King of Ashes
by Raymond E. Feist
Review by Bronwyn Eley
Magician, Talon of the Silver Hawk, Rides a Dread Legion… you may have heard of one, if not all, of these epic adventure stories from fantasy author Raymond E. Feist. And that’s not even mentioning them all! If, like me, you’re a little obsessed with all things fantasy, then heads up: King of Ashes, the latest from international bestselling author Raymond E. Feist, is out today.
Get ready for something unforgettable. Meet Hatu, the only surviving member of the legendary Firemanes family, the royal family of Ithrace who were betrayed and murdered by the ruthless and cold-blooded Lodavico, the King of Sandura. Only Hatu doesn’t know this, since he was only a baby when this all went down. Hatu is raised by a secret society called Quelli Nacosti, whose purpose is to infiltrate, spy and occasionally kill… basically Hatu is being taught to be an unstoppable killing machine. And if anyone has a debt to settle, it’s Hatu.
The world of Garn once had five great kingdoms, until the Firemanes were slaughtered. Now the remaining four kingdoms are teetering on the edge of gruesome war once again. Lodavico has teamed up with a fanatical religious group called the Church of the One and together they are sweeping across Garn, brutally imposing their laws and beliefs upon everyone they meet.
Bring on book two! It’s not just Hatu’s story that hooked me, I’m also keen to see what’s going to happen with Declan, a master blacksmith learning the secrets of producing a mythical type of steel worthy of kings… *hint hint*
These two character’s stories are told separately in book one, the two only meeting briefly at the end. Their stories are played out with many landscapes, oceans and enemies in between… for now. I’m desperate to see what happens when the two join forces and together I see them as the next King Arthur and his Merlin. At least, that’s my hope!
Basically what I’m saying is that you need to get yourself a copy ASAP. Since we have a lot of fantasy fans here at Booktopia, check out some other fantasy titles our staff have loved below.
Why David loves it: The Fifth Season is a deep character driven story about a dying world and the people trying to survive the apocalypse, and about how societal structures can be far more pernicious villains than any one person could possibly be. Filled with so many powerful, emotional moments and characters that you’ll hate and love at the same time with equal passion, this book will keep coming back into your thoughts for months.
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Why Tracey loves it: If ever there was a king of fantasy it would be Terry Pratchett. His Discworld series comprises of over 41 books (including companions) and he is one of the absolute must read authors if you are into fantasy fiction. The Discworld series in particular is full of humour and parodies of the real world. Our world is definitely not the same since the death of Terry Pratchett.
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Why Tanaya loves it: V.E. Schwab is easily one of my favourite authors. Her books are always beautifully written and filled with wonderful, complex characters you just can’t help but adore. A Darker Shade of Magic is no different, but what I particularly love about this book is its incredible world and magic system. In this world, there are four parallel Londons – Red, Grey, White, and once upon a time, Black – and we follow Kell, one of the last magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between the four londons on his adventures. You’re in for a treat if you haven’t yet discovered this fantastic series!
Synopsis: Kell is one of the last Travellers magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes as such, he can choose where he lands. There’s Grey… Learn more.
Why Mark loves it: Since the release of The Eye of the World in 1990, Robert Jordan’s epic series The Wheel of Time has held an unbroken position of all time favourite on my bookshelf. Full of mystery and intrigue, war and political manoeuvring, prophecy and magic, Jordan skilfully tells his tale through vibrant characters and the trials they go through in the events leading up to the final confrontation between the Dark One and the Dragon Reborn.
Synopsis: The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again.
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Why Sarah loves it: I love the Sevenwaters series and have read it many times. Set in ancient Ireland, this is historical fantasy just the way I like it. The beautiful writing, richly detailed world building and endearing characters ensure that I keep wanting to revisit these stories over and over again. Beginning with Daughter of the Forest, a highly atmospheric and deeply romantic fairytale retelling of Han’s Christian Andersen’s The Six Swans, the series follows several generations of The Sevenwaters family. (For the record my favourite book in this series Son of Shadows but seriously – they’re all excellent!)
Synopsis: Lord Colum of Sevenwaters is blessed with seven children but it is Sorcha, the youngest child and only daughter, who alone is destined to defend her family and protect their land from the invading Britons. For Sorcha is the only one who escapes the cruel influence of Lady Oonagh… Learn more.
Why Kristie loves it: Reading Swordspoint for the second or third (or twentieth) time is just as exciting and suspenseful as the first. Swordspoint is a beautifully written novel full of political intrigue, complex and colourful characters, and (most importantly) elaborate sword duels that leave you breathless.
Synopsis: On the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. Even the nobles on the Hill turn to duels to settle their disputes. Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless – until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead a of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye… Learn more.
King of Ashes
The Firemane Saga: Book 1
A new novel from internationally bestselling author Raymond E. Feist. The world of Garn once boasted five great kingdoms, until the King of Ithrace was defeated and every member of his family executed by Lodavico, the ruthless King of Sandura, a man with ambitions to rule the world.
Ithrace's ruling family were the legendary Firemanes, and represented a great danger to the other kings. Now four great kingdoms remain, on the brink of war. But rumour has it that the newborn son of the last king of Ithrace survived, carried off during battle and sequestered by the Quelli Nacosti, a secret society whose members are trained to infiltrate...
About the Contributor
Bronwyn Eley is new to the book industry, having previously served in the Royal Australian Air Force & even spent some time as a barista until entering the exciting world of Booktopia. Books are her true passion. Bronwyn writes in her spare time, often has her face buried in a book and enjoys keeping fit (which she undoes by eating loads of chocolate) with Martial Arts and personal training. She can't answer what her favourite book is but she has a soft spot for The Host (Stephanie Meyer), Peter Pan (J.M Barrie) & Outlander (Diana Gabaldon). Fantasy, sci-fi and YA make up the majority of her bookshelves.