Esmes Indie Author Highlights: Valley of Embers by Steven Kelliher

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This book throws us right into the action, the first scene of the book is a battle with some pretty insane monsters. So if you’re looking for a book that starts out with a bang, you will want to pick this up. The monsters are pretty intense, tentacle crazyness coming out of the forest and attacking the city.

This book is one that drops you into a fully realized world and it’s a lot of info to absorb in the beginning. So when you start this book give yourself a bit of time to get into it. This isn’t one where if you have a spare 15 – 20 minutes to start it and get into it – give yourself at least a half an hour to really immerse yourself in it and absorb it before you put it down.

Don’t let that daunt you though, it doesn’t take too long to get into it, and once you’ve got it down it’s easy to follow. The magic system is well thought out and consistent. This is a story about fire mages of sorts, the Embers have a natural ability to weild fire magic and it’s really cool. I’ve always had a thing for fire mages and so this book had a lot of appeal to me.

Evil is coming back “The Eastern Dark” who had driven the Embers out of the original home is returning. He’s a powerful and evil “sage” of sorts and if he’s left undefeated he will rule the world of Landkist. The demons that are running rampant and wreaking havoc in this world aren’t actually from Landkist – they are from “The World Apart” invading Landkist. The Embers need the help of the “White Crest” to defeat the onslaught of evil – but the problem is no one knows where he is. So, our main characters set out to go find him – and really this is where everything starts to go down.

The world building in this book was really well done, I felt immersed in the world, it was believable and well organized.

The main characters are Linn and Kole – I think Linn is my favorite. She’s a take no shit kind of person and can take care of herself. I always enjoy those sorts of characters.

If you’re a person who likes plot driven or action driven books you’ll really like this one, there are plenty of action and battle scenes throughout the book. There are a few major battles that get a ton of screne time and mixed with the magic system in this book it makes for a lot of fun.

I was pretty impressed this is a debut novel and I’ll absolutely read the second in the series. I’m looking forward to what happens next. It’s pretty clear this author has a lot of potential and talent!

I also enjoyed the fact that this didn’t leave us on a cliff hanger. The plot points are mostly resolved, but it does leave room to keep exploring the world and characters, I’ll be reading the sequel here soon and posting a review on that. I’m hoping for another Michael J Sullivan where each book just gets better 🙂

Oh, and the cover art is pretty awesome 😀

This one is not set up in the current SPFBO style, I may come back and change it. 

Plot: 8/10

Characters: 7/10

World Building 8/10

Pacing 8/10

Writing 7/10 

Originality: 7.5/10

Total Final Score: 45.5/60 or 7.8/10 or 4 stars on goodreads


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