Saturday, February 6, 2016
Book Review: Chronicles of Ave Volume 1 by Stephen Zimmer
Chronicles of Ave Volume 1 by Stephen Zimmer is an epic collection of short stories that introduces readers to a world that is expanded in the Fires of Eden series that also takes place in the world of Ave. Ave is immense. The world is so large that each one of these individual stories can have epic battles that don't cross over to the other stories though there does seem to be a rising evil across the land. After reading this collection, I am anxious to read the first book in the Fires of Eden series Crown of Vengeance, which I conveniently picked up alongside this collection for a nice price. I certainly got more than I paid for and would recommend this collection any avid fantasy reader.
The first story "Into Glory Ride" chronicles a war of human versus elves. The Trogens are a society prepared for war but they are testing out their new battle mounts the Harraks, which are awesome flying creatures that can swoop down or fight air battles against the elves' flying mounts. Zimmer has always done such a great job creating imaginative creature and this is a perfect example of his talent. I look forward to reading more about this society.
"Touch of Serenity" starts off much darker with an enslaved protagonist fighting to protect the old and weak who suffer under the harsh rule of an emperor to build a massive wall. Mythical creature start popping up and a fantastic battle ensues with lots of tension.
The third story "Moonlight's Grace" has a romantic core but doesn't skimp on the battling as well. I especially like the two loves and the way a young warrior fights to save his family and friends. The evil continues to grow as each story ratchets up the threats faced by the main characters.
"Winter's Embrace" broaches some of the religious belief in this society with monk knights fighting a holy war against heathens. This story takes an interesting twist with the main religious warrior having to test his faith and this adds extra drama to an action-packed tale that also brings more cool magic. Once again Zimmer brings out his talent of pitting powerful fantastic beasts against noble warriors.
The horrors and action do not slow down with "Lion Heart" but this time the tribal warriors are faced with a magical plagued. This one will have readers worried that evil might actually triumph. The plot is full of tension and left me on the edge while reading it.
The final story "Land of Shadow" shows a place that suspect will be visited again in the series ahead. Some of the most horrific creatures burst up out of the prose here and the action is awesome.
If you are a fantasy reader, I highly recommend this collection. The sword and sorcery action does not let up and the characters are memorable. I do wish I could see more of a connection between each tale and would have loved to see a map of each land and how they all meet. I have a strong suspicion that the Fires of Eden series will answer a lot of my burning questions and really look forward to reading it!