Age of Ash

, #1

Hardcover, 560 pages

English language

Published May 10, 2022 by Orbit.

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4 stars (11 reviews)

From New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed author Daniel Abraham, co-author of The Expanse , comes a monumental epic fantasy trilogy that unfolds within the walls of a single great city, over the course of one tumultuous year, where every story matters, and the fate of the city is woven from them all.

“An atmospheric and fascinating tapestry, woven with skill and patience.” –Joe Abercrombie, New York Times bestselling author of A Little Hatred

Kithamar is a center of trade and wealth, an ancient city with a long, bloody history where countless thousands live and their stories unfold.

This is Alys's.

When her brother is murdered, a petty thief from the slums of Longhill sets out to discover who killed him and why. But the more she discovers about him, the more she learns about herself, and the truths she finds are more dangerous than knives.

Swept up in …

3 editions

reviewed Age of Ash by Daniel Abraham (Kithamar, #1)

Almost magical realism with some interesting twists

4 stars

This book shares with many fantasy novels a roughly early modern European setting and main characters who are poor, somewhat principled criminals living on the margins of that setting (the latter also reminds me a bit of the author's portrayal of the economically marginalized in the Expanse as well) . There is an aspect of systematic racism in the world, where the poor people just happen to be be one ethnic minority and live on one side of the river. By magical realism I mean that while magical elements are important, the plot is mainly about more mundane things that might get nudged one way or the other by magic (or by luck). All of this is well and good (if not especially unusual in contemporary fantasy), but what made the book a bit more interesting for me was the way it played with the ideas of hero/antihero/main-character/supporting-character in interesting …

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  • American literature