by Mark Gelineau and Joe King
Thank you to Netgalley and the authors for a chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Publish date: 15th February 2016
Title: Broken Banners
Authors: Mark Gelineau and Joe King
Pubisher: Gelineau and King
Book: #2 of A Reaper of Stone, #5 of An Echo of the Ascended
Genre: High Fantasy
Rating: 4 Voodoos
Slaughtered and left for crows, soldiers of the King’s Army lay dead in a field. A grim reminder: the king’s law ends at the gates of the capital.
Elinor fought for what she believed and now she is an outcast. No soldier will follow her. No officer will stand with her. Yet when she finds her brothers and sisters slaughtered, she cannot turn her back on them.
Long ago, they swore an oath. Not to the king, but to each other.
And woe to those who break that bond.
I really love this series! and the knowledge that I can get my hands on a new instalment every month is thoroughly exciting! I really needed Broken Banner this month. Thanks to a mix of work stress and disappointing book choices, I was in need of a book I could completely lose myself in and this, with its wonderful fantasy world, characters that I could really care about, and plot about loyalty, friendship and honour, was the perfect remedy.
Broken Banner maybe the fifth book in the series, An Echo of the Ascended, but it actually continues on from A Reaper of the Stone (book 1 – which is actually the title of this miniseries within An Echo of the Ascended). We are reunited with the strong and confident Elinor and her loyal friend and advisor Con, as they arrive at a new keep. This time, they are hoping for a less hectic mission, one where they join up with another regiment, the Ninety-Fifth Pioneers, to complete a transfer of power. But nothings ever easy for Elinor, and we soon get to see her back on the front line, fighting for what is right. As well as these familiar faces we are also introduced to a new character Aldis. Aldis grew up and trained with Elinor. They were friends and as we know Elinor does have many of those. Unlike Elinor, Aldis is easily manipulated, especially with the promise of money and soon gets himself into trouble.
I find myself completely smitten with Elinor. She is confident and loyal and basically everything you could want in a lead female character. She has doubts but only about herself, and she never let’s them get in the way, especially if someone else’s safety relies on it. I was happy to see more of Con. He has a much more cautious approach to everything and I think I can relate to him the most. Aldis was a great addition, you want to believe he can change but everything is screaming at you not to trust him. I think it’s going to take me a while to figure him out.
I find it amazing how balanced these novellas are. They may be short but they still give you everything! I never feel like I’ve been cheated out of anything. I’d go as far as to say that they have a classic quality to them. This one especially reminded me at times of The Two Towers by JRR Tolkien, especially when they were severally out numbered and yet still willing to fight in order to give their friends more time. It was wonderful. I really can’t wait to see what they have to face next.