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Book Review: Age of Ash

Table of Contents

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 an intrigue as deep as the roots of Kithamar, where the secrets of the lowest born can sometimes topple thrones, the story Alys chooses will have the power to change everything.”

Title: Age of Ash

Series: Kithamar #1

Author: Daniel Abraham

Page Count: 560

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Date Read: April 7th, 2023

 I wasn’t going to write up a review for this one simply because I’m a bit behind on a few reviews and I do this simply for my own enjoyment. Once in awhile I just have to settle for rating a book here and there and skip the full review. However, being as I continue to enjoy Daniel Abraham’s works and this was our Buddy Read group’s April read, I changed my mind and decided to right something up.
As previously mentioned this was a buddy read for April. I hadn’t previously known about this book and series prior to it’s nomination. I am familiar with Daniel Abraham as his The Dagger and the Coin series was one of the first full series I read when I got back into the enjoyment of reading a couple of years back. I’m also aware of his Long Price Quartet which I haven’t yet got around to reading but plan to eventually. I also own the first few books of the Expanse series which he cowrote. Alas, I haven’t gotten to read them yet either. So many books, so little time!
The pacing was smooth. I don’t know if I’m getting lucky with my selection of reads over the last year or not. However, I rarely find myself with books that don’t seem to be flowing well for me these days. We do have some unique character and place names in Age of Ash but nothing too drastic that tripped me up when reading them.
The world building in Age of Ash was simply awesome. I will try to prevent dropping spoilers here. I will however say that this living city the author has created was a treat to experience! Almost the entire book takes place within the single city. However, its describe as so large of a city that it can take an entire day to get from one side to another. We have several different districts where the people living there have completely different cultures than the next. And of course this also brings about different castes that we come to learn about. I am looking forward to what the author does from here. If we continue to spend most of our time in this city in the future or if we venture out and learn more about the world beyond the walls.
The character development was great as well. I will say that we are introduced to a lot of character in book one of this series. We get to learn quite a bit about several of them and then others are just a fleeting glimpse or perhaps may come up again as the story progresses. Alys and Sammish are so very different but what a team they make! I also hope we haven’t seen the last of Saffa Rej either now that the first book is wrapped up.
I would recommend this to readers who enjoy an epic fantasy with depth to the world and its characters. I would certainly say if you enjoyed The Dagger and the Coin series you’re probably going to enjoy this one as well so far.

World Building 5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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