King of Ashes. Book Review

KING OF ASHES by Raymond E. Feist
HarperVoyager, h/b, 560pp, £20
Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins

What were the five great kingdoms of Garn are now four. The Baron of Marquensas surveys the remnants and spoils of battle. Destruction. Carrion. The death of a king, along with his soldiers, relatives and followers, marks the end of the Firemane line. Witnessing this bitter end, Daylon Dumarch knows peace has ended. He made his choice and now must face the consequences. Four kings. One God.

Under the Lords of the Unseen, Hatu was raised and educated, though for what, he has never been sure. A student of ‘The Hidden’ but never quite one of them, Hatu nears adulthood now and edges ever closer to the final secrets of his masters, and of his future. One moment he is living the angsts of a teenage boy – rivals, adult feelings, the shames of his past – next he is assuming the role of a beggar boy and boarding a ship to Sandura, without explanation. This is what he has been trained for. It was his future, and now his present.

Just like Hatu, Hava is also training to serve in very particular ways, and she too has feelings and ambitions. Armed with her varied skills and her good sense, she too is sent away on a mission.

In the Narrows a journeyman smith, talented beyond his years, crafts his best sword yet. When his master grants him the secret of king’s steel, Declan knows he has become a master himself. Now he must hold the coveted secret safe until he finds another worthy of it.

First in Feist’s new The Firemane Saga, brings us joyous, traditional fantasy that flows with a warm, familiar feeling throughout. Reaching back to the genre’s roots, the most traditional tropes and themes are re-lived here and honed with nostalgic flair. We have all of the expectation and fulfilment of an old great to take us away from the present for some glorious several-hundred pages that do not disappoint.