This really is an audio book of epic proportions.. Not only has Jacob Cooper written a well characterised, nicely paced, chock-full of action fantasy ..Show More »- Kramer breathes life into it, just as he has similar books before it.
Yes, Altar of Influence really is as good as a Sanderson (and you'll see more of why in the next book Circle of Reign!). Unique world building, gorgeous magic system, a good mix of character POV's, and a nod to the complex real life topic of climate change - Altar of Influence really is a multilayered and well structured novel. It sits well in the shelf with the likes of Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Robin Hobb and John Gwynne.
This is an expanded version of a previous incarnation of Altar, and I'm thoroughly impressed to see that Cooper has brought even more to a novel, that was pretty darn good in the first place!
Cannot recommend this book higher. I've never listened to a book that made me think Robert Jordan had come back from the grave. Circle of reign has th..Show More »e magic and awe of Sanderson (think way of kings with mistborn pacing) with the prose and breadth of Jordan. Cooper is ALMOST there, but this is his first book, I think. I'm blown away for a self-published author.
Favorite characters: Rehum, Reign, Aiden, and Honleir, the desert boy.
This is not just "good vs bad". The web is complex. First, you have Reign (no spoilers), that witnesses something she should not have. This sets in motion a spiral of events that brings great danger and loss to those she loves, even her entire race. She is only 9 years old when the story stars. Watching her progress and getting to see her grow was awesome. She starts out innocent, quickly becomes damaged, then we must see if she wilts or rises up. It may not turn out how you think.
Her twin, Hedron, the next heir of the western province (arlethia) is definitely a good character, a good person, but has his demons with what happens to his family. Because of his character, this story qualifies as a coming of age story.
Aiden, master of the hold guard, grew up in a very turbulent setting, to say the least. He is loyal to the Kerr family to a fault, but has to overcome his failures and guilt. There's a lot more to him, I suspect, that I hope we find out in future books.
Rehum is the most mysterious. There are at least two main antagonist forces (Rehum and the Helsyans), but they may not be acting together, maybe even against each other. The stage is set for an interesting mix of complex plotting.
Then there's the mystery itself. The secret order of the Gyldenal; The Ancients and Those Not Remembered; the world of Våleira as a character and its destiny; the Ancient Dark (what Cooper calls Entropy); the Dark Mother; the Lumenatis; the history of the world that seems have been long lost and is now being discovered by two hilarious but determined characters.
And finally, my biggest pull to the next book: the Haxlium, the wolf, and Honleir, the desert boy. Those mysteries are so well woven as sub-plots that they are what I'm still thinking about days later. This is one I will re-read.