Release Day and Review!
Another terrific match from TBRindr at The Weatherwax Report. A data gathering to match self published authors with reviewers like myself based on our favorite types of books.
A.M. Macdonald has written a highly immersive tale where magic comes from the stars. There are tales, and remnants of history lost to the ages. The Purge had taken all the knowledge of the origin of the Astral, families whose members can use the power of their star, and the stars are each unique to their houses.
They are opposed by only one force of justice, The Order of The Dawn, and for 10 years a fragile peace has followed the war of the Astral uprising against the Order. The only law in the land is that of the arbiters of the order. They are the only ones with the power to control the Astral families. They have been the keepers of peace for Celaena for millennia.
Before long, the city expanded to fill the entire horizon, surrounded by great walls of white leystone and trimmed with various fabrics and fauna. Enormous gates cast shadows over the rivers flowing into the city from each direction, the gates hundreds of feet high and guarded by enormous statues of the apostles, seven in total, each gate flanked by a different pair. No one knew their names, so long and so lost was the information. Only stories had survived the purge, but even then, the identities and origins of the apostles remained a mystery. The world only knew the apostles represented the will of Gethael, the prime celestial. The Bringer.
Yet, as the wealth of the houses rises on the backs of the starless, a faith begins to grow within the ranks of the common folk. They are being driven past poverty by the demands and control the Astral families wield, the taxes they levy, and the goods they control from their lands, They have sparked a quiet rebellion within the ranks of common workers. The Faith has returned to Celaena, guided and encouraged by a neutral Astral family. The Ferai and their alliance with the order, their refusal to join the Astral families in the war made them appear weak and passive, but it is the tenets of justice which the Ferai wish to uphold. Their daughter Ahryn, a student of the academy of startouched, finds herself thrown into events much larger than herself and a disgraced arbiter may be the only hope she has to seek any justice.
The sudden events of Astrals being murdered by a force of defiance is unbalancing the peace. A force that can’t be discerned by our main character, Ezai, an arbiter, the son of the legendary Eagle of the Order of the Dawn, and a righteous man of the tenets of justice the order teaches. What he suspects, quickly turns against him and he is cast out of the Order of the Dawn. Sworn only to his existing bonds. He swears that the Order is being led astray and feels powerless to stop it. Together, Ezai and Ahryn must unravel a devious plan to bring the Astrals to absolute power and the Order of the Dawn to its knees.
While Celaena fights itself from within, a greater evil is growing, and a young cloud-watcher who has found the disturbance, is dismissed, deliberately, by an unseen hand. When he finally feels he has the right person to listen to his perilous news, he suddenly disappears. Even the doom of the world itself is no impediment to greed and power.
A well told tale of magic, espionage, subterfuge, greed, and dark power, Remember the Dawn is a satisfying novel that hints at a deep history. The world building is powerful, seen through the characters who are brought to life in vivid detail. There is no shying from the horror of violence within its pages. This will appeal to classic high fantasy readers that love a story which takes them so far from reality, while still hitting us emotionally, very close to home.
They lost the war. Their magic was controlled. But peace can’t last forever, and starlight will again meet steel in a clash for power.
Ten years ago, an order of arbiters crushed an uprising of starlight magicians. The world is now in balance, and despite the anger simmering within the five Astral families, they have lived in fragile peace with the starless commoners…until now. When an assassin starts killing magicians, the magic-resistant arbiters are blamed. Meanwhile, an ancient celestial faith spreads through the islands and a holy rebellion looms. But as the factions ready themselves for another war, none are prepared for the danger forgotten by time stirring on the horizon, and it will take a union of starlight, steel, and faith to find salvation.
About A.M. Macdonald:
A. M. Macdonald writes science fiction and fantasy. He lives and work in Calgary, Alberta, but mostly he plays video games and watches Netflix (except during the NALCS season–#TSMWIN). Mr. Macdonald refers to himself as geek-culture emissary, and he is passionate about bringing the word of nerd to the world.