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 they keep death 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. But 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.
I was given the opportunity to get an early read of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It will be on sale at all the usual booksellers on March 1st of 2022.
First, I have to give credit to the author for this debut novel. Thiago Abdalla has gone to great efforts on the worldbuilding, creating a rich tapestry upon which to tell his stories. The concepts and cultures and factions are critical to the narrative; they provide a constant backdrop that influences the characters' actions and motivations. This is key to fantasy stories. Those that are loosely built can cause a story to fall apart very quickly.
The cast is large and varied which gives readers a number of opportunities to connect to protagonist. For me, there are quite a few of them with the story switching back and forth in focus. While I recognize that is important to tell an interweaved tale, I find myself losing any momentum I have with one character when the next chapter switches to another and then I do not get back to the one I was building interest until two or three more down the road. A tighter concentration on just one or two main characters would have kept me more engaged.
For folks who like their fantasy sprawling and multifaceted, this is one they might wish to check out.