Long ago, a magical war destroyed the Chosen Empire, and a new republic rose from its ashes. But old grudges still simmer…
Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.
Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.
Author: Django Wexler
Release Date: 01/10/2020 (Hardcover)
Series: Burningblade and Silvereye #1
Publisher: Head of Zeus (An AdAstra book)
My Chosen Format: Hardcover
My Rating of ‘Ashes of the Sun’: 5 out of 5
The Blog Tour thus far:
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
As I’ve mentioned before, I was going through a bit of a fantasy burnout and a huge part of me wanted to get back into the genre (it is one of the big three genres that I review after all), so when the chance to read Ashes of the Sun, as part of the blog tour, came up, I leapt at the chance. After all, I had a good couple of months to drag myself out of my reading slump (thankfully I enjoyed this so much that I finished it far quicker).
I had never read a Django Wexler novel before picking this up, yet had seen a good number of reviews singing his praises, so this blog tour has helped me get back on the fantasy wagon and tick ‘finally read something by Wexler’ off my fantasy bucket list.
Having never read the author before I went into this with that feeling of ‘it’s a new author to me and quite a chunky page count, please enjoy this’. The pages flew by due to a combination of Wexler’s enjoyable writing style, witty banter between characters and the clever way that he has you struggling to figure out who, of the two main characters (Gyre & Maya) are your favourites. I always wanted to keep pushing on a little bit into the next chapter, which obviously meant I had to finish said chapter.
One half of the story is the confused mash of anger, hatred and vengeance that’s swirling around in Gyre’s head. When asked, he always seems a little hard pressed to say which means more to him out of the three, but one thing he is dead certain of; The Twilight Order need to be brought to their knees.
This, as you can imagine, does not go down well with the sister he is trying to save, who now fights for the Order after having been taken away as a child by them to be cured of a mysterious ailment. Hers is the second half of the tale; the aspiring young teenager who seeks to be the greatest warrior in the Order’s history, all whilst dealing with unexpected crushes, political backstabbing and a brother that wants to kill all her mates. Nightmare!
Gyre has built himself up to be a Robin Hood-style vigilante in the warrens of Deepfire, a menace that the authorities strive to bring under control and, his growing notoriety soon brings him into direct conflict with the very group of people he is trying to bring down.
What follows is an exciting mix of fast-paced storytelling, enjoyable characters getting into wild scenarios and some rip-roaringly good action sequences. The plot is cleverly done in such a way that you can see certain things coming from a good way off but, by focusing on these, you allow yourself to have the rug pulled out from under you in other aspects of the story. It never feels linear and, for that, I am grateful. Nothing kills a fantasy novel’s plotline than being able to see the finish line before you’ve properly started the race.
I tend to normally read predominantly adult fantasy of the grim/darker variety. I suppose this would be classed as ‘middle grade’ (I could be wrong, all of these American school year genre groupings confuse the hell out of me) but it was certainly dark enough and exciting enough to make me happy I went for it.
The relationships that drive the characters, although a little obvious (you could see certain ones coming a mile off) were fun and believable. Just because you could see them coming didn’t mean they ever felt forced or shoe-horned in.
Ashes of the Sun also features an array of characters on all parts of the love-hate spectrum. We had out and out good characters, some quite obviously evil, detestable characters and some that were enjoyably grey.
All in all, this had everything I want in a fantasy to not only keep me turning the pages, but to have me frustrated that I now have to wait until the sequel comes out.
If I had one negative about Ashes of the Sun, it is that the start was very ‘I’m going to explain everything to you in painful detail’ but that’s understandable and forgivable due to it being a first novel in an entirely new world. If the whole novel was like that, I’d have cried my eyes out in frustration, but it passes very quickly.
With Ashes of the Sun, Wexler is on to a winner and I look forward to seeing what happens going forward with the Burningblade & Silvereye series.