Fantasy - General

[ARC Review] Lies of Descent

Fallen God’s War Book 1 by Troy Carrol Bucher
Published on: August 20, 2019

In this new epic fantasy series a world has been created full of enemies that have opposed each other for hundreds of years. The Draegora and Esharii drew sides against each other long ago, but even amongst themselves they have competing factions vying for power.

Description:

In this compelling fantasy from a debut author, two people must unite warring cultures to banish the gods who destroyed their homeland.

The Fallen Gods’ War drove the remnants of a victorious army across the ocean in search of a new homeland. A thousand years later, the lifeless continent of Draegora is largely forgotten, a symbol for the regiments that remain. Demons to some. Protectors to others. The power of their god-touched blades has forged a nation, though many resent their absolute control.

Riam and Nola are unknowing descendants of the old world. When it’s discovered they carry enough Draegoran blood to serve in the regiments, they are dragged away from their families to begin training. If they survive, they will be expected to enforce the laws of the covenant, to fight the Esharii tribesmen who raid along the border, and to be judge, jury, and executioners for those accused of crimes.

For Riam, who welcomes his escape from an abusive father, the power to protect those who cannot defend themselves is alluring. For Nola, who wishes to return home, it is a betrayal by all she holds dear.

Neither is given a choice…and neither may ever get the chance to serve.

Lies of Descent begins an epic trilogy of fallen gods, betrayal, and magic–where dark motives often dwell within the true and just, and where the things most feared sometimes lead to salvation.

Thoughts:

In Lies of Descent, one of my lasting impressions after reading is how the path the main characters were on changed course more than once, which frustrated me even while I enjoyed reading it. Just as I got settled into a story path the direction of it would shift and I would have to relook at where I thought it was heading, only to have it shift again. However, it is well known that epic fantasy and science fiction can at times require a lot of world building and in order to explain what the true story or issue at stake is all these different directions needed to be taken. So while I am not surprised in how some of the story lines changed, I was a bit surprised by how often it occurred. There is a great deal of world building done within this book, not only do you learn the world in general, but characters, politics, and how the fallen gods are involved. Keeping up with who the fallen gods were and how their history pertained to the present day was at times a bit confusing and I found myself having to go back and re-read sections again to make sure I had everything straight.

Lies of Descent has two main characters – Riam and Nola – although Riam does feel like the primary main character. At the age of 12 every child must be tested to see if they have Draegoran blood. Gairen, a Warden of the Owl clan, has been searching for quite a while for a specific descendant when he discovers Riam. In finding Riam, he hopes he can change his father’s mind about accepting new recruits into his clan for training. Since the Owl clan stopped taking new recruits several years back, other clans have been able to become more powerful. Other clans that are more corrupt and more power hungry. To Gairen, balance amongst the clans must be kept. It is by following Riam we learn the Draegoran structure and politics as Gairen and Master Iwynd take time to explain and show it to him. Overall, I found Riam to be very likeable and an easy character to root for.

Nola, the other main character, was one of the two children Gairen found when performing the Draegoran descendant test. However, due to an unexpected turn of events, Nola takes a different path than Riam and ends up with the Escharii tribesman instead of the Draegoran. It is through her and a couple of other Escharii that the reader is allowed to see into Escharii, their past, and their current political situation. Because of the path Nola finds herself on, I felt that I didn’t quite get to know her as well as I expect readers will in future books. I don’t dislike her by any means, I just don’t feel like I know her as well as I know Riam.

From what I understand, this new epic fantasy series will be a trilogy. Due to the amount and type of information we learn in Lies of Descent, the novel does a lot of plot setup and world building explanation that one might expect from the first book. It is entertaining and engaging and I believe fans of epic fantasy will want to be sure to try this one out.

Rating: 4 stars

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.

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