Published: July 21, 2020
Publisher: Orbit Books
Series: Burningblade & Silvereye #1
Pages: 592 (Paperback)
My Rating: 4.5/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Long ago, a magical war destroyed an empire, and a new one was built in its ashes. But still the old grudges simmer, and two siblings will fight on opposite sides to save their world, in the start of Django Wexler’s new epic fantasy trilogy
Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.
Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.
Ashes of the Sun is the start to a new series I’ve been very, very excited about. I’ve enjoyed Django Wexler’s YA series and what I’ve read of his completed adult fantasy series and this was so different! From the cover you would assume a certain degree of hacking through jungles and traipsing through the bones of lost cities… but that isn’t quite what it’s about.
Maya and Gyre were separated at a young age when the Twilight Order swept Maya off to become one of their own and scarred Gyre for life. Gyre has been determined ever since to bring down the Order that broke his family and took his eye and this has led him to join a band of rebels and take the moniker Halfmask. Maya on the other hand has been travelling with her mentor Jaedia around the Dawn Republic settling disputes and rooting out dhakim and plaguespawn. A disturbing discovery sent Maya, Jaedia, and Jaedia’s other trainee Marn quickly back to the Order headquarters to share their findings. Maya soon goes out on her first mission along with a group of younger Order trainees and the fun really begins.
Gyre and Maya have taken very different paths in life, however each is equally fascinating. It’s not often that I find books with multiple POVs where I like both (or all) equally. They both have good love interests, tons of action, and I love when the two FINALLY meet up again – you can’t help but to assume it will happen based on the trajectory of events. I love convergences of characters!
The settings (when described in detail) are great! There are in fact derelict cities, but it seems that much of them are underground because they were inhabited by ghouls. Being sensitive to light, ghouls tunneled or hollowed out mountains like dwarves. The Dawn Republic cities were pretty awesome as well – one that was well described had something like an airship wreckage half-buried in the sand and was a hotspot for relic hunters. The cover teases these amazing locales, but honestly I could have used some more flowery descriptions to really bring things to life. The magic/technology is also pretty darn cool. The Order use more of an elemental magic and each person’s manifests a bit differently. Maya’s manifests as fire and her hakim (energy sword) has a burning blade (hence the moniker). Gyre and his band of rebels use tech or alchemicals since they don’t have access to magic and scour the tunnels hoping for ghoul relics from the past wars.
Overall, I found this to be an excellent start to a rich and promising new series from Django Wexler. I’m eager to see news of the sequel – fingers crossed for a 2021 release!! I loved the characters, the magic, the concepts, and the sense of weighty history that the whole story has woven throughout. This could be a new favorite!