As you know, blog tour reviews are far and few between on my blog. However, this book was something I could not pass on. The blurb gripped me and I knew I had to find out what the story was about.
Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.
The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.
Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of the folk that were taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance.
When Iwan and Ashael meet and she invites him to stay in Oak Cam, neither of them realise that she is the one the Zanthar seek. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on Ashael's shoulders.
First of all, have you seen this beautiful cover. I love the graphics and the font of the author name is possibly my favourite.
Ashael Rising is a strong debut for the fantasy genre. The story follows a few different POV’s and shows a lot of different aspects which adds to the reader experience. It begins with Iwan being sent into camp as an enemy spy, he’s a slave and has been given this duty, he meets Ashael and they invite him to stay in their Cam when he asks for shelter.
Initially I was concerned with the fact they just allowed a strange man to stay and integrate into their community but as you read into the story you realise they have had no real reason to be wary of strangers. I did enjoy their primitive and trusting natures though.
Iwan was sent by the Zanthar to search for something called the Vessel. They are an ancient race who have heard that The Vessel is a powerful being that can destroy them. Ashael has a power growing inside her that even her mentor doesn’t understand and I loved how the author developed this aspect.
This story is well-paced and very unique. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who loves the fantasy genre. Overall this was an awesome story that embodied a lot of the elements I love in fantasy stories.
Shona Kinsella is a fantasy author who lives near the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, in the west of Scotland. She is a member of the British Fantasy Society where she writes reviews of indie books. Shona has a degree in Law from the University of Strathclyde where she learned a lot about narrative structure.; everyone loves a story.
Shona enjoys spending time outdoors and much of her writing is inspired by the environment that she lives in, at the edge of Scotland’s first national park. When she is not writing, she enjoys geocaching with her husband and children and reading as many books as she can get her hands on.