Join me today to celebrate the Book Birthday Blitz for Ashael Rising by Shona Kinsella. Find out all about this debut fantasy novel and read my review. You can also win a signed copy of Ashael Rising (see giveaway below).
About the Author
Shona Kinsella is the author of Ashael Rising, (Unbound, 2017) the first in her series, The Vessel of KalaDene. She is also one of the editors of the British Fantasy Society’s fiction publication, Horizons. When she is not writing or wrangling her three children, she can usually be found with her nose in a book.
About the book
Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.
The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the land.
Iwan is a slave to the Zanthar, descendant of those taken as slaves the last time the Zanthar visited this world. He is sent out as a spy, while his mother is held hostage to ensure his compliance.
When Ashael meets Iwan in the forest, neither realise that she is the one the Zanthar are looking for. The fate of KalaDene and all of its people rests on her shoulders.
The Zanthar are an ancient race and the enemies of the so-called Cams, which are small communities of people who live from and off the planet they inhabit. They are a peaceful people and believe in the strength and powers of their healers. One of those healers is Bhearra and she is training a young woman called Ashael. The young woman seems to have more than an affinity for healing. In fact recently she has started to do more than she should be capable of.
The Zanthar think she is part of a prophecy, a vessel of some sort that will allow them to regain power they lost many centuries ago. They place a spy in the small community to weed out the so-called vessel, in an attempt to kidnap her and usurp her power.
Ashael has no idea where the power comes from, and she certainly has no idea how to wield it, which could mean the difference between life and death. The Zanthar also don’t seem to be completely convinced she is the magical being in question or rather how to get the vessel to work in their favour.
Loyalty and trust play a pivotal role in this story. Would you betray someone you love to save another? How do you choose who to save in that situation? Then there is the question of endless power corrupting, is Ashael in danger of being corrupted by this newly acquired status?
This is quite a strong debut, which is not an easy feat when it comes to fantasy. I think Kinsella has tossed her training wheels aside and is well on her way to navigating the book world with skill and a lot of creativity. It will be interesting to see where she takes The Vessel of Kaladene.
Giveaway – Win a signed copy of Ashael Rising (Open Internationally) click the link below to enter the giveaway