Bonds of Promise (The Kallattian Cycle #1), by Andrew D Meredith
All are bound by oaths of pantheon
—mortals, saints, and deity.
For it is by those promises made,
The world of Kallattai
is chained and set free.
Hanen and Rallia Clouw—enterprising mercenaries, caring siblings, and children of a luckless man—only wish to find their place in the world and make an easy coin. Yet too many blame their own bad luck on the Clouws, and everything they have worked for begins to crumble around them. When the man who introduced them to their path rolls into town with an easy opportunity to make them all wealthy and influential, they leap at the chance to hit the road, and put their past behind them once more. Fate has other plans. And the responsibilities they leave to others must be answered for.
Bonds of Promise is Book One in the sprawling epic fantasy series the Kallattian Cycle by Andrew D Meredith—a story of gods, their chosen champions, and dark figures bent on freeing the mortal realms from a fate established by greater beings.
All would-be heroes must give their lives,
or be made folly.
Example to those who’ve still to come,
Through doomed cycle,
Or fated legacy.
My Review (4 out of 5 )
Bonds of Promise is the introductory book to the Kallattian Cycle, the epic saga from Andrew D Meredith. It is a really solid work that serves as a way to introduce the foundational pillars to what it aims to become a high-scope book series, fulfilling that job in a length that is not usual for the genre, as it is shorter than the usual fantasy book (200 pages approx).
After a few pages, you easily get immersed in the story of the Clouws siblings, two homeless children that have overcome their situation through hard-working, and who have established themselves as the leaders of a renowned group of mercenaries, the Sentinels, whose main purpose is to escort different caravans and merchant that travels alongside the world. With that idea, they established a local office, where they need to deal with human nature.
The book starts in a really high moment for the reader, as we see the Sentinels dealing with some monsters, which later are discovered to be goaded by a dissident member of themselves. From that moment, the pace becomes slower, giving us more information about the different groups that populate the world, and their affiliation, and we are also introduced to the Pantheon of Gods by a narrated story.
A constant during the full book is trying to introduce the world to us by different methods, as in some snippets at the start of each chapter (see image below). At the same time, the two siblings start developing as characters, as Hanen, the masculine MC has to grow from being a coward to being a real warrior, while Railla clearly takes the spot most of the time, as she is a powerful woman who takes the responsibilities.
Worldbuilding is probably the most ambitious part of this book, as the author is trying to set a base for a long time epic saga, in the scope of Wheel of Time or Stormlight Archive, while certainly doing it in a difficult way, as the length certainly challenges the intention. Despite this, we manage to get a good image of the general world, which can be expanded in subsequent books; but this comes with the prize of making the pace sometimes a little bit weird, which is the main concern in the book.
Still, I think Bonds of Promise is a really enjoyable book for lovers of classic epic fantasy, but with a different twist. Next month, we will return to the Kallattian Cycle with Deeper Faith, going in a once-a-month scheme, so we can get ready for the release in November of the next parts of Kallattian Cycle.
Andrew D. Meredith
Andrew D Meredith’s journey has taken him to many fantastical places. From selling books in the wilds of western Washington to designing and publishing board games in the great white midwest. He’s now committed to the quest he was called to so long ago: the telling of fantastical tales, and bringing to life underestimated characters willing to take on the responsibilities no one else will.