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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

From Cold Ashes Risen by Rob J. Hayes (reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)


Official Author Website
Order From Cold Ashes Risen over HERE (USA) and HERE (UK)
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Along The Razor's Edge
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Lessons Never Learned
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Never Die
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of City Of Kings 
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Where Loyalties Lie
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Fifth Empire Of Man
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Heresy Within
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Colour Of Vengeance
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of The Price Of Faith
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of It Takes A Thief To Catch A Sunrise
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of It Takes A Thief To Start A Fire
Read Fantasy Book Critic interview with Rob J. Hayes
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Mini Q&A with Rob J. Hayes
Read Fantasy Book Critic trilogy completion interview with Rob J. Hayes
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Best Laid Plans Series Interview with Rob J. Hayes
Read Fantasy Book Critic's SPFBO Aftermath Q&A with Rob J. Hayes
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Post COK interview with Rob J. Hayes
Read Fantasy Book Critic's Never Die Release Interview with Rob J. Hayes
Read Fantasy Book Critic's The War Eternal Trilogy Release Interview
Read A Game of ̶T̶h̶r̶o̶n̶e̶s̶ Death by Rob J. Hayes (guest post)

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Rob J. Hayes was born and brought up in Basingstoke, UK. As a child he was fascinated with Lego, Star Wars and Transformers that fueled his imagination and he spent quite a bit of his growing up years playing around with such. He began writing at the age of fourteen however soon discovered the fallacies of his work. After four years at University studying Zoology and three years working for a string of high street banks as a desk jockey/keyboard monkey. Rob lived on a desert island in Fiji for three months. It was there he re-discovered his love of writing and, more specifically, of writing fantasy.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: The Corpse Queen Comes.

Eskara has lost everything. The War Eternal has cost her everything she loves, and the Iron Legion has taken the rest. Yet there is something that is still hers, something that kept her warm during her time in the Pit. Anger and a lust for vengeance. First on the list of those who must pay, the Emperor of Terrelan.

Her friends counsel peace, but her inner demons push for war, and Eska finds herself caught in the middle. Will she find a way to reap her vengeance? Or will the enemies of her past catch up to her first?

One thing is certain. The world will soon know fear when the Corpse Queen ascends her throne.

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: From Cold Ashes Risen bring to an end to Eska’s journey as espoused by the trilogy format. At the end of The Lessons Never Learned, both the reader and Eska are given some majorly shocking revelations. With those, it made me want to read this book immediately. In this review, I’ll have to be very vague so as to not spoil the plot but also keep away from spoilers from the preceding volumes.

The story begins with Eskara being shattered about knowing the truth of her and Josef’s powers. There’s also the revelations about the world and the magic system. All in all this volume had mighty expectations placed on it because of the way, the story has unfolded and the particular way Eska narrated her own story. The main plot takes a while to come together but once it does, we the readers are treated to an all-out war that Eska rages against her enemy. The Corpse Queen rises and when she does, all else will fall.

This book takes all that we know about the world, the magical races and Eskara and then it further pulls the rug from beneath it all. Rob J. Hayes was worried about this trilogy about the style utilized, the main narrative voice, the plot structure, etc. All of his fears while justified from an author brand standpoint, turn out to be unsubstantiated from a fan standpoint. The writing is solid as ever (maybe one can argue that it’s better than his previous books considering the narrative and story structure), the pacing is crisp and each book has its own place, style and reveals a further aspect of the world, magic system and current happenings.

Eska as a character has really matured over the past two volumes. Yes she still has her rage but now she has the magical acumen and mental fortitude to back up the rage and make it into a cold flame which lasts longer and is more vicious. In this trilogy ending volume, she has all of her advantages taken away except for Serrakis and she has to truly work to achieve her end goal. The complete and utter annihilation of the entity that has shaped her life and powers. In both the past and future timelines we get a vivid story about how the past shapes the future and yet certain things are still unpredictable as ever.

The surviving characters and those she holds dear to her heart such as Hardt, Tamura and another unnamed character (SPOILERS) are given much more scope to shine. Plus I loved how the author played with the concept of sacrifice and heroism. Perhaps none more personified by the one entity who isn’t a person (Serrakis). The shadowy, Other worldly monster truly comes into the picture and I loved the way Serrakis does what it believes to be sancrosant. Lastly a quick word about the covers for this series, Felix Oriz and Shawn T. King have been a staple factor for Rob’s books and this series has been visually stunning. However the cover art for this volume is simply mindblowing to say the least & I’ve been just in awe of it since it was unveiled over at the Fantasy Hive.

For drawbacks, there’s a couple I would like to highlight but they are very spoilerific and more than a bit subjective. So I can’t really talk about them however the author note in the end of the book significantly dispels one of them. The other one perhaps is more due to the author’s ruthlessness and maybe by now I should expect that. But the losses still hurt and kudos to the author for making me so invested in his works no matter which story he chooses to tell.

CONCLUSION: From Cold Ashes Risen not only heralds a pivotal plot aspect but also the rise of Rob J. Hayes as a writer to seriously be considered as one of the best wordsmiths of the darker side of fiction. This trilogy might end with this book but the story and the characters will live on and maybe, just maybe we the readers will be rewarded with more….

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