Friday, May 16, 2014

ICE FORGED by Gail Z. Martin

The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, Book One
Orbit Books
January 8th, 2013
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Self-Purchase
4.5 Hearts

For Lord Blaine McFadden, life as he knew it was over the day he killed his father. Exiled to the penal colony of Velant, he has lived the last six years as well as he could with no hope to return to his family and Dondareth. But times have changed as the magic that runs through the world explodes, leaving behind chaos and catastrophe in it’s wake. Now Blaine has to decide, does he go back to where he came from or stay in Velant? For time is coming when survival is just one thing the survivors have to deal with as the world’s magic runs wild and the world as they knew it is gone into the ashes.

Wow is all I can say when I started this new introduction from one of my favorite fantasy authors out there. ICE FORGED is the introduction to a world where magic was commonplace, war was eminent and life on the outer reaches of the kingdom in ice and snow was bleak at best. Ms. Martin delivers a wild ride into her new series, The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga and delivers a story that will leave you breathless. The story moves slowly at times so be warned there is quite a lot of plot setting up within the story though I have to admit I really enjoyed the slowness at times as it gave me time to absorb what happened in the pages before. The cast of characters is an intriguing mix of lords, courtesans, military, vampires and more that help move the story along at a nice pace even as the author tosses in a few twists that leave you gasping in disbelief. There are several stories intertwined with Blaine’s quest and that kept me on the edge of my seat even as the author left hints here and there throughout the first book to tease the readers with.

Meet Blain ‘Mick’ McFadden. Former heir to the Lord of Glenreith and after murdering his father in defense of his youngest sister, he finds himself exiled and alone. After meeting Blaine in the beginning of the book, I was hoping I would find him much more hardened after his time on Velant and the penal colony. With one stroke of her pen, or keystroke in this case, Ms. Martin delivers a hero that is as flawed as a human can be, afraid to hope for more than what he manages to make or receive. Blaine is a hero that I would come to fall in love with as the story moved on, the twists and turns keeping me glued to the pages and I found myself wondering if Blaine would get his happy ever after in the end. His band of cohorts are as varied as can be-a former courtesan/assassin, vampires, prisoners of Velant he forged bonds of friendship and family with, additional survivors from the war that Dondareth was fighting as well as the magic that caused the future they are seeing. All these wonderful characters delivered something to the story and left me looking forward to seeing more of them in the future books. As with her other fantasy series, The Chronicles of the Necromancer, Ms. Martin delivers a storyline that has many sweeping arms that spin the reader this way and that as well as the cast of characters. I was glued to the edge of the seat as I found myself rooting for Blaine and his friends to succeed even as the mysterious people after Blaine come out of the shadows and into the pages. The characters are well written and with such a wide variety to follow, I was thrilled to see some new faces pop up every now and again within the story.

ICE FORGED is one of those fantasy books that leave you reeling at the end and wanting more. I am just so glad I managed to grab book two since I need to know what happens next for Blaine and his band of survivors. Now I can’t wait to see what happens next for these wonderful characters and look forward to more in this fabulous series.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement


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