Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Divinity’s Twilight: Rebirth’ by Christopher Russell organised by Storytellers on Tour. I hope that you will check out the book and the author, and enjoy the rest of the tour with the schedule in the banner below or (HERE).
There is also a giveaway where you can get your hands on a signed paperback of this fantastic book (Please note this is US only), and the link to that can be found at the bottom of the page.
Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’
A world consumed by war . . .
An ancient evil resurrected . . .
A millennia old bargain comes due . . .
When two blades clash, the third will fall, and the fate of all will be jeopardized. To save Lozaria, the failures of the past must be atoned for by a new generation of heroes. The time has come for mortals to cast off sight and, in doing so, truly come to see . . .
Victory is never absolute.
Seven centuries ago, the forces of order won the Illyriite War on the plains of Har’muth. Darmatus and Rabban Aurelian slew their elder brother, Sarcon, the despotic architect of the conflict, then sacrificed themselves to banish the cataclysmic vortex opened with his dying breath. The first advent of the Oblivion Well was thwarted. Even without their vanished gods, the seven races of Lozaria proved themselves capable of safeguarding their world.
Or so the story goes.
The year is now 697 A.B.H (After the Battle of Har’muth). Though war itself remains much the same, the weapons with which it is waged have evolved. Airships bearing powerful cannons ply the skies, reducing the influence of mages and their spells. Long range communication has brought far flung regions of Lozaria closer than ever before. At the center of this technological revolution are the three Terran states of Darmatia, Rabban, and Sarconia, who have fought a near ceaseless campaign of 700 years in an attempt to best each other. The roots of their enmity lie buried beneath the wasteland of Har’muth, a place all three nations consider best forgotten.
However, an ancient power sealed within Har’muth has not forgotten them, and the descendants of those who fought on that field must now take a stand to rectify the mistakes of the past.
I have always been a fan of prologues, and Rebirth is a perfect example of a prologue being masterfully executed and setting a firm foundation for the main narrative set centuries later. It’s long for a prologue, which surprised me, but I would say that the length was entirely warranted and started the book off with a bang, with an impressive battle scene that both captures the essence of the book as well as setting the scene for a world shaped by the events of that prologue.
Where Russell’s writing really shines through is when he is writing about the history of the world and the conflicts, as well as in the backstory of the characters, shown through the unusually skilful use of flashbacks – including that prologue, and I found myself looking forward to those parts the most and hope to see more of this in future books. The characterisation and character development are also done well, albeit a little late in the book, and while we know a lot about them through flashbacks and backstory, I feel that it might have added a little more depth and impact to the conflict earlier in the book if we’d had a slightly better grasp of the characters as they are in the here and now. It was harder in some places than others to be invested in the stakes the characters were facing until we got to know them better. That said, I felt that each of the main cast had a unique voice and that their individual stories and backstories, were brought together into a cohesive, engaging story, and in the end, you can’t help but care for all of them and want to see what will be befall them next, and in particular I found myself enjoying Matteo in particular.
There is a lot of action in this book, and for the most part, there is an almost cinematic feeling particularly with the larger scale conflicts, which is due in part to the balance of action, magic and technology that immediately propels the action to another level. There were a couple of places, where it ran on a little long or felt a little wordy, but this was soon lost in the flow of the story. It can be difficult to balance sci-fi/technology and magic, but it was done magnificently here and was my favourite part of the action scenes.
There is a degree of predictability to Rebirth, but that is by no means a bad thing, because it is balanced with the complexity of the worldbuilding, especially the history and cultures that Russell has created as a background for what promises to be an epic and expansive series filled with action, political intrigue and left this book feeling anything but predictable by the end. There was also an almost philosophical edge to some of the writing, not enough to take you out of the world or the flow of the writing, but which left you with food for thought even when you weren’t actively reading, and added an extra dimension to the story that I loved.
There is room for further development especially with the characters, which is something to look forward to rather than a detriment, and there is a feeling that this a foundation for a broader series, but this was as beautifully executed debut and a masterclass in the use of flashbacks and backstory. I thoroughly enjoyed Rebirth from that epic prologue right through to the very end, and I will be keeping an eye out for further books by the author, especially within this series.
About the Author:
Christopher Russell (native of Williamsburg, VA) is a 27-year-old mechanical and aerospace engineer (graduate of the University of Virginia) who has loved reading since the day he picked up a book and writing since he could scrawl his first letters. After voraciously consuming titles from every genre—ranging from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings—he decided to combine the expertise from his professional education, passions, and Christian faith into a fantasy epic bridging the gap between magic and science. He currently resides in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his loyal dog, Vallen, named after the protagonist of his first work. For behind-the-scenes information on all of Christopher Russell’s works, visit christopherrussellauthor.com.
Divinity’s Twilight: Rebirth – Christopher Russell – **** (4/5 Stars)
Prize: One of five signed paperback copies of Divinity’s Twilight: Rebirth by Christopher Russell
Starts: September 20, 2020 at 12:00am EDT
Ends: September 27, 2020 at 11:59pm EDT
Restrictions: US Only
You can also enter: HERE
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.