Author: James Erich
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
A thousand years ago, two factions of gods, the Stronni and the Taaweh, nearly destroyed the Kingdom of Dasak by warring for the land and the frightened humans who lived there. Then suddenly the Taaweh vanished and the Stronni declared victory.
Now, as tensions escalate between the emperor and his regent, Vek Worlen, the vek’s son, apprentice mage Sael dönz Menaük, finds himself allied with a homeless vagabond named Koreh. Together they flee the capital city and make their way across a hostile wilderness to the vek’s keep, mere steps ahead of the emperor’s assassins.
But Koreh has dreams—dreams of the ancient Taaweh—and he knows the looming war between the emperor and the vek will be nothing compared to the war that is about to begin. The Taaweh are returning, and the war between the gods may destroy the kingdom once and for all.
A thousand years ago, two rival factions of gods, the Stronni and Taaweh, nearly destroyed the Kingdom of Dasak in their war for power. Then the Taaweh vanished and the Stronni declared victory.
Now, tensions between the human emperor and his regent are at an all-time high. The regent’s son, apprentice mage Sael dönz Menaük, has fled the capital with his master and united with a vagabond named Koreh, but assassins dog their footsteps. The future is more uncertain than ever.
Since the Taaweh city of Gyishya reappeared, the mages of Harleh have weakened, cut off from the source of their power. Sael and his father struggle to keep their respective cities from crumbling under the strain or being destroyed by the gods. Then Koreh learns of a dangerous Taaweh plan to rescue their queen from the Stronni—a plan only Koreh and Sael can execute.
But they may not get a chance. In Harleh Valley, a young man named Donegh pieces together what happened. Intent, he makes his way through an increasingly alien landscape to carry out his mission: assassinate the Dekan of Harleh, Sael dönz Menaük.
Long ago, two factions of gods, the Stronni and the Taaweh, nearly destroyed the Kingdom of Dasak in a great war. The Taaweh vanished when their queen was imprisoned, and the Stronni declared victory. A thousand years later, a young nobleman named Sael and his lover Koreh have rescued the Taaweh queen. In the process Koreh was killed, and now an injured Sael struggles to heal from both injuries and grief. Unknown to him, Koreh embarks on a journey across the land of the dead, trying to make his way back to Sael—and to life. But time moves differently in the underworld, and decades pass while Koreh travels.
In the living world, tensions between the emperor and Sael’s father, Vek Worlen, who is regent of the eastern kingdom, have soured beyond repair. Worlen conspires with the assassin Donegh to break into the imperial palace and challenge the emperor to a duel to the death. But the goddess Imen has chosen a young priest named Gonim as her champion. Through him she discovers the Taaweh have returned, and her enraged king threatens to destroy Dasak and all its human inhabitants. Sael must save his world, must confront the gods and persuade them not to destroy humankind. But it seems hopeless. If only Koreh were at his side…
I have both dreaded and anticipated reading this series for months now. If you read this blog with any regularity, you know I adore Jamie Fessenden’s writing. He is precise, clean, and thoughtful in everything he writes. What you may not know is that he has another pen name, James Erich, that he uses when he publishes Young Adult fiction. I have read almost all of Jamie’s work, but the Dreams of Fire and Gods series was my first foray into his YA work. It is also my first foray into Jamie’s brilliant mind for Fantasy.
I am going to review this series together as one as it is one story told in three parts. As the titles imply they focus on different aspects of the universe, but they are all the same continuing saga. It is the Saga of Koreh and Sael, a peasant and a nobleman. It is the story of the Taaweh and the Stronni, two rival factions of gods. It is the story of The Kingdom a Dasak.
The world of Dasak is full and rich. They have their own language, that Erich uses throughout the story, and you begin to speak in your thoughts. There is no detail that Erich has left unconsidered in this world… and if I missed one, I have full confidence that he was just unable to work it into the story. You see peace and war. Love and hate. Happiness and heartache. You see men struggling with the dichotomy between what they are taught and what they feel in their gut. You want to rage at the author and then hug him.
Once you start book one, Dreams, you will not want to stop reading until you have finished books two and three, Fire and Gods respectively, as well. Then, you will want to start the entire thing over, so you don’t have to leave this brilliant world. Or at least that is how it was for me. This series is the definition of Book Hangover for me. I hope it is for you as well.
Oh and as an aside. Don’t let the “YA” label dissuade you from enjoying this fabulous series. I wouldn’t label them “YA” so much as “fiction” and “fantasy.” They are written for everyone.
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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