4 stars (release date Oct. 17, 2017)
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is the first book I’ve ready by this author, but it definitely won’t be the last. I really enjoyed this book and already look forward to the next book in the series. It starts a bit slow and seems to start in the middle of story which is confusing, but if you stick with it, you will be greatly rewarded. This is the first book in the series, so a great deal of it must be devoted to world building. This is high fantasy, which means we are introduced to a lot of characters, multiple countries and the various cities in them. But, there is plenty of fighting and action, so don’t despair.
The various countries follow different gods and have different social structures. Some of the people in each country are blessed with special gifts, called “kennings”. These kennings provide the person with a special skill linked to the earth’s elements. When the kingdom’s peace is interrupted by an invasion of giants that they’ve never encountered before, the kingdom must scramble to protect itself and try to repel the army.
The story of the invasion, and some of the central characters involved in it, are told to the war’s survivors through a bard named Fintan. His special kenning gives him a photographic memory and the ability to change his appearance into a likeness of the person whose story he is telling. The story is told from several character’s perspective, with multiple storylines occurring at the same time.
This is a very good start to what I expect to be an engaging, intense series.