Seventeen-year old Gray is descended from a legendary hero known as a Ronin and haunted by his forgotten past. He returns home to a wizards' keep, unaware he is now labeled a murderous traitor for killing his best friend.
Now he must cross a dangerous desert full of thieves, mythical beasts, and other magical unknowns, all to return to a home that may be his demise. At the same time, a poisonous evil seeks to convert the world to their dark mantra, "strength is life, weakness death."
Gray may have hero's blood in his veins, but how can one kill a belief?
Zane jumped before the caravan.
A collective rush of gasps, like a gust of wind, sounded from the crowds as the giant procession came to a screeching halt. Zane could only hear the pounding of his heart in his ears, but beneath that, he sensed the silence.
The musicians had halted their playing, the dancers no longer danced, and the crowds watched in frozen horror.
He stood like a statue—head high and hand far from his blade.
Before him was the largest, most opulent lecarta he’d ever seen. In shape it was little more than a box on poles, but its sides were inlaid with thick gold while silver curled from its four corners like thorns. Anything that wasn’t covered in gold was draped in dark red cloth, the foreboding color of the Citadel. The cloth was a thick, rich weave, which made his own clothes feel like rags hanging from his frame.
Carrying the lecarta were nine shirtless, heavily muscled men who wore baggy red pants—their dark skin was oiled and glistened in 12 the light of the burning midday sun. Zane was no slouch, but each man’s arm was the size of his thigh. But that was not his fear... Closer still, were two men wearing nondescript clothes of brown and tan to blend in with their surroundings. Unlike normal guards, they needed no armor. Upon their backs were cloaks depicting two crossed swords.
The cloak of a Devari…
****Citadel of Fire Review**** 4/5
Citadel of Fire is the second book in the fantasy series, The Ronin Saga. First, the Ronin are mythical warriors that may or may not existed, but rumors swirl that they may return. Not everyone is overjoyed about such a possibility. In fact, the warring kingdoms are anxious to establish their grasp before it happens.
The central character, Gray, is representative of the central theme, discovery, and its sister theme, potential. Gray’s not sure who he is. He was once another person, possibly a murderer, but he has no memory of this. His internal conflict is knitting the two sides together. Then there is the issue he may be a Ronin too.
Gray isn’t the only one on a voyage of discovery and realizing potential. Ayva is also on the brink of growing beyond her prescribed limits. Not too surprising that their paths intertwine.
Citadel of Fire is a richly detailed novel that transports the reader to the middle of the conflict. Gray’s uncertainty about who he is makes him more interesting than the average hero. The variety of places, races, beings and animals is extensive. I’d suggest reading the first book, The Knife’s Edge, first. That way the reader will be familiar with the terms and the setup of the novel.
Tired of rereading The Fellowship of the Rings, then, maybe The Ronin Saga is your next series.
Matthew Wolf is the author of the Ronin Saga. Or maybe he's a Ronin. Either way, he's involved somehow. Aside from epic fantasy, he enjoys woodcrafting, outdoors, a bit of a health nut (Kale is good!), and trains in Kung Fu.
His childhood of traveling the world and studying Old English and Japanese influenced the schemes of the Saga, and the world of Daerval. He is a graduate from UCSB with a Literature degree with a specialization in Medieval Literature and Japanese.
Book two: http://www.amazon.com/Citadel-Fire-Ronin-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B00MQ5BIAS/
Book one: http://www.amazon.com/The-Knifes-Edge-Ronin-ebook/dp/B00CAWXIPU/