Ahoy there me mateys! This here be book one of the Eternal Sky fantasy series. I am slowly making me way through this author’s backlog while waiting for the red-stained wings to come out in May 2019. And this was such a fantastic read.
This story be inspired by 12th and 13th century Asia. Ye follow the tales of Temur, the grandson of the Great Khan and the former Princess Samarkar who gave up her title to become a wizard. Temur was mistaken for dead after a losing battle and struggles to find new purpose in exile. Samarkar is dealing with the loss of having children and trying to earn and use her magic. A hidden cult is sowing strife between various nations and these two disparate people are pulled into the disarray.
But the book is so much more than that. Elizabeth Bear gives the reader stunning mythology, characters, world building, and a captivating plot. One of the secondary characters is a talking Tiger hybrid (love it!). In each region, the sky changes depending on which culture lives there. For example, Temur’s sky shows one star for each of the Khan’s sons and grandsons. With each death, the star winks out. There are angry corpse spirits, butterflies, cool magic, an awesome horse, and fun politics. While I thought the set-up for both characters was fantastic, it did take a longer while to get the action moving in comparison to other series. The plot seemed to have little direction for the first half of the book. I was okay with that.
Time flew by when reading this novel and I am so very glad that I read it. The good news is the rest of the trilogy be out so I won’t have to wait years for them. The bad news . . . making time to fit them in me schedule. But I shall mateys, I shall. Arrrr!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
Temur, grandson of the Great Khan, is walking away from a battlefield where he was left for dead. All around lie the fallen armies of his cousin and his brother, who made war to rule the Khaganate. Temur is now the legitimate heir by blood to his grandfather’s throne, but he is not the strongest. Going into exile is the only way to survive his ruthless cousin.
Once-Princess Samarkar is climbing the thousand steps of the Citadel of the Wizards of Tsarepheth. She was heir to the Rasan Empire until her father got a son on a new wife. Then she was sent to be the wife of a Prince in Song, but that marriage ended in battle and blood. Now she has renounced her worldly power to seek the magical power of the wizards.
These two will come together to stand against the hidden cult that has so carefully brought all the empires of the Celadon Highway to strife and civil war through guile and deceit and sorcerous power.
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