This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.
I ended up really enjoying this book. I have had the book for a while but was a bit intimidated by its size. Since I am spending almost all of my time at home with the current health crisis, I decided that this was the perfect time to finally tackle this story. This is a very different book than Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles and I enjoyed seeing him take on high fantasy. It did feel like a very dense story and I felt like it took me longer to read than a lighter story of the same length might have. I had a good time with the book in the end.
I liked the way the story came together. There are a lot of points of view in this book but they are all shared through the tales from a bard. The bard, Fintan, takes on the persona of each individual as he shares their story. I will admit that it was a lot to keep track of at the start of the book but as I continued to read, I got to know each character and started looking forward to learning more of their story. I did like the way that all of the different points of view came together to tell a story that stretched across more than one group of people.
This story is set in a very interesting world. We actually get the opportunity to see more than one realm in this story and I found it interesting to see what each group shared and how they differed. The different lands had individuals with special abilities. Those abilities changed from place to place but each required anyone seeking the power, or kenning, to risk their lives. If they survived, they would be blessed with a special ability. Each land had its own kennings which were often closely related to the terrain in which they lived.
I found this book to be quite exciting at times. There was quite a bit of action spread throughout the story. I also enjoyed getting the chance to see the political workings of each of the groups. I found the personal journeys of some of the characters to be the highlight of the book. I really wanted to see things work out for these characters as they faced incredibly difficult challenges.
I would recommend this book to fans of high fantasy. This book transported me to a world of unique people with extraordinary abilities. I grew to care for many of the characters as they worked to keep their people safe. I cannot wait to read more of this exciting series!
I received a digital review copy of this book from Random House Publishing - Del Rey via NetGalley.
I am so glad that I finally got around to read this book. It is very different from The Iron Druid Chronicles and I enjoyed getting to see this author tackle a bit of more serious fantasy. This story is told through the stories shared by a bard. This bard takes on the persona of each individual as he shares their story. There are a lot of different points of view to juggle in this story and I have to admit that it was slow going for me at the start. Once I felt a little more settled in this world and knew each character a little better, I found that I was enjoying the story a lot more. I did enjoy the magic and world-building in this book and loved the way everything came together in the end. I do look forward to reading the next book in the series very soon.