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Book Review - From Cold Ashes Risen (Rob J Hayes)

Ebook 4.5*

Audiobook 5*


It was an enjoyable and immersive trilogy when I read it, but really came alive listening to Eska's concluding story. She is complex, continually angry (with justification) and by book three borders on being stereotypical in not listening to advice, having half a plan and steams in regardless of consequences. Borders... Eska seems to need the anger, uses it and the glimmer of revenge to drown her growing guilt and a conscience.


It starts with a bang, escalates and degenerates, then it's fair to say - Eska lets rip. All are character defining, diminish her followers, raise her infamy and shatter her health. Eska pays for her anger and revenge and earns her reputation, without giving to much away. She also (and finally) begins to learn, about her past and the scale of her ultimate enemy the Iron Legion.


While her past catches up with Coby and Josef, it is interesting to see Eska attempt to save her friends, rather than dragging along to the final fight, with a responsibility breaking through her anger and after imprisonment what could be argued as resignation. In some ways she is a catalyst with a rebellion forming around her, and enemies choosing whether, or whether not to fight her and evolving back to the chosen one trope. The duality of forces was an interesting concept, and a neat touch to sidestep the trope aspect and factor it in to the forces at play, and the connecting realms.


It will be interesting to see if and how Eska develops in future works, as the secondary characters were interesting enough in their own right, even as a supporting cast and could have been used more. The part I especially enjoyed was Eska's relationship with Ssserakis, particularly in the last quarter. It went from possession and general companionship into a well structured relationship that was oddly endearing. It did make me wonder whether the final options were considered, or whether the ending was fixed and it was constructed to shine with endearment. Whatever the answer, that stood out for me far more than the fate of Eska herself.


Wings Arcstorm, forceblade and a shadowy limb - cool image, and up there with Illiadan


A solid and brutal series and cracking trilogy of audiobooks.

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