Book: Valley of Embers (Landkist Saga 1) by Steven Kelliher
Release Date: August 16th 2016
Rating: 3,5 out of 5 stars
For hundreds of years, the flame-wielding Embers have been the last line of defense against the nightmare creatures from the World Apart, but the attacks are getting worse. Kole Reyna guards Last Lake from the terrors of the night, but he fears for his people’s future.
When Kole is wounded by a demon unlike any they have seen before, the Emberfolk believe it is a sign of an ancient enemy returned, a powerful Sage known as the Eastern Dark.
Kole has never trusted in prophecy, but with his people hanging on the precipice, he reluctantly agrees to lead the Valley’s greatest warriors in a last desperate bid for survival. Together, they will risk everything in search of a former ally long-thought dead, and whether Kole trusts him or not, he may be the only one capable of saving them.
I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review
Valley of Embers is the debut of Steven Kelliher and a high fantasy. You all know I love a good fantasy book, and in the core I wasn’t disappointed by this book.
We start in a place called Last Lake situated in a valley. In the months of dark they are often attacked by creatures from the World Apart. With the Embers, those with the power of fire, and soldiers they are able to fight them off. The start explains the setting and how they ended up in this situation. Personally I would have liked just a line here or there of extra explanation about the faery and the World After and so on. I just felt I needed a bit more to fully grasp it at the start. And at some point there was a conversation that was a bit heavy on the history information with a lot of just newly introduced side characters. It would have been better to have that spread out a little.
However after that the world became more clear through seeing the world as we followed the characters on their quest. I find this world with Landkist (with different powers) and sages very interesting. I really want to learn more about these sages (and what they exactly are), the World After and the world beyond the valley. The plot seems to be heading in that direction. The plot in itself was good. Nothing to surprising with the exception of a few bits here and there, but a solid set up for a good series I feel. I always find it interesting when in a plot there is the question as to who really is the enemy. And if the goal justifies the means. These were also present here. I like seeing how characters react differently to these things.
The writing was solid. There were various point of views that we followed with a few side characters. I enjoyed seeing the various aspects of the plot through this means. The amount of side characters at the start was narrowed down a bit and all were fleshed out so I could keep them apart rather well.
The main characters were all deepened out well. They all each had their flaws. I can’t say I prefer any specific character over the other. They were all rather serious. There certainly wasn’t a character that I disliked. But I don’t think that is a bad thing for a first book where we are still discovering the characters and the world.
So overall I feel this is a solid high fantasy debut and certainly worth a read for a fantasy fan.