A murky past. A forbidden love. A deathly power.
When the river spits Umbra onto its bank, naked and shivering, the only clue to her identity is the arcane brand seared into her skin. A brand hunted by both a murderous necromancer and a handsome stranger. A brand that thrusts Umbra into a simmering conflict between the ascendant Clans and the nomadic Gherza.
First of all, beautiful cover design! Love how intricate and sybiotic it is!
I won a review copy of this book via "The Reading Room." This is an biased review.
Completely absorbing read. I loved the intricate plotlines and characters. I could not guess Umbra's former identity until it was revealed by the author - you get it narrowed down, but don't quite know until the last couple scenes! The pace of the story was fast and gripping. It was hard to put this book down at night.
A few times in the narrative, the character movements were not well-choreographed. In one instance, a man grabs a woman and pulls her to his chest then holds a sword to her throat. A few lines later, the man punches the woman in the temple, knocking her out cold. To me, punching someone held to your chest with your non-dominant hand would not result in a blackout, it would be more of a headache than anything, unless the person punching you is 1980s Mr. T. So a few times similar to this example, things did not play out well. Perhaps if the man knocked the woman with the hilt of his sword? That might have been more plausible?
That being said, I enjoyed this book very much! It was a well-layered and character-driven plot. The idea of a Tree of Souls and the different realms was fascinating. I also loved the female leads in the story. There were *girl power/empowerment* moments intermixed with the strongly emotional and heart-wrenching moments.
A few swear words were used in the dialogue, and while there were a few implied sexual situations (narration leading up to those moments), there was nothing explicit.
I hope this author writes more because there is potential for further exploration of this well-crafted world. Highly recommend to fans of fantasy or ancient historical fiction as the idea of migrating clans, sword fighting, and tribal honor are prominent in the storyline.
Just released December 2016: "The Forgotten" volume 2 "Heir of the Heretic"
Reviewed and awarded the
2016 Indie Editor's Choice
by the Historical Novel Society.
Long listed for the Historical Novel Society 2017 Indie Award.
Goodreads profile at: https://www.goodreads.com/JElse