Book: Emerald Blade (Landkist Saga 2) by Steven Kelliher
Release Date: June 1st 2017
Tags: Fantasy / High Fantasy / Adult
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Other books in this series I reviewed
Valley of Embers
Possible spoilers for the previous books in the series
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
One Sage is dead. Five remain.
For Kole, Linn and the newly-minted heroes of the Valley, their victory is short-lived in light of new revelations.
The King of Ember is alive. But the man who once led his people against the forces of darkness is changed. His path now takes him to the north and a land called Center, where he intends to bring his power to bear against another would-be God.
While Kole and Linn gather a small company to follow the King, another group heads for the northern deserts, intent on discovering what power the Emberfolk left buried in the sands.
The Dark Months have faded, but the light cannot last. The time for hiding is over.
It’s time for the World to meet the Landkist.
Last year I read Valley of Embers, the first book in a promising fantasy series called The Landkist Saga. This book continues us on with the journey of Kole, Linn and Iyana. And I ended up being quite taken with this book. It certainly was a big step up from the first book I feel.
The world of the Landkist saga has created its own magical system and world surrounding it. Where in the first book it takes place in the valley, this book takes them out of the valley to a place called Centre with more forests and different kinds of people, different Landkist (those with magic) and creatures. I think that was great because we slowly get more taken into this world without it moving too fast. Where in the first book there was some info dumping at the start of the book I didn’t feel that was the case in this book. Of course we do already have the basic information from the first book so it just builds on that well. I do have to say it took me a bit to get back into this world. There is just so much to remember from the first book, with character names also, that it took me a bit. But this is more of a fault with me as the reader than I think this is the fault of the book. These are just best binged after one another when you remember all of it the best. But once I was back up to speed with everything I was sucked right in.
The book starts us of back at their hometown where they are preparing to travel. For the first part the large group travels together but nearing the half of the book they separate. One large group with Iyana go to the Northern deserts while Kole, Linn and three other Landkist go to the Centre. I expected to get alternating chapters between each travel but we followed Kole’s group to the end of the book with an added point of view of their supposed enemy. I was very pleased with that. It gave us the chance to really get into their journey and struggles. Not that I am not interested in the other group but when focusing on just one makes it easier to be sucked into the story, especially when there is new territory to learn about.
I would say that the first 150 pages are on the slow side. It took them a while to actually get travelling. But after that the pacing flows well for me. It alternates between talking and battle scenes. These battle scenes are well written, but maybe can go on a tad long for those that aren’t as drawn to detailed battle scenes. Even so it creates a realism of the battles and shows they are well thought out. Also this group is not stupid. They are intelligent.
As for the characters, in my review of the first book I said I did not prefer one over the other. That they were serious. That last still stands. But I have grown quite fond of some of these characters. Kole has something. His struggle with his powers, his revenge but also doing the right thing is subtle. In part it isn’t right in your face which is something that I can appreciate. His relationship with his dog is also so very endearing. I’ve grown to like Linn. She is also struggling with what she is becoming but doesn’t shy away from what she needs to do. Baas is a rock, quite literally at moments. Jenk and Misha are okay. I have to say I kind of missed Nathan from the first book.
But most of all I have fallen a bit for our Ember King. Yes. There is something about learning about his side of everything and the side of the battle that completely drew me into the story. He was a great addition and I’m still upset about that ending.