Thank you so much to Escapist Tours for having me on the book tour for A Touch of Light by Thiago Abdalla! I will give the synopsis, a few brief thoughts, author blurb, links, and of course the giveaway link! Do check out the other hosts for more content!
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: A Touch of Light
- Series: The Ashes of Sharon, #1
- Author: Thiago Abdalla
- Publisher & Release: Self, 03/01/22
- Length: 452 pgs
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⚡ for fantasy readers who are ok with not knowing as you go
Here is the synopsis!
The dead shall not be mourned or remembered, for death is the enemy, and will only drive the Seraph away.
The Domain is the bastion of life. The Seraph blesses her faithful with endless years, and death is kept away in hope for Her return, but The Domain nations are not the only ones in Avarin. They have managed only a tenuous peace with the clans to the south, who believe life must be returned to the Earth to keep it whole.
Yet the world of Avarin is changing.
In the clanlands, parts of the Earth seem to be withering away, while in the Domain, a deadly frenzy spreads among the people. It brings darkness to the minds of men and bloodlust to their hearts.
This sickness threatens more than just the peace in the realm, it imperils its very heart.
Now the people of Avarin must fight to save it, before death comes for them all.
Dive into this sweeping epic fantasy saga where religion and politics are one, magic brings terror into the hearts of men, and a looming blight threatens to tear everything down.
I give the author a ton of credit for attempting a story as wide reaching as this. AToL reminds me of Malice, if anyone has read John Gwynne, where there are multiple seemingly unrelated storylines that mostly eventually come together. I think with a little more alpha/beta reading and work on execution, A Touch of Light would have been a really great read.
What he did well:
Besides the cover and map, which I always appreciate, Abdalla took an interesting look at death across various cultures. I also always love a good zombies vs fantasy story (hello Lee Conley) but needed a little more from that “madness” storyline.
I liked the trees! I was curious as to if the whole religion of the Seraph was confirmed true, as it’s exploration was one of the best parts (Sans delineation of the king vs pontiff). The struggles that the characters faced with religious faith vs faith in oneself is a relatable struggle.
The right fantasy elements were definitely there: a blight, a madness, gryphon soldiers, scattered magic, airships – heck sakes did this storyline come from World of Warcraft – remember the horde and alliance coming together against the alchemists who created the blight??
I … Digress.
To be fair, let me outline what I didn’t love too:
Nothing was explained. Lots of events, places, names, even clans and regions were thrown out with no background. Some things got explained later on – most didn’t. I thought I missed something but according to a few other readers I chatted with – hopefully those answers will be coming in book two.
Nasha’s storyline – for all that her friend was going to pick a war with the Domain, none of the Domain members of the other chapters ever mentioned the clans. This is a very one sided conflict right now
Take the gryphons for example – is that the only magic animal in the land? Or the blood magic thrown in towards the end – does anyone else have magic? Lots of past events for all three main characters were frequently hinted at too without telling what actually happened.
Additionally I love the map – let me say that again because the plot is heavily influenced by the book’s geography. So the map shows the land of Avarin, but the continent is named Immeria, comprised of the Domain, clanlands, borderlands, yet once in the same paragraph Adrian refers to them as Immerians, in the lands of Avarin … So what is Avarin? I felt like Avarin was the whole world until Adrian called his region Avarin, and then I shrugged it off for further debate at a later time.
I feel like I need to end this on a huge compliment, so I saved the biggest one for last – I wasn’t really seeing the Grimdark until towards the end, but when Abdalla brought it, he really brought the dark! (Hello Hannibal Lecter, whew!)
Overall: I think book two has promise, which is why I’m not simply reverting to a feature on this review. The elements are there and I believe that this author has a huge amazing story in his brain that needed more beta reading for execution. The book is receiving a lot of praise as well so do definitely check out the rest of the tour content (see hosts above) and check out the book if it sounds interesting to you!
As promised, here is the link to the giveaway! Enter to win a copy of A Touch of Light in your choice of format!
Meet the Author:
Thiago was born in Brazil but grew up in the fantasy worlds from the stories he kept in his mind. He has inhabited everywhere from Middle-Earth and Azeroth to the planes of Dominaria, Ravnica and Tarkir. No matter the medium, what kept him coming back was always his love for story.
He could never wait for the next world to dive into, so, after being (indirectly) urged on by the (printed) words of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, Patrick Rothfuss, N. K. Jemisin and many, many others, decided to create his own.
Lastly, here are the book’s links!
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09GHJNMPD