It’s release day for The Glass Dagger (Sol’s Harvest Book 3)
A fantastically imagined and entertaining flintlock fantasy.
The Woven Ring had been in my TBR far too long, and after finally reading the first, I had to have book two immediately. Now I’ve read all three of Sol’s Harvest on a back to back binge and am very pleased to announce the retail release of book 3, The Glass Dagger, and to introduce you to a very good flintlock fantasy series.
The Woven Ring was a semifinalist in SPFBO 2017 and was described by Fantasy Book Critic as a mix of Mark Lawrence’s characters and Brandon Sanderson’s world building, while Fantasy Book Review said it was one of their favorite reads of that year. A fantasy re-imagining of the American Civil War, it focuses on a former spy and traitor, Marta Childress, during the civil war, who finds she must transport the catatonic daughter of an inventor deep into enemy territory in an effort to draw him out for assassination.
All of the series are tightly interconnected, running two timelines at once. A past and a present in each installment which highlights the main character. Although all the cast is present from book one, we get to see more in-depth into the backstories of the other main characters as well in each successive installment.
In Soltera, all life contains Breath, residing in the life force of every living thing and these breaths also create the flow of the Ley lines. Whenever anything dies, its breath is visibly released to return to the flow of Sol within the Ley lines. A gift of the god Sol, Simple life forms have but one breath, like plants, which is that of the body, animals have two, that of body and mind, humans have three, body, mind, and soul. A gifted human of Soltera has four. Listeners, who can see into others thoughts. Whisperers who can command others against their will, and Shapers who can manifest weapons, armor, and unnatural abilities of strength and speed. Renders and Weavers are gifts of the soul. The Eastern Weavers creating Festations, manifestations of Sol’s breath to do manual labor for them, while they enjoy the fruits of the labor. In the West, The Renders believe that Festations are an abomination against Sol and the Biba Sacara, the sacred book of Sol whose sacrifice gifted life to Ayr and power to the Ley lines in the world upon which they live.
Each installment of the series centers around a main protagonist. In book one it is Marta Childress. The gifted Cildra clan of which she was a privileged and high-ranking member of society was kept as pure as possible to ensure their gifts were plentiful. Marta’s father, Norwood Childress, is a powerful clan leader in the East, who is deftly playing both sides of the war at the expense of his own family with devastating consequences in the years to come. The present timeline is her life after the Great War in Newfield and both cover the periods of time she has spent in the armies on both sides of an alternative-world civil war in the intervening years. Marta is both mentally and physically scarred by her experiences, labelled a traitor, and is reviled by both easterners and westerners.
Rather than centering the story around religious beliefs of either side of the nation or the political differences which spark the war, Sol’s Harvest is instead character driven and the world building is fantastic. There are different races of people in different regions with differing beliefs, languages, and abilities. The cagey and gypsy like Dobra, always on the move with no greater loyalty than to themselves, the war only moving the nomadic clan to more opportune locations. The wild Ignio which are reminiscent of native Americans, with their own wild lands unexplored by civilization. The powerful clans which left the Auld lands and built a new life in a new land, building empires for themselves and cultivating the strongest of their abilities. The chilling creatures like the Glassmen, and ghuls, gasts, and some emets, which have made areas of the Ley lines dangerous.
The Imbued Lockblade (Sol’s Harverst Book 2) is Luca and Isabelle’s story. Bringing us with past and present story lines to the events that put them in Marta’s path and made them her uneasy allies. The magic system within the pages is unique and used extensively, for good and ill. This system is simple yet powerful. Building a world of Weavers, Renders, Shapers, and more in a land where the ley lines power commerce, transportation, and communication.
The timelines require a deft touch to reveal just enough with each and yet lets the story arc remain cohesive. It keeps the reader riveted within as we witness the evolution of the main character over such a long period of time.
Reading all three books back to back was so damn satisfying as book one flows seamlessly into book two and again into book three, The Glass Dagger. Book 4 is to be announced this year and I will be anxious to return to the yet unsolved mysteries surrounding the child, Caddie Hendrix.
I found the books extremely well written, the twists and turns within the plot and timelines are surprising, and the incredible wealth of action with horrific creatures, a tremendous amount of fluid dialogue, and good balance of action that keeps you riveted in the story. Once again, balancing the timelines of the secondary characters split between past and present, the author skillfully builds a world and story that is very immersive.
Book three, The Glass Dagger, was one I was highly anticipating. It did not disappoint. The detailed story of Graff, an isolated loner, and fearsome Render, who has been relentlessly on Marta’s and Caddie’s trail along with her companions. His past is quite different from the rest of the cast and his insight and upbringing along with his power is impressive.
Some Monsters Secure Our Safety.
Everyone fears a Render, those chosen by Sol to sever the bonds of life with their glass blades. And no Render is more feared than Graff, who single-handedly held the line at Stone Cleaver. Hundreds died by his hand during the Grand War, and hundreds more in the intervening years, despite Graff not spilling a single drop of blood. A relentless monster, Graff has set his sights on the child Caddie, and not even Marta can stop him.
And now Luca doubts if she even should.
Their band shattered and original mission scattered to the winds, Marta must ally with old enemies as new friends betray her. Worse still, Marta now suspects something dark dwells deep in the child she now considers her own.
- Print Length: 461 pages
- Publication Date: February 6, 2019
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07MV31VHW
I highly recommend Sol’s Harvest to lovers of flintlock fantasy, historical fantasy, and dark stories of war with a unique fantasy twist.
About the author:
Never passing up the opportunity to speak about himself in the third person, M.D. Presley is not nearly as clever as he thinks he is. Born and raised in Texas, he spent several years on the East Coast and now waits for the West Coast to shake him loose. His favorite words include defenestrate, callipygian, and Algonquin. The fact that monosyllabic is such a long word keeps him up at night.
M.D. Presley is a proud member of Sigil Independent, a guild for self-published fantasy authors including Dyrk Ashton, Ben Galley, Rob Hayes, Alec Hutson, Michael McClung, D.E. Olesen, Benedict Patrick, M.L. Spencer, Phil Tucker, and Timandra Whitecastle.
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