I got this entire series based on the few reviews I saw.
I am very glad I got all of them. I cannot wait to pick up book two. I am not generally a fan of fantasy books. This one kept me turning pages from the beginning. Told from the point of view of a slave. This slave had once been revered in his own society now having endured years of slavery he felt he could never go back. He was totally resigned to his shame. Then seeing another one of his own countrymen brings back some memories he wish would stay buried. He ends up taking sides with the very people who enslaved him.
All in all a great book about the power of forgiveness and the ability of all types of people to grow and understand better the world they live in. Well worth the read.
well told story of an Empire in a world of magic and demons. The Empire doesn't believe in magic and that lack of belief might be its down fall. The story is told from the view point of a slave. Who learns that he must fight an evil from the possition of the lowlest of life forms. That of a broken soul of a slave.
This is a book the likes of which I have not come across in some time. It grabbed me within the first few pages and did not let go until I finished it. It hasn't quite let go of me yet, actually -- it was almost physically painful to stop myself from immediately picking up the next book in the series to instead come to the computer and write this review.
It was such an all-encompassing experience, as a matter of fact, that it's hard for me to summon up the distance to write a good review. Trying to think about it objectively, I don't think it was anywhere near a perfect book. The pacing was uneven, and the ancillary characters were no more than cardboard cutouts moving the plot along. Some of the more important ancillary characters' motivations were terribly unclear, and I didn't buy the small romance subplots for either Seyonne or Aleksander.
But none of that matters to me, because the heart and soul of the novel is Seyonne and Aleksander's relationship, and that is realized pitch-perfectly. They are both complex men with everything in the world working against any potential relationship they might develop and the fate of the world resting on the fact that they must learn to trust each other and work together. And wonderfully, they manage to do this, with neither useless angst nor unrealistic protestations of affection. Berg summoned some significant magic into this novel, and I am greatly looking forward to reading its sequel.
I LOVE this book. I've had it for about 5 years, and I still read it about twice a year. I really enjoy the fantasy genre, but I rarely find within it a book I would describe as "moving." Transformation moves me every time.
Carol Berg has a neat, different take on the idea of magic and magic practitioners. This is the first book of a really good trilogy, followed by REVELATION asnd RESTORATION. Try it; you'll like it!
From back cover: Seyonne was not always a slave. Once his people were the guardians of magic such as the land had never seen, protectors and defenders. But the Derzhi came, and enslaved them. Now, years of degradation and misery have blurred Seyonne's memory and sapped his strength. To his people, he is already dead. And to him, death is all that is left--until he finds hope in a most unlikely place.
Sold once again, Seyonne is bought by Aleksander, the heir to the Derzhi Empire. His new master is cold and heedlessly cruel. But within Aleksander, the seeds of greatness wait. All it would take is guidance from one such as Seyonne once was.
But time is short, for demons have also noticed Aleksander--and what they cannot control, they will destroy.