The Guild of Navigators has ruled the Aion Sea for centuries, using their fleet of mystical ships to collect trade for the Aurelian Empire.
Now the Emperor is dead.
For Calder Marten, Captain of The Testament, the Emperor’s death is not an end, but an opportunity. He and his crew seek the legendary Heart of Nakothi, an artifact that could raise a second Emperor…and earn Calder a fortune.
But they’re not the only ones who want the Heart.
The Consultant’s Guild, an ancient order of spies and assassins, will stop at nothing to keep the world in chaos. They seek to destroy the Heart, and prevent the world from uniting under a single Emperor ever again.
On the seas, a man works to restore the dying Empire.
In the shadows, a woman seeks to destroy it.
Will you explore the seas here with Calder? Or will you walk the shadows with Shera, in the parallel novel “Of Shadow and Sea”?
International best selling author Will Wight is known through the SFF circles for his best selling Cradle Series and for good reason. However, Will Wight has also written two other complete series including The Elder Empire which does something I have never seen attempted in the fantasy genre. Will Wight has written two parallel book series in the same world and it was an absolute blast to read and be a part of.
What I mean by parallel book series is that in the Elder Empire we follow two different stories: The Sea novels follow the captain Calder and the Shadow novels follow the consultant (assassin) Shera. Both of these book series are directly linked and you will see crossovers into the ideas, beliefs, and desires with plenty of times questioning the information you have been given as they will change. I will be reviewing book one in the Sea series as this was where I jumped into this amazing world.
Calder Marten is the Captain of The Testament as he moves about the sea’s looking for riches. With the Emperor now dead, Calder is now tasked with finding the legendary Heart of Nakothi to raise a second Emperor. The consultant guild, where the Shadow books cover, want to stop this plan to raise a second Emperor by any means necessary. We follow the crew of the Testament as they provide the needed comic relief for the story as well as Calder’s wife Jerri. Jerri has a mysterious past, which we get to see throughout the course of the novel and not all of it will be known to Calder.
Of Sea and Shadow is also split between the present and the past. For the past chapters, we get to see Calder’s childhood and how he was raised, how he came to become the captain he is today, and a dark agreement he is forced to make with ramifications to follow. Will Wight’s writing style is very smooth and easy to digest while also giving us plenty of details at the same time. You will not feel any kind of info dumps and the worldbuilding will flow very organically. This series doesn’t get as much attention as it should, but I enjoy the creativity and the authors drive to try something new.
For questions about continuing with the Sea series or transferring the Shadow series, I would suggest picking a series to read and sticking with it to the very end. You will get much more appreciation for the world as a whole and catch little gems when visiting the second series. I had a lot of fun with on my adventure and I know anyone picking up these series will as well.