Narrator: James Foster
Published by Podium Publishing on 18 April 2017
Length: 18 hrs and 31 mins
Genres: Epic Fantasy
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Journey of Fire and Night, Book 1: A warrior who cannot die. A water seeker who wants only to save her people. An endless war that obscures a threat greater than either has faced before.
Jasn, a warrior known as the Wrecker of Rens, seeks vengeance for the loss of his beloved to the deadly draasin during the Endless War, wanting nothing more than to sacrifice himself in the process. When an old friend offers a dangerous chance for him to finally succeed, the key to understanding what he finds requires him to abandon all that he believes.
Ciara, a water seeker of Rens living on the edge of the arid waste, longs for the strength to help her people. When the great storms don't come to save her people, she will risk everything for her village on a deadly plan that could finally bring them to safety.
As the Endless War continues, both have parts to play in stopping it, but Jasn must discover forgiveness, and Ciara must find her inner strength if they are to succeed. If they cannot, a threat greater than either nation will be unleashed.
Darkness Rising, Book 2: Jasn wanted nothing more than to hunt the draasin and obtain vengeance for what he'd lost in the Endless War. Time spent in the mysterious barracks revealed depths to the war - and his abilities - that he had never imagined. As he debates whether to continue his education with Alena, he follows her into the depths of Rens, where a surprising discovery changes both of their fates and entwines them more than either desires.
Ciara returns from the waste changed, but her return is only a beginning. When her father demonstrates a powerful secret of his own, Ciara must once again leave her home on a journey for answers that will change not only her but the fate of Rens and the future of the war.
©2016 D. K. Holmberg (P)2017 Podium Publishing
Rens and Ter have been fighting for countless generations. Each is able to manipulate the elementals in a process call shaping, moving water, earth, fire or air. The people of Ter have far greater success with shaping and would have overrun Rens, if not for the draasin, an elemental dragon-like creature of fire. The draasin have left the people of Rens alone, while unleashing their terrible fury on Ter, decimating entire towns in their furry. But the draisin may not be what they seem. Assumed to be simply wild beasts controlled by Rens, it is being discovered that they are highly intelligent creatures that do not want to destroy life, but to protect it. The mystery is who is controlling them.
This inventive story follows the lives of the people from Ter and Rens. Jasn Volth is from Ter and is a master shaper and healer. When his lover is killed by a draasin, he goes on a rampage of revenge, killing as many people of Rens and draasins as he can, while hoping for his own death in the process to cease his horrible grief. But his powers of healing are so great that he can’t be killed.
Ciara is a simple girl living with her tribe in deserts of Rens. She has the gift of being able to find water, so critical to her people’s survival, but not able to shape it, to draw if from the ground. Her journey begins when a draasin attacks and kills most of her village. The draasin have always left her people in peace and now she must find out why and save her people before they die of thirst, attacks from Ter and the new attacks from the draasin.
The listener doesn’t learn why the people of Rens and Ter began or continue their endless war, perhaps it is so old, the people don’t even know themselves. It is a complex plot with many characters on both sides plotting against each other while the subtle threat of annihilation looms for all. There is plenty of action and magic to satisfy any fantasy lover. The characters are at once powerful and flawed. And as the plot unfolds more and more mysteries surface that make them question their own beliefs and lifetime hatreds. It becomes clear that the people of Rens and Ter have been fighting the wrong enemy.
The novels are performed by James Foster who does an excellent job. He has wonderful voice and is a pleasure to listen to. His characters are easily discerned. Though there is some confusion to the listener at times as to who is who, it is certainly not his fault, but more the similarity of character names, such as Alena and Olena, Thessin and Chassin. One wouldn’t have this issue if reading the story. An excellent performance.
The Endless War is an enjoyable action/fantasy novel with an inventive plot and interesting characters. The plot may not move quite as quickly as the listener might want, but it is laying the groundwork for the series and you will likely look forward to the other books in the series.