Cedain is destined to collapse.
Across a world rife with blood, betrayal, and brutality, five people wade through unexpected tragedies.
An egotistical student, a fleeing refugee, a nomadic warrior, a fallen noble, and a criminal in hiding navigate the sinister dealings of politicians, two sudden wars, and nefarious lies that surface at Ashmount-a university dedicated to teaching the five branches of magic.
Survival means adapting or dying.
In this grimdark epic fantasy, the story begins with a tone-setting event that leaves your mouth open and thinking, “WTF?”. I mean this in the best of ways, of course. When I take my first bite out of a book described as “grim”, I am only more pleased that the book starts, but also has that same flavor throughout.
The world we enter on page 1 is, Cedain. The book offers a great map, and we actually do explore, or at least hear about most of it, within the first book. As a Fantasy Genre fanatic, can we deny the fact of the love we have as a community for the MAP! I certainly cannot!
I believe that it takes someone with true writing skills and a passion, together, to bring forth FIVE POV’s and not confuse the reader, at least a little bit. I did not feel a BIT of confusion. Not once! Bravo! That’s all I can thing of to so say. Each character is well developed. The world is also brought to you, the reader, a piece at a time so that by the finish line, the world is a picture well developed. As I finished this wonderful novel, I can say “I know each character as an individual, and not only that, I actually CARE about what is going to happen to them in the second book, “Buzzard’s Bowl”.
I will finish with this. If you enjoy a well-rounded grimdark epic fantasy, and you’ve not read this, I BEG of you to start one of my favorite books of this year, and a “TOP 5” contender on my “All-Time Favorite” list. John Palladino, what a wonderful debut novel!