Age of Ash

Daniel Abraham. Orbit, $28 (560p) ISBN 978-0-316-42184-3
Bestseller Abraham, coauthor of the Expanse space opera series, returns to epic fantasy in this outstanding series debut, which instantly hooks readers with dual mysteries. Kithamar has prided itself as “a free city, independent and proud and ruled by princes of its own rather than any distant king” for centuries. But the city’s at a turning point when Prince Byrn a Sal dies after less than a year in power, the circumstances of his demise inviting speculation that he’s been murdered, possibly by his daughter and heir, Elaine. Abraham smartly twines this political intrigue with the consequences of a violent death in the city’s underworld; Alys, part of a successful pickpocket gang, ran afoul of a guard on the day of Byrn a Sal’s coronation, and was rescued by her older brother, Darro, also a thief. Shortly after this misadventure, Darro’s stabbed to death, leading Alys to fear it was a revenge killing by the guard, and thus, her fault. The impressively complex dynamics of Kithamar’s society and rival races are delineated without clunky exposition, making for a smooth, immersive first foray into its streets. Readers will eagerly anticipate the sequel. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/19/2021
Release date: 02/15/2022
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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