Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.
The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.
Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of those taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance.
When Ashael meets Iwan in the forest, neither realise that she is the one the Zanthar are looking for. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on her shoulders.
This book reminded me of why I love fantasy. I don’t read fantasy all the time, and whenever I start a new one I do get a bit worried that I might be lost in the new fantasy world with all new names and worlds, etc. But that definitely wasn’t the case in Ashael Rising.
I really enjoyed reading about Ashael and her mentor Bhearra. Their conversations, everything; it just seemed so natural. And I had no clue how Iwan was going to get out of a difficult situation he was put in as well, which is great because I can usually figure it out.
I devoured the book in the beginning, but towards the end I did have trouble getting into to it. I think maybe for a few reasons. The story shifted to show Bhearra and the towns people instead of Ashael, which I totally understand why this was done, but I just wasn’t as interested in them as I was Ashael.
Another reason is because something happened in the book that disturbed me, so I did take a little break from it. (It’s not that bad, I’m just not good with blood, etc.)
But all in all, if you like fantasy books I would give Ashael Rising a try.
***I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.***
Author Bio – Shona Kinsella is the author of Ashael Rising, (Unbound, 2017) the first in her series, The Vessel of KalaDene. She is also one of the editors of the British Fantasy Society’s fiction publication, Horizons. When she is not writing or wrangling her three children, she can usually be found with her nose in a book.
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