The Age of Ash by Andrenik Y Sergoyan #Review
Posted by brriske
Since time immemorial the people of Antesia have been forced by lash and flame to adhere to the holy covenants of their gods, the Perithia. Their dogma, passed on by the mighty Aegantine Church, had left them segregated from all who dwelt outside their kingdom. To those beyond their borders they were but a queer oddity, though one no foreign army challenged, for the Perithia had long ago gifted them with an indomitable weapon unbound by the laws of this world, a weapon only the gods’ sole scion, Aegis, could wield, and wield it he would against any nation who dared enter their sacred realm.
Such divine protection comes at a cost, though. The gods demand unquestioning obedience. To deny them is to face death at the hands of The Church. But late in the Fourth Age the kingdom finds itself on the brink of unprecedented change. The church’s stranglehold wanes under the rule of an ambitious king. And with his new maxims, the people begin to question the ken of their gods—to question their very existence. And worse, as if in direct defiance of the gods themselves, their high protector, Aegis, suddenly abandons the Sword of the Perithia and mysteriously vanishes, leaving Antesia without a champion.
As the kingdom searches for answers, a moon of fire rises into the sky—a vatic sign that cries hark to their end. In desperation, all eyes turn to the gods they once served, but the gods’ voices no longer ring out, the fires atop their towers have gone dark; the Perithia it seems, have vanished along with their child.
Like lambs unguarded in a den of wolves, the war machines of distant lands begin to churn with insatiable hunger. To the west, an unlikely pact unites warring elven tribes in a march against Antesia. In the south, shadows stir beyond The Great Divide—an ancient army long thought destroyed by Aegis eons ago. And beyond the Silent Sea to the east, Antesia’s long fought enemy, the kingdom of Shay, turns its eyes upon their unprotected shores.
The first in an epic series, The Age of Ash follows the tales of four unlikely heroes who’s fates are intertwined by destiny: A young fisherman discovers a dangerous truth that will forever change him and the powerful religion their nation is built upon. A forbidden lover to the head of the mighty Aegantine Church must find the courage to reveal a family secret that could lead to her ruin, though perhaps the salvation of their kingdom. A young girl is separated from her father when she manages to escape capture by an encroaching elven army, and finds herself as the only one capable of warning the king of the coming threat. And her father, prisoner to the evils she had escaped, must find himself freedom in order to reunite with his child, and in the process discovers the unbelievable truth surrounding the gods they serve.
I love this series beginning. Book one is superbly written, full of action and fascinating descriptions of the world created by this author. The characters are interesting and well fleshed out. Many twists and turns to follow and keep you glued to the pages for the duration. A deep lexicon at the end of this episode delves further into the elaborate world the author has created, providing insights without giving spoilers. Races full of various castes and multiple creatures have been well considered and formed for this world that is only slightly reminiscent of Middle Earth.
As an independent reviewer for Romance Authors that Rock, I gave this book a full five hearts. Tugging my heartstrings and capturing my breath several times, it is a mystery, a fantasy, a drama and even a bit of a documentary all wrapped in silks and webs of suspense.