Review: Legacy of Ash (Legacy Trilogy #1) by Matthew Ward

Rating: ★★★★★-

Synopsis

In this action-packed epic fantasy debut, three heroes scarred by old hatreds must find a way to overcome their pasts if they are to have any chance of saving their crumbling Republic from complete destruction. Perfect for fans of George R. R. Martin, Brent Weeks, and Brandon Sanderson.

A shadow has fallen over the Tressian Republic.

While the armies of the Hadari Empire invade the borderlands, the Republic’s noble families plot against each other, divided by personal ambition.

But as Tressia falls, heroes rise.

Viktor Akadra is the Republic’s champion and conqueror of the rebellious south. A warrior without equal, he also hides a secret that would see him burned as a heretic.

Josiri Trelan would gladly see Viktor condemned to the flames – vengeance for a rebellion crushed and a mother slain. And while Josiri plots fresh insurrection, his sister, Calenne, is determined to escape their tarnished legacy and break the shackles of the past.

As dark days beckon, these three must overcome their differences to save the Republic. Yet decades of bad blood are not easily set aside. Victory – if it comes at all – will command a higher price than they could have imagined.

Review

Thanks to Hachette Audio, Libro.fm, the author, and the narrator for an advance listening copy of Legacy of Ash (Legacy Trilogy #1) in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this ALC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novel.

George R. R. Who? A sprawling epic filled with multi-dimensional characters, political intrigue, intense magic, and large-scale battles, Legacy of Ash is sure to be at the top of many “Best of” lists in 2020. A perfect blend of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom. If you enjoy epic fantasy in any capacity whatsoever, make sure this one is on your wish-list.

Now, before you ask, Legacy definitely deserves a 5-star rating, but I had to dock it down to a 4.5+ due to a few things at the beginning and throughout the novel. First off, while I can recommend the audiobook as Suzannah Hampton does a phenomenal job with the narration (even with a heavy dose of male characters), you may be better off grabbing a physical or digital copy and reading along (if you can afford to do so). Main reasons I say that are thus (and they are actually the same issues I had when first attempting Adrian Selby’s Snakewood): there is a large cast of characters given to you in a short period of time AND you are thrust directly into the action from the get-go. Names alone, at least for me, need time to gel before I can really get rolling in a novel. With the way this book consistently ramps up in pace, it can become a chore remembering who is whose daughter, son, mother, father, etc. when you do not have a list handy. The action thrusting wasn’t a huge deal, honestly, but I did need to give myself a couple of run-throughs with the prequel chapter as I may have just not been in the right mindset.

Having said all of that, every single character that Ward has written into this hefty tome has significant importance to how the story plays out. Much like GOT, even the minor characters deal a hand or two into the game in order to shake things up a bit. While we play around in the POVs of several major players, I did feel that we could have been given more insight into their true thoughts and motivations; but when you are at such a rigid pace for 784 pages, I can see why that may have taken a back seat (at least for part 1 of a trilogy).

What really shines in this novel, aside from the political machinations and characters, is the magic system. Giant war golems, assassins disguised as massive tangles of blackbirds, goddesses of the sun and moon, etc. Magic is used heavily throughout the story and every bit is bigger and more explosive than the last. There is also one VERY important magical aspect that I’ll let you see for yourself.

I urge you not to hesitate giving Legacy of Ash a go. I know that large tomes, especially debuts, can be a little harrowing, but I waited on Brian Lee Durfee’s The Forgetting Moon for what seemed like forever and loved the heck out of it. Sometimes, all it takes is a recommendation from one person you trust and you’ll be glad you joined the bandwagon. Also, if you wanted to read A Song of Ice and Fire, but didn’t care for all of the explicit material, Legacy of Ash is a no-brainer.

8 thoughts on “Review: Legacy of Ash (Legacy Trilogy #1) by Matthew Ward

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