Quick review for you today. I recently read Ruins of Smoke by Joào De Silva, a novella set in the same world as Seeds of War.

The Usharian Empire rules the Known World with an iron fist. Imperials protect their world from the tainted hand of the Deceiver, but he is back with an avatar capable of breaking the Empire and grounding humanity into ash.

JEHA is a sentinel of the Empire, willing to fight and die for kinship and duty.

AGOR is an imperial general. Disgruntled by the darkness he sees seeping into everything he loves, he makes his move.

MATALA is a young smokesmith who sees his courage tested as Ushar burns.

ALAMAKAR is the world’s most powerful man, but even strong blood ties can hold him down and tear him apart.

As the Deceiver threatens the Usharian Empire’s heart, fiends walk the streets of the capital. Men and monsters clash in a battle fit for gods. And the smoke follows them.

Ruins of Smoke is a companion novella to De Silva’s first book, Seeds of War. 

It tells of an event in the pre – history of The Known World, centring on an epic battle between the deceiver and the essence (essentially the good and the evil of the known world, before it was the known world)

In the Ruins of Smoke, de Silva does not hang around with the action, thrusting the reader straight into the heart of a battle, thrusting any exposition well and truly to the side in favour of epic battle scenes and fast-moving action. 

With just over a hundred pages, De Silva does not have time to give the reader time to catch up and expects that the background that the reader needs to know will be caught up with at some point in the story that moves at a breakneck speed. 

Told through the eyes of four different points of view, Ruins of Smoke is a satisfying little book that leans more towards the epic end of fantasy than Seeds of War, giving us some insight into some of the mythology of the world that has already been fleshed out in Seeds of War.

The novella cleverly taps into some of the events that happen in Seeds of War, as we surprisingly discover more about a character that has already been established.

Ruins of Smoke is an enjoyable and clever little novel that will surely delight those that have already read and enjoyed Seeds of War,


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