Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
The Garden of Stones (Echoes of Empire #1)
An uneasy peace has existed since the fall of the Awakened Empire centuries ago. Now the hybrid Avān share the land with the people they once conquered: the star-born humans; the spectral, undead Nomads; and what remains of the Elemental Masters.
With the Empress-in-Shadows an estranged ghost, it is the ancient dynasties of the Great Houses and the Hundred Families that rule. But now civil war threatens to draw all of Shrīan into a vicious struggle sparked by one man’s lust for power, and his drive to cheat death.
Visions have foretold that Corajidin, dying ruler of House Erebus, will not only survive, but rise to rule his people. The wily nobleman seeks to make his destiny certain—by plundering the ruins of his civilization’s past for the arcane science needed to ensure his survival, and by mercilessly eliminating his rivals. But mercenary warrior-mage Indris, scion of the rival House Näsarat, stands most powerfully in the usurper’s bloody path. For it is Indris who reluctantly accepts the task of finding a missing man, the only one able to steer the teetering nation towards peace.
Good start to a new series. Mark’s writing style is great. I like the characters and the world that Mark has created with the book. It has a few great twists and turns. The plot is good. It’s action packed. Readers who like Fantasy and Sci-fi will like the book. I look forward to reading more of Mark’s books.
Mark Barnes was born in Sydney, Australia, in September of 1966. A strong athlete, he was also drawn to the arts at a young age, penning his first short story as a seven-year-old. He worked in finance and advertising before establishing himself in IT services management. Currently he owns and operates a freelance organizational change consultancy.
In 2005, when Mark was selected to attend the Clarion South residential short story workshop, he began to write with the intention of making it more than a hobby. Since that time, Mark has published a number of short stories, worked as a freelance script editor, and has driven creative consultancy for a television series.
Mark is the author of the Echoes of Empire series, published by 47 North. The series includes The Garden of Stones, and The Obsidian Heart. The Pillars of Sand is book three of the series.
You can find out more at www.marktbarnes.com, his Facebook page atwww.facebook.com/marktbarnes.author, or follow Mark on Twitter @MarkTBarnes.