Ash and Echoes: Book One of the Blessed Epoch by Augusta Li
For the past few years Yarroway L’Estrella has lived in exile, gathering arcane power, but that power came at a price. Now it’s time for him to do his duty: his uncle, the king, needs him to escort Prince Garith to his wedding, a union that will create an alliance between the two strongest countries in the known world. But Yarrow isn’t the prince’s only guard. A whole company of knights is assigned to the duty, and Yarrow’s not sure he trusts their leader.
Knight Duncan Purefroy isn’t sure he trusts Yarrow either, but after a bizarre occurrence during their travels, they have no choice but to work together—especially since the incident also reveals a disturbing secret, one that might threaten the entire kingdom. But will it ultimately work in their favor?
When a third member joins the precarious alliance, it seems to cement the bonds between all three men. But the arrangement isn’t perfect: Yarrow knows the power inside him and fears getting too close. The mysterious newcomer was raised to believe love and trust are weaknesses. And Duncan struggles to accept them as they are. Saving their home will take everything they have—including the fragile relationship they’ve built.
This was an entertaining fantasy. I did think at first the characters are a bit flat but as I continued the read I could see where the author was heading with these men. When you meet each character they are as one would expect the character to be…Yarrow is selfish and cold. He is purely driven by his own wants and desires. Duncan is the faithful knight. He believes in his cause and in making a better world. Duncan’s first duty is to his mission. He can care for nothing more than his duty! Sasha is the assassin. He is cold, without remorse and lives entirely in the moment, feelings are only a weakness. As the story progresses you see the changes that occur in each of these characters.
I have seen some bad reviews in reviews of this book in regards to the plot. The plot is twisty but fairly typical for this kind of fantasy read but that is not where the author is taking this series. It isn’t as much about the kingdom and what occurs within it. It is all about these three men and how they grow, each changing the others and becoming more in the so doing.
The one thing I didn’t really expect in the story is the creature that lives in Yarrow. I’m just not sure about him. You believe throughout the story he is evil…even at the ending I would say he is evil, but there is something more there. It will be interesting to see where the author takes this character in the rest of the series.
There were only two other items I noticed. The “head hopping” and sex scenes. The head hopping of the point of view added a lot to the story but I do think it could have been at times a bit clearer as to who’s perspective the story was being told from. The sex scenes were a bit long. I do not know why they didn’t really have my attention. They were a bit too formulaic for me as they went. I think the fact that I got the same feeling from the characters in the first sex scene to the last means something there didn’t go right.
Overall I think the author has done a wonderful job with this book. It is interesting and different. There is a similar plot to it but with the underlying story that changes it. It is a book that stays with you. I look forward to the next book in the series.
Posted on Thursday, March 6th, 2014, in Book Review, Fantasy, Five Roses, M/M Triad, Novel: 150 pages and above, TJ and tagged Augusta Li, Dreamspinner Press, Five Roses, M/M Triad, Novel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.