For hundreds of years, the bestial Grol have clawed at the walls of Lathah without success. Now armed with O'hra, mystical weapons of great power, they have returned, to conquer. Witness to the Grol advance, Arrin can abide his exile no longer. He returns to Lathah, in defiance of death, with hopes to save his beloved princess and the child born of their illicit affair. He finds her unwilling to abandon her people.
At her behest, Arrin searches for a sanctuary for them only to be confronted by the Sha'ree, a powerful race long thought gone from the world. Through them, he learns it is not just the Grol that threaten the land. Empowered by a magic never before seen, the savage nations spread chaos and ruin across the realm.
With Lathah under siege, and the world on the brink of cataclysmic war, Arrin must strike a deal with the Sha'ree to take the fight to the Grol, or forever lose his one true love: his family.
©2011 Tim Marquitz (P)2014 Audible Inc.
I was a big fan of the authors Demon Squad books, as well as his other work, so When I had a chance to listen to this one, I jumped at it. I can't say enough good things about it It is a sprawling world, With multiple different original races, Magic that is rare enough that when it's used, it is a shock to the characters, and fully fleshed characters with actual motivations that make sense. The main character, Arrin, a disgraced guardsman exiled after an illicit affair with his charge, The Princess of Lathah, which resulted in a child. He has no plans to return, until he witnesses the bestial Grol (think beast form werewolves), destroy a city a few days away from Lathah. He knows he must warn the city, even if it means his death, to ensure that his love and their child can escape. The story only takes off from there. There are other story lines, leading a diverse group of characters to meet with members of the worlds elder race, long thought dead, who themselves are declining due to magic that has become poisonous to them. If this sounds intriguing, believe me, it is, and only got better as the story progressed. The characters are rich, fully fleshed out people, with realistic motivations, who are trying to survive in a world gone mad, or are the ones trying to make it go mad, in the case of the villains. The magic of the world is mostly invested in items, except for the elder race, who can personally wield magic, which is slowly killing them. This book should appeal to any fan of Mark Barnes Echoes of Empire books, or any fan of sprawling epic fantasy. I listened to this at 1 1/4 speed, since John Pruden's narration seems to have longer pauses in it, and this made it much more enjoyable. That's just a preference thing, though. I can't wait to get to book 2 of the series.
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