Friday, October 23, 2015

A Vanishing Glow by Alexis Radcliff

Title:  A Vanishing Glow
Series:  The Mystech Arcanum #1&2
Author:  Alexis Radcliff
Publication Date:  September 15/15
Length:  346pgs
Genre:  fantasy
Shelf:  review
Rating: ★★★★

Back Cover Blurb:

A VANISHING GLOW is the exciting opening to THE MYSTECH ARCANUM series, a deep and thrilling blend of steampunk and flintlock fantasy with mature themes.

It is an Age of Revolution, an Age of Industrialism. Constructs, living men who are as much brass and steel as they are flesh, man the factories and wage the wars of a ruling elite who gorge themselves on the fruits of the common man’s labor. Mystech, a brilliant fusion of magic and machine, gives rise to a new class of privileged inventors and merchants even as the country festers with wounds from decades of internal strife.

Only one man holds the promise of a brighter future: Nole Ryon, the crown prince. When his childhood friend Jason Tern answers his call for aid, the two of them set out to fight for the change their country needs in order to survive, even as shadowy foes frustrate their efforts. But soon, Jason and Nole’s idealistic mission of hope becomes a furious manhunt for a political murderer as the nation balances on the precipice of a country-wide civil war. Can they cut through the threads of intrigue to discover their true enemy before everything is lost?

Sweeping from the ancient cities at the heart of the nation to the dusty edges of the war-torn frontier, A Vanishing Glow tells a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and assassins, friends and lovers, who come together in a time of epic struggle. Here a brave officer risks everything to win back his estranged father’s respect; a brilliant young engineer attempts to atone for her sins; a war-weary commander tries to pick up the pieces of the life he lost; and a man touched by the gods struggles to prepare a nation for the coming of an ancient evil which only he can see. In the dying light of a once-prosperous society, amid twisting plots, suffering and betrayal, lost love and shattered dreams, all must fight for what they hold dear. Who will taste the fruits of victory and who will lie bloodied on the ground in the light of a vanishing glow?

My Review:

Radcliff’s world building definitely puts this novel on the map. Her vivid descriptions and intricate narrative highlight the imagination and creativity in the world that has been created for the one of a kind tale. I appreciated the varying pace of the story which highlighted and underscored the various events in the tale. The sub-plots that wove throughout the novel were intriguing and underscored the complexity of this world.

Radcliff has created a fun and varied cast full of all types of personalities. Not only did the individuals captivate me, but the way in which Radcliff develops the differing regions and the resulting peoples was fantastic.

As a whole this was a wildly imaginative and quite intriguing tale. Radcliffe has created a multifaceted world that is well developed, crating the perfect backdrop for her characters to shine.

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