Beyond the Burning Sea *****
by TB Schmid and R Wade Hodges

I received a free copy of this book, but I would readily pay. I just finished Beyond the Burning Sea and this epic Fantasy world has me drawn in. Fate’s Crucible is a series that I will keep up on!

Maughrin is the living darkness, a demon dragon who destroyed the first world. The young gods imprisoned her, but they are all dead. The H’kaan are super human beings that carry Maughrin’s torch, but their presence has been scarce since Maughrin’s demise at Ehronfall.

New vocabulary aside, the people of Ruin have a thriving world, in spite of their dead young gods. They find themselves besieged by the enemies their dead deities sought to eliminate. Beyond the Burning Sea tells the tale of Ruin’s people discovering the threat and carrying on to deliver the news. Bore not, Dear Reader! It isn’t as simple as all that.

 

Triistan is cast away, starving, and struggling to deliver news of Ruin’s fate to the Sea Kings. Fellow stowaways threaten his secret and his life.

Casselle, one of the first women to join the Templars, the knights of Ruin. Her squad is digging girl power, but most of the old guys on shift don’t like the idea. It’s awesome to read about woman soldiers. My sister was in the US Army and defended American freedom. Women kick ass and deserve to be heroes for their tribulations. They are brave and strong, and capable of a love that this male reader thinks many men don’t understand. I appreciate reading about a woman war veteran in a time when reality mirrors fantasy.  It’s a trope I hope to read a lot more about. I get weepy and patriotic just thinking about it.

Casselle happens to be a large and strong woman, capable of the physical feats her male counterparts can perform. I think about Rowdy Rhonda Rousey, who could certainly strangle you or me (I could probably strangle you, too, but definitely not Rhonda!)  Her male team mates back up her leadership and the fact that she’s the first lady to become a Templar. The organization used to be the militia for the young gods, but now local armies can match their strength.

Also the shipwreck with Triistan and Dreysha will draw you in. Her allegiances push her to uncover his secret, but what is the cost? I fell in love with them both, will they get along?

He knows a secret that will change the world and she will stop at nothing to learn it! What a beautiful way to go about world building! Announce that there is a “new world” while casually unfolding the “old world”.

Ruin has two suns. The bright sun setting and leaving behind its dull sister for a long evening has enthralled my imagination.

Buy this book, this quote explains why: “Once again he felt a strong compunction to hurl the book over the rail; there was such a long shadow of misery that trailed from its pages all the way back to Aarden’s heart of darkness”

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