From one of the most exciting writers of fantasy adventure comes the first novel in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, a tale of unpredictable magic, battling warlords, and the lust for vengeance set in the unforgiving frozen wastes at the edge of the world.
Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine "Mick" McFadden has spent the last six years exiled in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.
Now, as the world's magic runs wild, McFadden and the people of Velant must fight to survive and decide their fate . . .
Praise for the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga
"Epic fantasy as it was meant to be read: gripping, action packed, and larger than life. A delight for any fan of the genre!" —Rachel Aaron
“Epic fantasy at its best." —Aaron Rosenberg
"A vivid, engrossing tapestry woven from epic heroism, post apocalypse struggles, perilous magic and darkest fantasy. A distinct and distinctive achievement." —Juliet McKenna
"A book that will take over readers' thoughts until long after the final page." —RT Book Reviews
The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga
Reign of Ash
War of Shadows
Shadow and Flame
Gallant young nobleman Blaine McFadden, convicted of murder and immured in Donderath's frigid penal colony of Velant, leads a revolt to escape the control of the homeland. With the long dark" coming and Donderath conquered in war, derring-do and the need for independence are in the air. Unfortunately, conniving magicians have used the war to disrupt the traditional patterns of magic, and chaos looms. Martin uses these plot elements to paint an overcrowded mosaic, full of scarcely distinguishable characters discussing events to death with an inflated dialogue-to-action ratio. The interminable conversations may be setting the ground for a sequel, but their function of filling in background and foreshadowing developments soon leaves the reader longing for the mute heroics of Conan the Barbarian. The travails of Blaine provide a unifying if hackneyed thread: the exiled prince returning home. But unlike, say, Aragorn, he gains neither stature nor depth as events progress, merely developing a confusion of identity. Even feuding factions of vampires fail to enliven this dragging tale. Some vivid scenes and Blaine's indecisive quest fail to offset the ennui of endless, repetitious dialogue. Martin's first task in the sequel should be to dispatch a trusty hero, armed with a battle axe, to lop off conversation.
Slow start, but gets good fast.
Really disappointing ending.