I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Legacy of Ash by Matthew Ward
Published by Orbit on November 5, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Epic, Action & Adventure, General
Buy on Amazon
Legacy of Ash is an unmissable fantasy debut--an epic tale of intrigue and revolution, soldiers and assassins, ancient magic and the eternal clash of empires.A shadow has fallen over the Tressian Republic.Ruling families -- once protectors of justice and democracy -- now plot against one another with sharp words and sharper knives. Blinded by ambition, they remain heedless of the threat posed by the invading armies of the Hadari Empire.Yet as Tressia falls, heroes rise.Viktor Akadra is the Republic's champion. A warrior without equal, he hides a secret that would see him burned as a heretic.Josiri Trelan is Viktor's sworn enemy. A political prisoner, he dreams of reigniting his mother's failed rebellion. And yet Calenne Trelan, Josiri's sister, seeks only to break free of their tarnished legacy; to escape the expectation and prejudice that haunts the family name.As war spreads across the Republic, these three must set aside their differences in order to save their home. Yet decades of bad blood are not easily set aside. And victory -- if it comes at all -- will demand a darker price than any of them could have imagined.
Massive thanks to Orbit books for my review copy of Legacy of Ash. I’m a complete junkie for all things dark fantasy and grimdark and this lit a fire within my core in which every page I raced through kept stoking. The first book in the series, aptly named Legacy. This is a serious Tome sitting at 800 pages. It felt like I had the fantasy bible in my hands, every page sucked me in and enraptured my imagination. An extremely imaginative and ambitious debut with a whole new magic system, ancient kingdoms locking swords and world building so intricate and memorable that its imprint left a tattoo on the brain.
Penning a review for Legacy of Ash is no easy feat but I hope that I can impart some justice to it. The characterisation and the narrative is extremely complex and I would say it is comparable to a rubix cube – its easy to connect the dots when you know the system you are working with.
The Tressian Republic is still striving to conquer its neighbouring lands. We are given a robust and necessary prologue and it sets up the backstory beautifully. The people of the Southshires are given a beacon of hope – a phoenix that brings a desire to fight for freedom, a desire to find inner strength and a will to fight for what is theirs. Unfortunately, that desire is short lived. The hope dies with the Phoenix. The legacy dies and all that is left in its wake is ash. Fast forward fifteen years and The Tressians want to further their hold and their power. Caleen and Josiri are the surviving children of The Phoenix. They make a solemn promise to each other and their long dead mother to continue her vision and to make her legacy their own. They are currently imprisoned Branghall Castle. Can they find the means and the will to liberate the people of the Southshires? The impact of the curse of the human condition is clear to see in Matthew Wards characterisation of Caleen and Josiri. The self-doubt, the painful memories, and past regrets fester wounds.
Massive books float my boat. The story is given the opportunity to dive to the deepest depths. Books like Legacy of Ash is a tome and a half. The amount of work that must have gone into this must be akin to having a baby, it is their baby. This is the very embodiment of epic fantasy. This has been likened to A Game of Thrones but that is categorically unfair. This is a masterpiece in its own right.
Legacy of Ash is audacious, and a magnificent piece of penmanship set over sprawling worlds. Matthew Ward has taken every little thing you thought you knew about epic fantasy and tore it into tiny shreds. His reincarnation is entirely fresh and addicting.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matthew Ward is a writer, cat-servant and owner of more musical instruments than he can actually play (and considerably more than he can play well). He’s afflicted with an obsession for old places – castles, historic cities and the London Underground chief amongst them – and should probably cultivate more interests to help expand out his author biography.
After a decade serving as a principal architect for Games Workshop’s Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 properties, Matthew embarked on an adventure to tell stories set in worlds of his own design. He lives near Nottingham with his extremely patient wife – as well as a pride of attention-seeking cats – and writes to entertain anyone who feels there’s not enough magic in the world.