Hmm. Promising for sure. Some potential and may prove to be an entertaining series. One large Empire that holds power over most of the known world meets unknown peoples from a land suspected to be inhabitable due to an unknown cataclysm in years past. Even more surprising is the new people claim their gods told them where to meet the party that was trying to explore their homeland. From there the book acts as a set up book for the series to come; the two groups visit each other’s homes and feel each other out with the reader knowing something is going on in the background, but not what.
The book was a bit too heavy on convenience for me, perhaps the result of its short length, but a whole lot happened without real explanation. Some guards go way too far and seriously hurt a secondary character. Why? Not sure, but his injury was needed for a future plot line so it happened. And the unexplored waste land was a bit too close to the empire for it to be so damn unknown. And really? The mage’s three beautiful assistants are a redhead, blonde, and a brunette?
Some good interactions between the two cultures though. The barbarian type working hard to stick to their warlike principles, but still trying to stay diplomatic. The all-powerful empire realizing they are facing a possible threat and actually taking it serious rather than bumbling around in arrogance. It may not be groundbreaking but it was better played than some. I also enjoyed the use of seven mountains as gods that may be more real than some characters know.
Definitely a first book in the series, nothing is really resolved and everything actually escalates in the end. Entertaining enough in its way, but it wasn’t really all the memorable. In fact, writing the review two days after finishing it apathy has already kicked in. But it was certainly good enough that I will pick up the second in the series when it comes.
Review copy provided by publisher.