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Rise of the Storm (The Desolate Empire Book 1) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 475 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Depth of Lies" by E. C. Diskin
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This is a fantasy novel that has a historical flare, but doesn't take place in any specific time. The entire world is fiction but you can see that the author draws upon an ecclectic mix from real world time periods.
The tale at it's most basic is one of good versus evil. A cruel emperess who is constantly overreaching her authority over other lands. She is like a spoiled child who needs to always get her way. She rules with an iron fist and although many of the lands princes do not like her, they fear her and her retribution for non compliance.
Prince Kendryk is a man of intellect and strong faith, and avoids conflict at all costs, until he meets an intriguing radical priest. Soon after defending this radical priest against the empress, Kendryk finds himself and his lands threatened. Thanks to his intelligent, and spirited wife, he will now have to do the unthinkable...fight!
We also follow the story of Janna who escapes her town when the empress's armies crush a rebellion there. She leaves with her stepson and daughter only to head into further peril.
There are others that we see through their eyes, but you will have to see that for yourself.
I really like this story, alot. It is structured similarly to Game of Thrones where each chapter is a peek into a different characters perspective of the stuggles going on politically in their world.
The writing is very good, and there are little editing issues. There is some romance, but it is not a romance book. The romatic parts are not depicted in detail. This is a "clean" read. I personally don't mind, the story itself is so good I don't miss it.
The complex characters are developed slowly, and there is little physical description of them. The physical enviornment as well as the land and atmosphere are also loosly described. I found this not to be a bad thing because it allowed my imagination to take over. The author gave just enough to give the reader a sense of how people and places look, allowing for us to create it for ourselves in our own minds.
Most of this book (book 1) is spent as build up so to speak. It is never boring nor did I find myself skimming. Towards the end, the conflict picks up and the action begins.
This is a cliffhanger so you have to continue with the second book to find out what happens (which I am doing right now). I highly reccommend this to those who like fantasy books regarding political and religous struggles. it also seems there is also a hint of light and dark interwoven and subtly into the theme.
FYI - the second book is action packed and I can't put it down right now.
Speaking of Gwynneth and Janna, I loved how Ochs chose to feature these interesting women who experience the war on opposite sides; one a princess and the other a poor widow. You get a sense of the political, decision-making side of the war, and then you see how the subjects pay for it. I was just as eager to hear what Janna was going through just as much as I wanted to know what Gwynneth was plotting next.
Because you get to see so many character perspectives, each character felt well-developed and likeable in their own way. Christina also does a good job with scenery and description. I enjoy writing that gives me a clear backdrop to make the scene really come alive.
Ochs gives many character descriptions, especially for Kendryk and Gwynneth, but often you aren’t left with much vision clues for the rest of the characters. You often get one brief description and you’re left to your own interpretations. There are so many characters that I would have appreciated more references to character appearances.
Overall, Christina Ochs delivers an interesting and engaging story of political intrigue, and the choices that have to be made to decipher right and wrong. Ochs shows us the beautiful and ugly side of war through her characters, as well as her extensive knowledge of war strategy, weapons, and politics.
This novel is ultimately appropriate for young adults and older; intercourse and rape is mentioned but not explained in detail, in case that’s not your thing.
I would highly recommend picking up Rise of the Storm.
Either way, it's a well written novel with complex characters and believable motivations - and I recommend it for anyone who wants a page turner. As I write this review, it's almost 5 in the morning and I thought to myself "I'll just read a little bit before bed" but the next thing I know, birds are starting to sing and the sun is threatening to rise.
So yeah, I guess you could say it's a good book!
The political maneuvering among the royals was endless. Allies and traitors, friends and enemies. Alliances made and broken. And the role that religion played in the war is so well fleshed out, it is fascinating.
Book one is a five star read. It was impossible not to move directly on to book two.