Empires rise, civilisations fall and one culture comes to subsume another. It’s the way of the world . . . sometimes ways of life are improved, sometimes they are not. But the progression of change is huge and – usually – unstoppable.
In this story, the Ossian way of life is fading and the Dachen way is taking its place and Aren is comfortable with that. Even when his parents are accused of treason he supports the establishment and maintains there’s been some mistake . . . which is all it takes to get himself and his best friend arrested . . .
Thrown into a prison mine they plan their escape – only to be overtaken by events when they’re rescued, and promptly find themselves in the middle of an ambush. By the time they’ve escaped, they’re unavoidably linked to Garric – their unwelcome saviour – and his quest to overturn to Dachen way of life.
If they leave Garric now, they’ll be arrested or killed by their pursuers. If they turn him in, Garric will kill them. If they stay with him, they’ll be abetting a murderous quest they don’t believe in. There are no good options – but Aren will still have to choose a path . . .
Designed to return to classic fantasy adventures and values, from a modern perspective, this is a fast-moving coming-of-age trilogy featuring a strong cast of diverse characters, brilliant set-pieces and a strong character and plot driven story.
It's like David Eddings, Margaret Weis, Tracey Hickman and Terry Brooks had a brainstorming session over a power lunch... then Wooding stole their notes, drank their beer and set about skewing everything. ...great fun, a classic epic fantasy.
A well-written tale of revolution, dark magic, and a quest for an ancient game-changing artifact set in a well-built and well-realised epic fantasy world.
THE BOOK BAG
The Ember Blade is everything I could possibly want in an epic fantasy novel, and so much more. Buy this book as soon as it is available.
FANTASY BOOK REVIEW
From the excellent characterizations to the relentless chase, from breathtaking set pieces to the intricate world-building, everything was written with finesse. It seriously doesn't matter whether you're a fan of classic, epic, or grimdark fantasy (even better if all three), there's a place for you here. The Ember Blade is a book every fantasy fan will feel right at home with, and yet will find new adventures in it. It's a book that fantasy readers will love to revisit and inhabit longer and longer with every visit.
If you like Brandon Sanderson you'll love this. The best epic fantasy for years.
Gavin Smith, author of The Bastard Legion