The dead shall not be mourned or remembered, for death is the enemy, and will only drive the Seraph away.
The Domain is the bastion of life. The Seraph blesses her faithful with endless years, and death is kept away in hope for Her return. But The Domain nations are not the only ones in Avarin. They have managed only a tenuous peace with the clans to the south, who believe life must be returned to the Earth to keep it whole.
Yet the world of Avarin is changing.
In the clanlands, parts of the Earth seem to be withering away, while in the Domain, a deadly frenzy spreads among the people. It brings darkness to the minds of men and bloodlust to their hearts.
This sickness threatens more than just the peace in the realm,
it imperils its very heart.
Now the people of Avarin must fight to save it,
before death comes for them all.
Dive into this sweeping epic fantasy saga where religion and politics are one, magic brings terror into the hearts of men, and a looming blight threatens to tear everything down.
AUTHOR: Thiago Abdalla
PUBLISHED ON: 1 March 2022
GENRE: Epic Fantasy
BOOK 1 OF THE ASHES OF AVARIN
ARC provided by the author, Thiago Abdalla and The Escapist Tours
CONVINCING YOU TO READ THIS IN 6 WORDS:
Detailed Characterization, Religious & Political Intrigue, Betrayals, Plot-twists, Interesting world-building
The world of Avarin is divided not just by the borders but also by their religious beliefs and their opinions on Death. Throughout the journey, we have one constant companion and that is death. When Prince Adrian’s brother Jovu dies, he questions yet again why Seraph would deem some people worthy and why wasn’t his brother deemed worthy. But he knew, he would get no answers. There is one question that is constantly on his mind. He wants to know why his brother died. What was he after that gets him killed. But the blessing of Seraph is cruel and he cannot talk about his brother. Everything that his brother did or accomplished is just gone. While all these troubled him, he had his bride to be, Myrra, who would help him ground himself. His mother is long gone and with his brother now dead, it’s just his father and him. He tries his best to bridge the gap between them. He knows he is not his brother. He is not favoured. But he is who he is. And so, he marches to form an alliance with the Khet.
Nasha is constantly struggling. From the internal turmoil to prove her worth to everyone around. Every step she takes is to prove her worth, to prove that she deserves those stripes. But nothing ever comes easily for Nasha. Constantly tied between Ronar and Slopers, Nasha is the perfect example of someone who is unwillingly stuck in two boats. When stuck in a game, she isn’t aware of, she tries to move ahead. But then events after events- test her, force her to use what she calls her curse and she finally snaps. She has been used by far too many people. She has been a pawn for far too long. She tries to find her way, but then can you even escape the past?
Lynn has faced death. Has been facing it for a long time. And all she is trying to do is run from it. Run from her past, run from the death, run from all the people she has killed. But when death marks you, you are in for life. When Lynn realises she has been away for long and when she finally steps back into the world, there is one thing that punches her in the gut- The Madness has returned. Everything that she killed for, everything that she believed was gone, was still among them. And this time on a much grand scale. And she knows, the time for running is gone. Time for hiding is gone and she marches on- to face death once again.
Prince Adrian was a lot of things. But what he was not was his brother. Adrian lived in shadows all his life. At times by his will and at times by the choices he made. But his path was not his brother’s or his father’s. And he decided he would no longer be in shadows. He made his own path, constantly juggling his faith, his titles, the pressure. The stream of betrayals shakes him and despite his wishes, he finds himself in a position he didn’t expect.
“Don’t be a fool. Wars are never started by reasonable minds thinking things out.”
A Touch of Light by Thiago Abdalla is a roller coaster ride. Just when you thought it was a simple ride, the actual ride begins. And all you can do is scream. I was in a dilemma to read this book or not. I generally binge read series but I knew I had to step out of the comfort zone of completed series and latched on this opportunity to read this gem. And god damn, it was a wonderful decision.
As all Epic Fantasies go, A Touch of Light was a bit slow to start. I have grown used to that and try to make notes in my book, trying to figure out what is going on. But then the point comes, where things start picking up pace and nothing matters. I would forget that it is a book. Forget that I am supposed to take notes for this review and all I wanted to know was what was going on and how will they turn the tables.
“Blood hold ties.”
Reading Fantasies one after another, you start to notice patterns, similarities but A Touch of Light had a unique world-building. I am still trying to understand some aspects and that is not because of lack of information but because there are more books to come with answers. What I really loved and commend is how Abdalla wrote the series, giving us just enough details to grasp the straws, luring us in a big secret but at the same time, keeping things wrapped in layers for answers. I honestly can’t wait to see how the world of Avarin, Earth etc combine.
The plot of the story follows mainly three people- Prince Adrian, Lynn and Nasha. And what was really interesting to watch was how all three of them, so different from each other, their paths so different but somehow Death connected them all. I really can’t wait for the inevitable when their paths meet and the chaos erupts. Each point of view had its own merits and its own storyline. I won’t be spoiling anything just yet. But when I read the Prologue and continued I was excited to read about Prince Adrian but it soon focused on Lynn. She is just too good.
“You see any living heroes?”
Every page, every word is calculated. Each character has their own distinct personality, their own questions and belief that may even force you to question yours. The constant struggle between the faith and how you interpret it is something I really enjoyed reading. What was even more interesting to read was everyone’s perception of Death. I am fascinated by death, not in the sense that I am waiting for the arrival but in a distinct way that I love to read about and write about. But finding a book that plays with death in a way that I enjoy was not easy. But I enjoyed some representations of death here. What I loved, even more, was the distinct distinction in their thinking. On one hand, we have people who do not talk or speak about death while on the other, we have people who honour their dead and mourn for them. (Names omitted).
I think what is an unwritten rule for Epic Fantasy is to aspect death and we witness death here too but with the Madness around, you really witness another side of death. With Serph deeming you worthy or not and with the dead returning during the Promised Dawn, there is certainly a lot of death around.
That’s the thing about faith. You can never be so sure of it that you’re never prepared when it fails you.
Something else that kept me hooked was the constant movement. There was always another betrayal around, always something else that made me want to know more about, something that questioned your existence. The undertones of the A Touch of Light are portrayed so beautifully- how despite it being Seraph’s judgement, it is the common men to suffer? Does Death deem anyone worthy? Or it’s just about the blood? How despite the fact that you work hard, earn your place and title, people don’t stop reminding you of your existence? Or your origin?
“Only to create another. Isn’t that the thing about royalty? The blood is only as noble as those beneath it make it out to be.”
I had one small problem, which technically isn’t even related to the book. But I really think there could be a better cover made. I think the symbols are good and represent it but the editing could’ve been better. I loved the pretty tree. I loved the sword. But…there is just something.
I absolutely loved A Touch of Light and I can’t wait for the sequel to come out and have it in my hands, which is honestly ironic since this book has just been realised. There are so many things that I would like to know more about. So many answers. And I really want to see the bigger picture. I would honestly recommend A Touch of Light to anyone who enjoys a good world-building, unique storyline and questionable motives.
You can buy the book here.
You can also enter the Giveaway.
SOME INSIDER STUFF
I am not kidding when I say that I literally texted Abdalla when one scene made me emotional(discussed in spoiler zone). I was almost in tears because hey, that isn’t fair and sent a message. We talked for a while. So, please if you find anything? Text the authors, let them know you loved it. And text me too, we can cry together.
I wrote this review, the minute I finished reading this book. So, yes, my thoughts are all around and I still need to join a couple of stuff in my mind.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Thiago was born in Brazil but grew up in the fantasy worlds from the stories he kept in his mind. He has inhabited everywhere from Middle-Earth and Azeroth to the planes of Dominaria, Ravnica and Tarkir. No matter the medium, what kept him coming back was always his love for story.
He could never wait for the next world to dive into, so, after being (indirectly) urged on by the (printed) words of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, Patrick Rothfuss, N. K. Jemisin and many, many others, decided to create his own.
You can support me by buying me a Ko-fi.
There are so many scenes that were good but the one with Lynn and Elwin has my heart. That is my favourite scene from this book. It was fitting, I have to agree. But when you think about what Lynn has to go through. The baggage of killing people is still eating her and then she had to go and kill her mentor. Chapter 19
I think I pity Nasha a bit. I mean I kinda think she is surrounded by lies all around. Like when Lynn said death follows her, I think for Nasha, it is that lies follow her.
THE SCENE WHERE ADRIAN SPEAKS YES FATHER TO XAKHAR.
The parallels. Oh my gosh. The way all his life he constantly tries to escape the Yes Father syllable and then again… It was fitting that he got the last chapter of A Touch of Light.
——-END OF SPOILERS—–
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