What price will Kesta and the fire-walkers have to pay to keep their people from enslavement? The raids were more ferocious, more desperate and much earlier in the year. When Kesta sees in the flame who is really behind the attacks the Independent islands of the Fulmers seem doomed to fall. Their only hope is to cross the sea to seek the help of the King of Elden and his sorcerer, the Dark Man.
Where do I start with this book? Usually when I’m reading a book to review I will take notes for around a third and then just get reading. Not with this one, I just devoured it.
The story mainly centers around a coming battle. There are four lands, Elden, The Borrows, The Fulmers and Chem. Each is very different in their culture and politics. Chem is seeking to invade and conquer the other three. The world building in this book is easy to follow and I enjoyed the fact there are stark differences between the lands. Politically and therefore socially they are extremely different. The story is told through several characters as they travel through and around these lands. We hear the least about The Borrows as they have already been conquered at the start of the story, however, what has been done to these people will make you shudder! Reading those parts certainly gave me chills.
The land of Chem is beautiful and terrible, the scene’s that take place here made me angry. It is a Patriarchal society, run pretty much by the men of one family. All the women are slaves and are free to be brought and sold at their owners pleasure. The men that rule seek to find women of strong magical power to use as breed slaves and keep the magical offspring. In a reasonably equal society those scenes are hard to read. Chem wants to conquer The Fulmers in particular, to steal the women of strong magic.
There are two main types of magic we come across throughout the book dark blood magic and elemental magic. The former being used by the men of Chem. The latter by the women of Fulmer.
We are introduced to Kesta and her father when they seek aid from Elden to defend The Fulmers. Kesta is a fire walker, a Fulmer woman born with magic and able to walk the fire. This enables the walker to view events happening far away. As well as performing other elemental magic and being able to converse with animals.
I loved Kesta’s character, she is forced into an impossible situation in order to secure the aid for her people. You see from the beginning that she is strong enough to do what needs to be done. She is a warrior but she is also kind, caring and willing to do what is right. She’s multi faceted and I love that in a character. She ends up at Northhold, The Dark Man’s keep, The way she shakes things up there is brilliant, the floundering of the Elden men as she takes on the keep is fabulous.
The Dark Man aka Jorrun, well lets just say when the story starts I REALLY didn’t like him. However his backstory is very cleverly interwoven into the book and as you progress you realise just what he is fighting. His past, his present and his future, he is extremely complicated and I liked the way Emma leads you through it all gently. He is slowly revealed to you bit by bit and that is perfect for his development. There are some lovely moments between Kesta and himself which give you glimpses of the person he could be if he was allowed to be.
There are so many other characters that are worthy of mention, they are all well written and fleshed out. In other books I have read with a multitude of characters you sometimes find that you don’t get to know them all or you wonder what part they are there to play. Not here, each one has a purpose and all there interactions are really well done.
You may have guessed from the beginning that I loved this book. The pace is pitched perfectly and switching from character to character allows you see what is going on in the various lands simultaneously. The fight scenes are intense and leave you breathless, but in the moments between there are heartwarming, funny and touching times. I was left feeling utterly frustrated at points and near tears at others. Emma makes you feel all the feels. Oh and the ending, blimey without giving anything anyway I totally understand why it had to be but it made me sad. I’m extremely pleased to hear there will be another book and I will be first inline to get my hands on it.
Many thanks to Rachel from Rachels Random Resources and Emma Miles for a copy of the book for an honest review. If you like the sound of The Raven Tower scroll down for a chance to win one.
I presently live in the stunning county of Dorset where I’m a cat slave to Wolfe and Piglitt I spend as much time as I can outside in nature and love exploring and learning about new cultures and languages. I’ve visited Greece, Serbia, Transylvania, Sicily and Norway as well as making several road trips around our beautiful United Kingdom. I paint, sculpt, dabble in photography and do a little archery but most of all – whenever I get a chance – I write.
My writing started from a very young age when I often found myself being the one taking charge of and entertaining all my younger cousins. They loved to hear my stories and although they mostly called for ghost stories it was fantasy I fell in love with when I read The Lord of the Rings when I was ten. I went on to write stories and short ‘books’ for my friends through school and college; then one evening whilst I was waiting for my aunt and uncle to visit an image came to my mind of a boy sitting beneath a bridge. I didn’t know who he was or why he was there, but from exploring those questions ‘The Wind’s Children’ trilogy blossomed and grew with roots going back into his far history as well as stretching out to his future. The boy’s name was Tobias.
I have since left Tobias’s world of ‘Naris’ to explore the Valley with Feather in the ‘Hall of Pillars’ which is now available through Amazon. I am now presently finding my way through Elden, the beautiful Fulmer islands, the ravaged Borrows and haunted Chem with Kesta Silene; a shamaness of sorts with a big journey ahead of her. I hope you come along to share her story and join her adventure; she needs you and you won’t regret it.
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