4 out of 5 stars
An intro to the book from the description:
Khirro never wanted to be anything more than the farmer he was born to be, but a Shaman’s curse binds him to the fallen king and his life changes forever.
Driven by the Shaman’s dying words, Khirro’s journey pits him against an army of the dead, sends him through haunted lands, and thrusts him into the jaws of beasts he wouldn’t have believed existed. In one hand he carries the Shaman’s enchanted sword, a weapon he can barely use; in the other he holds a vial of the king’s blood, the hope of the kingdom. His destination: the Necromancer’s keep in the cursed land of Lakesh. Only the mysterious outlaw magician can raise the king from the dead to save them all from the undead invasion, but can Khirro live long enough to deliver the vial?
Can a coward save a kingdom?
This is an adult epic fantasy that grabs you from the first page and holds your interest beyond the ending (thank goodness there is a sequel!). Mr. Blake creates a world that while holding to traditional fantasy elements (swords, castles, dark forests, and magic) is unique in its problems and the predicaments of the main characters.
I won’t say there weren’t times I didn’t want to shake the lead character, Khirro, and tell him to open his eyes and get a backbone, but he does grow as the story progresses. I have great hopes for the second book! The story has its love and sad moments. Characters are lost along the way that you don’t want to see go, which is one reason I’d call this an adult epic fantasy rather than YA. I would also have loved to see a map, but Mr. Blake does a great job painting the visuals to the world. I was never lost, merely curious to know more about the layout of the world.
This is really just a beautifully crafted epic fantasy. Fans of the genre will be very happy – especially that it is a trilogy!