Book Review



 Zammar Ahmer


The world has stopped turning.

Burned by a blazing sun. Thrust into eternal winter.

Life survives only in the Sunset Forest.

For untold millennia, mankind lived subservient to the dryads, forced into worship of the Earth-Mother, Astea. Then one man ventured into the Scorched Desert and returned with the secret of fire. His rebellion brought the dryad empire to ash. In its place, he founded the Kingdom of Heartsong.

Twelve years later, the new king is missing. The earth trembles. Famine ravages the land, and a mysterious illness creeps through the capital.

Plots of treason and revenge abound, but as the mistakes of the past bear fruit, men will reap what they have sown.

Open now the Book of Astea and learn what has been forgotten.

Riven Earth is the story of a king who has lost his nerve, of his advisor tempted by the throne, of a politician plotting revolt, and of a dying soldier who finds new reasons to live. It is a character-focused epic fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive and Joe Abercrombie’s First Law.


Set in a world where the climate has become almost deadly, Riven Earth tells the story of how humans have rebuilt their world after rebelling from their Dryad masters.

In Riven Earth the reader is thrust into the world of Astea, just at the moment where the enslaved humans have broken their yokes from the Dryads, a race of people who use their earth magic to subjugate the men and women of the land and make theirs the dominant force. However, after escaping their clutches, King Isiah has returned from the scorched desert with a new technology that will guarantee freedom – fire!

The main arc of the story takes place approximately twelve years after the cataclysmic events that saw the demise of the Dryads and the rise of man. King Isiah is now dead and gone and his son is on the throne.

Riven Earth is a character-based story, revolving around a number of different characters. There is the current king, who is beset with PTSD after quashing a rebellion in the East after the people wanted to return to the old ways. Then there is the corrupt official who is thrown out of government after attempting to organise a coup with the King’s current viceroy, who eventually puts paid to that. And finally, there is an old grizzled warrior who after being diagnosed with a terminal illness ends up looking after the most despised individuals in the kingdom of Astea, the Sun Cursed.

Now to be fair, I wasn’t sure that I was going to like this book. Whilst we are thrown into the world and the action almost immediately, it took me a while to actually gel with the story.

However, I did stick with it and ended up enjoying it, although the book is not without its faults. I think in some respects I had some problems connecting with the world and actually orienting myself to it. There were a few times that I felt that the characters seemed to be placed in different parts of the world for the purpose of the story, but I didn’t feel that there was any continuity. The other thing that I felt was that the magic system was quite complicated, but there was not enough background to give a full picture of how it worked and impacted.

Aside from these niggles, I did end up enjoying it. The characters are believable and engaging, and ultimately the story is quite an interesting one.

I think that this would definitely appeal to fans of the Stormlight archive as it seems to have that same intricate grandiosity in terms of its scale, and even though I am not a particular fan of The Stormlight archive I did end up liking the book.


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