BLUF- A pretty darn good book. Entertaining and engrossing.
In Legacy of Ghosts we meet up with Lidan and Ran again, four years have passed since Blood of Heirs, the debut novel in the series. Once again Alicia Wanstall-Burke shows her skill at world-building, some early passages in Lidan’s story fix the scenery in a cinematic fashion; we can hear the creek, feel fear and excitement, smell the ambushed dead. This is good writing; I keep finding little jewels in her phrasing. An example? “Water ran over her brow and nose in rivulets, the tears of a broken sky on her skin.” Another. “He bit down on his doubt, crushed it and swallowed all the sharp, bitter pieces.” Marvelous.
The action scenes are nicely written, tight and suspenseful. Lidan is put up against an impossible situation, Ran is startled by an unexpected visitor from the past. Both have a series of decisions that have to be made, choices that will affect their loved ones, friends and ghosts. Journeys and battles follow, both with the living and the undead. This was an entertaining, lively read!
Also, I must mention that there is no end to the plot twists in Alicia’s latest, especially the tension revolving around Lidan’s inheritance. This will keep the reader intrigued, moving forward through the passages.
For the fantasy fan, this book seems to check all the boxes. Arcane magic. Bloodthirsty zombies. Ice dragons. Curses and spells. Swords and knives. For the casual reader there’s a lot too. Family and court intrigue, love interests and gripping action. I’ve said it before about Alicia’s writing, and I’ll say it again; she may write in a given genre, but she has the ability to pull in general readers as well. As an example? Me. Not a big fantasy fan. However, it doesn’t matter. She has me hooked on this series, number two disappoints in no fashion.
As always with a good book, I had to force myself to slow down and look at what was happening. This was tough; I wanted to race ahead and see what would happen to characters that I found myself caring about. This is a display of a writer’s real skill- creating a wholly fictional universe and people cut from whole cloth and making them real in the reader’s mind. Nicely done, Alicia. My hat’s off!
The ending raced upon me like a locomotive, I had to read it twice because of the aforementioned stutter reading, where I just had to see what was next. For a bridge novel, the finale worked out great; of course I’m going to buy the follow on.
So should you.