Starvation and corruption have pushed the citizens of the New Sarrisant to the brink of rebellion. It will take only a spark to tip the scales towards violence, but as the Great Barrier weakens and rare arcane powers return to the land, war seems a foregone conclusion in David Mealing's cinematic debut epic fantasy.
The Great Barrier has kept the colonies of the new world safe for hundreds of years. But the colony is a powder keg. Food shortages stir the citizens to riots against the crown. Dissidents whisper of revolution. And worse, the strength of the Great Barrier seems to be slipping.
Sarine is a street artist, selling her sketches for coin to feed her family. With the help of her magic powers, she's so far been able to escape the notice of the city police. But a strange man with powers more terrifying than her own threatens to expose her secrets.
And she's not the only one whose life threatens the strange figure threatens to upend.
Start reading this incredible addition to the epic fantasy canon. For fans of Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, and Brian McClellan.
War has invaded three lives in Mealing's imaginative and elaborate epic fantasy debut, the first in the Ascension Cycle. Sarine, a street artist in a troubled imperial city, is a binder who can tap into the power of the ley lines. She knows the importance of laying low and keeping her powers secret. But when commoners revolt over having their supplies shipped off to soldiers, she gets embroiled in plots to overthrow the crown. Erris, cavalry commander in a distant colony, has done what any good solider is expected to do: follow imperial orders, no questions asked. When the empire plans to abandon her colony and leave them to face the local tribes unsupported, Erris begins to wonder whether the empire deserves her fealty. Arak'Jur, a tribesman and guardian who communes with the spirits of beasts, seeks peace but knows only violence awaits him, as the spirits are demanding that the tribes go to war against the colonists. Strong characters and rich worldbuilding are undercut by the depiction of the tribes as primitive and sexualized.