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It Began With Ashes

It Began With Ashes - D.E.M. Emrys The Arneuton kingdom conquered the Keltir clans. These clans had to betray their allies in this war to ensure their own survival. It is easy to figure out the former allies, Vikir and Narz are not happy. For now it is peaceful in the expanded kingdom - except that there is no love lost between Arneuton natives and the clans. Things are also quiet in the small village of Hearth, home to people from one of the clans, Torne; however the internal and external tensions are about to break the fragile peace...

The book follows a family of Draven from Hearth and tax collector and his son of Arneuton. It is fairly short (a rarity in modern fantasy), but does a good job of world building and introducing interesting dynamic characters; this is in my opinion a real strength of the book. The end of the book concludes the things nicely while still keeping enough subplots open for a sequel.

This is fast-paced, fun book which serves as a good start to a new series. As I already mentioned, I am very impressed with how much the book manages to accomplish in about 200 pages. Considering the fact that this is author's first book, I respect his skill of keeping the story short and to the point without giving a reader a feeling of being rushed. This is something a lot of established authors have yet to learn. 4 very solid stars, heck even 4.5 stars for a very good first effort.