After a thousand-year slumber, she is ready to blanket Elessia in icy death.
The Daughter, ancient elemental goddess and custodian of the dead, rises after a thousand years of slumber, her power unmatched and her wrath unbridled.Her awakening brings a time of turmoil to all of Elessia, with the City-States of the North as the first to face her fury.
At the forefront of her army stand the Children of The Ice and their undead minions.
Eregar, a decorated knight living out his twilight years in relative peace, is tasked with leading a band of young mercenaries into the heart of the Frozen Plains to appraise the threat. But as they venture deeper into the icy wasteland, they will find The Daughter’s machinations in full swing and be forced to act before it is too late.
Will Eregar and his young allies be able to defend the North from the sorceress’s nightmarish armies, break the curse she casts upon them, and end the rise of The Daughter of The Ice? Or will they fall before the might of the icy goddess?
The fate of the North rests in their hands.
Eregar jumped out of the saddle with a battle cry that brought his soul back to the battles of his youth. Bastard-sword unsheathed, he ran toward the entangled pair.
Without breaking his run, he swung the blade in a wide arc that cut through the frigid air and ended at the gray foe’s head. The top of its skull flew off like a pot’s lid, and its foul-smelling, rotting contents spurted out onto the white snow. The body slumped to the side, its limbs spasming aimlessly.
The Daughter of The Ice is the first novel in the Age of Rekindling series, written by Luís Falcão de Magalhães, and one of the SPFBO9 entries. A really solid story, which uses many of the classical tropes of the fantasy genre to create a hooking plot, in the secondary world of Elessia. And while it's not a genre-breaking novel, the author has a few surprises under his sleeve.
The Ice is returning to the world of Elessia, and an aging champion, Eregar, embarks into a mission to discover what's happening and trying to stop it; but the story is not only about him, as it follows a varied group of characters with a lesser origin that end being involved in this fantastic adventure.
Johan and his band of friends are really far from the concept I expected to read in a heroic fantasy, but once her lover, Annah, gets cursed, they don't have any other option than working together with Eregar on his task; and that implies a really arduous journey to our band of reluctant heroes guided by an experience mentor.
Easy work for me, he thought, used as he was to climbing walls and scaling roofs. He could have washed all the tower’s windows before the morning was halfway done. But he took it easy and worked with expected slowness. Everyone ignored the poor, so he was free to see.
As long as he didn’t venture into the inner keep and wasn’t caught pocketing anything, a hungry commoner could move about the courtyard and ramparts as if he were a nobleman. So Johan washed his windows slowly and watched where people came and went and how the guards moved about their shifts.
To those POVs, Magalhães adds another one, different. Eileen, the Daughter of The Ice, a powerful goddess who is threatening to subsume the world under ice; it's refreshing to see villains well built, with motivations and feelings. During a significant part of the novel, Eileen's chapters were my favourite to read, even if at some points, some of her actions didn't make sense (attacking towns that openly venerated her, for example).
The world demanded she be queen. That was her mission, the mission with which her ancestors had entrusted her. What was human suffering compared to that?
The words she had said to her father long ago when she took on the mantle of The Daughter came back to haunt her. They will hate me.
The story has a really agile pacing, avoiding some of the overused places in the genre, such as taverns; but with significant events each few chapters. It is true that it needs two or three chapters to start picking, but once all the characters are introduced, the plot advances as a rock going downhill.
I found quite enjoyable the way Magalhães writes action scenes, especially the battle of Salina, described using several POVs that allow us to explore how the fight is going in the different parts of the city. Prose is not especially elaborated, but that makes this book a really quick read.
Magalhães has done an excellent work creating the secondary world of Elessia; while it is not too detailed, letting a gap to fill with imagination, it feels cohesive, a world that is alive and has its own history, where our crew is living their adventure.
The Daughter of The Ice is a great classical fantasy novel, with a dark touch sometimes, and that fulfills perfectly what I expected from this specific niche in the genre. If you are in the mood for something similar to The Wheel of Time or The Legend of Drizzt, Elessia is awaiting you.
Luís Falcão de Magalhães
My name is Luis, and I’m the black sheep of the family.
Born the scion of a household of magistrates and physicians, I was groomed from a young age to meet those expectations. I threw the chain of office away and became a bard instead.
I’ve since traveled the breadth of my homeland, picking up tales here and there. I’ve dined with aldermen and drank firewater with vagabonds; I’ve sung moonlit serenades to hussies and taken the daughters of wealthy merchants to grand balls. I’ve joined secret orders, learning their lore and passphrases; I’ve locked arms with tree-huggers and danced with them under the full moon.But two things sing to my soul like nothing else.
One, the roll of the dice, be it on the wood of the tabletop or within the shards of magical glass that are everywhere in our society.
Two, the tales of daring, of heroism and valor, of wickedness and deceit, to be found among the dusty tomes of the world’s libraries.
To contribute to those, I have made my life’s work.