A far away star supernovas and sends waves of force and change rippling through the cosmos. The waves crash into Sarnen Karnea’s world and thrust him into a deadly struggle to keep his loved ones from harm and to keep a secret about his son from the Zangava Empire.
The waves awaken new and old forms of consciousness, and stir ancient primordial resentments, that threaten to destabilize the Empire’s dominance in the world. Challengers from across the ocean, and from under it, seek to capitalize on newly developing Imperial problems.
Like the Empire, Sarnen must adapt to survive, and must ask himself which of his virtues he is willing to deny in order to reach his goals.
This book had some really great ideas. The world feels unique and interesting. The magic is elemental, but this time, the elements are conscious. And that really hooked me from the start. The Zangava Empire has mastered the use of these elements with their Elemental Tutors, and is pretty dominant. Things soon go awry though, as the elements begin to go out of control and even feud among themselves. There’s also a variety of interesting creatures, from flying pteradons to deep sea civlisations.
The problem though, was the writing. This is the author’s first book, and it shows. The writing feels rough around the edges. And that really held me back from enjoying the great aspects of the story and worldbuilding. There’s too much description in some places, too little in others. Some sentences like “I think the Hawkins, those are the Afians that resemble hawks” just made me cringe a little. The viewpoints jump around awkwardly – sometimes in the middle of a scene. And there just seems to be too much going on. Not in the sense that it was hard to keep track of it, but the story seemed to go – this happened, then this happened, then that happened – like it was in a hurry to get somewhere.
And it’s a shame, because the book really had a lot of potential. I haven’t written Lominec off though – because he does seem to have a nice knack for fantasy that feels fresh and different. It’s just his prose that’s the trouble, and I’m hopeful that future books will be better. I mean, even Sanderson, who’s all the rage now, debuted with Elantris, which was the sixth book he’d written, and it wasn’t even all that great.