Welcome to my stop on the Alora’s Tear: Fragments Blog Tour, written by Nathan Barham this is the first book in a trilogy, and if you are eager the whole trilogy is available with book two The Elf and the Arrow, and book three The Voice like Water also on sale.
There is no magic in the kingdom of Vladvir…
Tucked away in a quiet valley, the community of Tolarenz offers a refuge and safe haven for its people, keeping persecution at bay. One young citizen—Askon son of Teral—is destined to lead them, but first he must leave them behind: one final mission, in service of the king.
In the north, leering nightmare creatures known as the Norill gather. Their armor is bone and skin; their weapons are black and crude and cold. They strike in the night, allies to the darkness. It is to them Askon marches, his men a bulwark against the threat.
For there is no magic in Vladvir.
What Askon finds when he arrives seems impossible: smoke and fire, death and defeat, and all around a suffocating sense of dread. The Norill seek something they call “Stone of Mountain,” but in the half-remembered stories from Askon’s childhood, it was always “Alora’s Tear,” a gem with powers great and terrible. A gem that cannot exist.
Unless there is magic in Vladvir…
Askon is a half-elf in a world highly prejudiced against his kind. But Askon is different, he risked everything to save the Prince and is destined to lead his City once he has carried out his final mission in the King’s army. Whilst on this mission though things start to go wrong, things which lead back to gem fragments he has been told about but he doesn’t yet understand.
The world building and imagery is excellently done. Time has been taken to create the world, describe it, build a picture for the reader. Given that there is a lot of travelling in the novel this could have been lost.
Askon is slightly too good at times, I found him a bit faultless, a bit too perfect. I tend to like characters with faults, who get torn between good and evil a little more.
This is a high fantasy novel which is heavy on the swordplay, I’m sensing sorcery will play heavier in the future novels but this was very much a set up and world building novel which read well and did a good job of building a connection with our main character.
Many thanks to Nathan Barham for a copy of the novel in return for my honest opinion.
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
About Nathan Barham:
Nathan spends most of his working days with the students of Genesee Junior-Senior High School in Genesee, Idaho. Whether it’s essay structure, a classic literary work, or the occasional impromptu dance routine, he strives to keep students interested in the fun and the fundamentals of the English language.
When he’s not teaching, he wears a number of hats, though the one that says “Dad” is the most careworn and cherished (it says “Husband” on the back). It hangs on a hook in a house where music is a constant and all the computers say “Apple” somewhere on their aluminium facades. From time to time it is said that he ventures into the mysterious realm called outside, though the occasion is rare and almost exclusively upon request by son or daughter.
Title: Alora’s Tear: Fragments
Series: Alora’s Tear #1
Author: Nathan Barham
Genre: Fantasy | High Fantasy
Publisher: Barham Ink
Publication Date: 17 August 2014
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Kobo