lead them. Only Asahn, heir to the Kah Hrah, has the authority to confront his father in his missteps. But for a son who always looked up to his father, such betrayal will not come easily.
With every step, Asahn will confront new dangers to his people and his world. And with every step, he will drive himself against all odds to become the person Old Durn swears he can be, their only salvation.
I greatly anticipated the release of Brand’s first novel, and was not disappointed in the least. This is a wonderful start to a limitless epic fantasy adventure, to which the likes of Robert Jordan, David Eddings and J. R. R. Tolkien themselves, and their fans, would only enjoy on their shelves.
Asahn’s tale of becoming a man touches on several relevant topics within everyday society, while providing a great deal of action, adventure, logic, friendship and suffering.
Epic. Simply epic. Join Asahn in his world of Elerea. Where Gods have been born and died leaving a once Eden-like world barren and hard to live off of. But the Khan Shogal do live off it. Led by Kah Hrah Hazahn and Kah Asahn, they are a nomadic tribe who has roots in ancient history. It’s time for their annual pilgrimage and there is danger afoot. Sycophants and traitors. Loyalists and surprising support. Asahn encounters all of it. Grows and learns. Becomes a man in his own right, not just due to age. The story is like a thief in the night. Comes and takes you away. To Elerea, where you meet the Dulhar and Ailewah and hear of ancient Gods and magic. Ride with the Khan Shogal. Engage in politics and lies. Experience friendship and loyalty that knows no bounds. Encounter things you never thought possible. I’ve only ever wanted to live in one fantasy world. Now I want to live here too. It’s harsh and beautiful and tragic. Some parts bring tears immediately. Some parts make me so mad I want to scream. It’s an emotional journey and so worth the ride.
Let me just begin by saying I AM AFFECTED!
I was not impressed when I started out. I was scared. I was scared because this author reminded me of David Eddings! and when I tried reading David Eddings, I was bored out of my mind. despised his gods. I had signed up to review this arc though, and I am stubborn and I pushed through my immediate thoughts of ‘This style of writing isn’t my cup of tea’ and I read it. I thought if nothing else I’d act as a proofreader. Brand’s writing surpasses David Eddings in every way that matters to me. His magic system and his Gods are interesting and once you pass the Preface the story unfurls beautifully like a shy flower opening to the sun. Let me reiterate. I did not expect to like this book… and I LOVED it. I was begging the other Arc readers to read faster so we could discuss the book. I’m going to be begging for book 2 no doubt about it.
While this book has a slow start, pushing through the first 30% will be well worth it.
The characters are well flushed out, and the father, son dynamic is perfection. Anyone who has been through or witnessed a father, son power struggle, will love the full circle of this relationship. While the beginning is slow, it is weaving history to the tribe that is well worth the effort of reading, especially if you are a lover of lore, and tales of days past.
From the storytelling of the clan historian to the inter-workings of the clan drama, all aspects of clan life are well placed and meticulously laid to engulf you into their world. By the end of I was feeling their fears, and hopes right along side them. I also enjoyed the deep political intrigue that flows throughout the story. Each person had a unique perspective and added to the overall understanding of the clan. A well told story of the wise giving way to the young, hard to accept unknown futures, where deep seeded tradition once ruled.
The religious/political commentary is perfectly woven to give voice to many of the real life experiences we face today with false prophets. The various aspects of magic are woven into the world with care, and add to the intrigue and mystery the clan faces as their world changes before them. I look forward to the next installment of this series.