cover image Ashes of the Sun

Ashes of the Sun

Django Wexler. Orbit, $16.99 trade paper (592p) ISBN 978-0-316-51954-0

Wexler (Sundered Bond) demonstrates a talent for worldbuilding in the impressive post-apocalyptic fantasy that launches his Burningblade and Silvereye trilogy. The Plague War left the world in shambles, leading to the rise of the Twilight Order, a group that claims to protect the people of the Dawn Republic from plaguespawn monsters but really works to gain control of the dhak, a powerful branch of magic. When the Order comes to take sickly five-year-old Maya from her family’s farm, claiming they can cure her, her eight-year old-brother, Gyre, fights back and winds up with a scar across his face. As 12 years pass, Gyre, now known as Halfmask, makes it his mission to destroy the Order. Meanwhile, Maya is raised in the Order by her mentor Jaedia Suddenstorm and believes in their cause wholeheartedly. When the siblings’ paths collide, they must decide if they will remain on opposite sides or face the future together. Though the goofy fantasy names will pull some readers out of the story (in addition to Suddenstorm there is an antagonist with the surname Thousandcuts), the fascinating lore of this plague-ridden land and the colorful cast will surely draw them in again. Familial tension, magic, and politics combine to kick this series off to a powerful start. Agent: Seth Fishman, the Gernert Co. (July)