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Long ago, a magical war destroyed an empire, and a new one was built in its ashes. But still the old grudges simmer, and two siblings will fight on opposite sides to save their world, in the start of Django Wexler’s new epic fantasy trilogy

Gyre hasn't seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre's sole focus is revenge, and he's willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.

Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn't who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order's cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.

592 pages, Paperback

First published July 21, 2020

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About the author

Django Wexler

46 books3,011 followers
Django Wexler graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with degrees in creative writing and computer science, and worked for the university in artificial intelligence research. Eventually he migrated to Microsoft in Seattle, where he now lives with two cats and a teetering mountain of books. When not planning Shadow Campaigns, he wrangles computers, paints tiny soldiers, and plays games of all sorts.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 516 reviews
Profile Image for Petrik.
675 reviews43k followers
January 19, 2021
ARC provided by the publisher—Head of Zeus—in exchange for an honest review.

4.5/5 stars

A captivating start to a series; if you’re worried whether Ashes of the Sun will be as good as The Shadow Campaigns or not, feel free to incinerate those doubts away now.

Almost three years have passed since I finished reading The Shadow Campaigns military fantasy series—a very underrated series—by Django Wexler, and ever since I heard that Ashes of the Sun will mark Wexler’s return to the adult fantasy scene, I was excited, to say the least. My excitement was further increased when I saw the gorgeous cover art by Scott M. Fischer. Now that I’ve finished reading the book, I have to conclude by saying that my excitement was satisfyingly fulfilled.

“This is not a Star Wars novel, but it definitely originated, back at the beginning, in a series of conversations about Star Wars. My list of people to thank therefore needs to start with Star Wars and everyone involved with it…”—Django Wexler

Hundreds of years ago, a magical war destroyed an empire, and a new one was built in its ashes. Ashes of the Sun is the first book in the Burningblade & Silvereye trilogy, and the story follows two main characters, Maya and Gyre, a sibling who were separated from each other since they were young. Fast forward twelve years later to the present timeline, Maya is now in the Twilight Order, while Gyre lives for revenge: to destroy the Order. Truthfully, I was a bit scared with this premise because earlier this year, Orbit released a new novel with a similar premise—The Ranger of Marzanna by Jon Skovron—and that one didn’t work for me; I was scared this would end up the same. But no, what a fool I was that I even felt that way, Ashes of the Sun was one of the recently released SFF novels that manage to thoroughly steal my attention from the beginning until the end. This is a Star Wars inspired fantasy, its influences on the world-building—more on this later—can be found everywhere, and the themes of family, duty, order, freedom, and justice are prevalent throughout the narrative.

“Why, she thought, do I have a bad feeling about this?”

I’m pretty sure that line is a nod to Star Wars.

If you haven’t read The Shadow Campaigns, you probably don’t know about Wexler’s capability in writing superbly-written heroine and f/f relationship. I mean it, Winter from The Shadow Campaigns is still one of my favorite heroines in a fantasy novel. From this promising start alone, Wexler’s characterizations of Maya seems to be on its way to reaching the same quality Wexler exhibited for Winter. There’s a charm in Wexler’s portrayal of f/f relationship that feels well-developed and genuine; the relationship between Maya and Beq was gradually developed, and their development with each other was easy to care for. Maya, on her own, was already a well-written character, but it’s her relationship with Beq, Tanax (her rival), Jaedia (her mentor), and Gyre that made the variety of tones in her story more compelling. More or less, the same level of characterizations can also be said for Gyre. This, of course, doesn’t mean that Gyre has a similar personality to Maya; he’s on a completely different spectrum, the one on the dark side, or at least falling towards it. After what happened in the prologue and the twelve years gap, Gyre’s fury towards the Order is now unstoppable; he detests the notion of being protected by them just because they have deiat (the force in Star Wars) inside them since they were born.

“The Twilight Order defends the Dawn Republic. That’s how it’s always been. But they defend us like a suit of iron armor. It might stop a knife, but it weighs you down until you can barely move.”

As the POV continuously (and alternately) shifts between Maya and Gyre, I found Wexler’s writing and the pacing he brought with his narrative to be greatly-paced. Seriously, due to the current world situation, it’s not easy for me to finish a 600 pages novel within three days; it could’ve been done in two days for this book, if I may be honest, I just wanted my time with the novel to last slightly longer. Regarding the Star Wars influences, there’s quite a lot to mention. Some of the most obvious ones are Haken, equivalent to a lightsaber, is a sword hilt and a crossguard with no blade that can be used by manipulating deiat. Then there’s also Centarch—pretty much a Jedi—and Agathios—a padawan training to be a centarch—from the Twilight Order (similar to Order of the Jedi). It’s all very cool and fun, but most importantly, Wexler was skillful enough to incorporate all the Star Wars elements into the world-building and story without making the book feels like it’s a Star Wars rip-off. The post-apocalyptic world, the plaguespawns, constructs, and the combination of sci-fi, technology, and fantasy all contribute to making this an immersive and imaginative world to dive into. With all of these in mind, Wexler’s well-spread action sequences in the book were all exciting; the clash of elemental deiat scenes was vivid and kickass, and one ability reminiscent of Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson or Sharingan from Naruto seriously made me went: “whoa, this is so cool!”

“The Chosen are gone, but as long as their heirs hold their weapons over the rest of us, who can stand up to them? They say they have the right to rule, out of a duty to keep the rest of us safe. As though we were children, inferior, just because we weren’t born with whatever special trick that lets the centarch touch deiat.”

Ashes of the Sun is an insanely fun and engaging Star Wars inspired SFF novel. If the intention of this novel is to entertain, it had succeeded exceedingly; I absolutely enjoyed it. Imbued with well-written characters and relationships, exciting action scenes, and an immersive world-building, Ashes of the Sun is a complete triumph. I have only one regret upon finishing this book, and that’s the next book isn’t available for me to devour yet. I need the sequel last week, Wexler.

You can order the book from: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions

Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing!

My Patrons: Alfred, Alya, Annabeth, Devin, Hamad, Jimmy Nutts, Joie, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas, Zoe.
Profile Image for LIsa Noell "Rocking the Chutzpah!.
579 reviews163 followers
January 8, 2023
Time for a re-read, since I now have book 2 in my grubby little fingers!😍

My thanks to Orbit, Django Wexler and Netgalley. It's funny, "in an odd way funny." Two or three years ago I would never have read a book like this. My idea of fantasy was very fantasized! I still believe that Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series is the best thing ever. Sanderson also rock's, although he will never finish the books I want him to. Not in my lifetime. However, somewhere between waiting for Sanderson, and Martin, I discovered Jay Kristoff and his Nevernight trilogy. Mark Lawrence and his Red Sister trilogy. If not for them and a few others, I never would have given this book a chance. I will admit that immediately I was drawn into this story. From there, I expected a whole bunch of lame. Until the last 30%. You know, strong start, boring middle and action packed ending. It is a trilogy after all! I was wrong. Gyre is almost the anti-hero. So set on a path that he's willing to sacrifice "friends." He has 2 books to make that up to me! Until then? I don't care how great he is. He's a loser. Maya? She's everything any woman or anyone really would aspire to be. I love her completely! Together? I look forward to both taking down the system. Maybe? If you want an in depth review, look elsewhere. I don't do that. I review only on feelings. This book and it's characters gave me the feels! I have no problem recommending this book! Be warned though. Once you read it, then you'll be scrabbling for the next two!
Profile Image for James Tivendale.
311 reviews1,329 followers
April 10, 2020
I received an uncorrected advance copy of Ashes of the Sun in exchange for an honest review. I'd like to thank Django Wexler and Orbit Books for the opportunity.

The first entry in the Burningblade and Silvereye series begins when Va'aht Thousandcuts - a centarch of the Twilight Order - turns up at a farm dwelling to take away a child from the family that resides there. The youth in question, five-year-old Maya, does not wish to leave the household. Unfortunately, as she suffers frequently from peculiar illnesses, she has no choice and will have to be raised as a member of the Twilight Order. Gyre, her eight-year-old brother, upon seeing his little sister resisting and screaming acts on impulsive and makes a foolhardy mistake in stabbing the centrach. This was a life-altering error to make as Va'aht Thousandcuts retaliates and leaves Gyre scarred for life.

"He was falling backwards, hitting the floor shoulder-first, feeling nothing but the searing agony in his face. He mashed his hand against it, and blood squished, torn skin shifting nauseatingly under his fingers. He only realised he was screaming when he had to stop to take a breath."

Ashes of the Sun follows the point of view perspectives of Maya and Gyre, alternating every chapter. After the prologue, the action recommences twelve years later. The siblings are living very different lives.

Maya is training to be a centrach under the guidance of Jaedia Suddenstorm. The Twilight Order follow the teachings of the Chosen and are the protectors of humanity. Members of the order can use a form of magic known as deiat and weild legendary blades called haken. Haken are akin to element-fused lightsabers. The magic that Maya can display is that of fire. We join her on her travels with her tutor and a fellow student trying to eradicate monstrous oddities called plaguespawn. Plaguespawn are described as "the product of a mad taxidermist, given the run of the contents of a butcher shop and human morgue."

Gyre hasn't seen Maya since the day she was taken away. He is now known as halfmask and operates in a gang of rebels who are extremely anti-state and authority. The mask her wears is to hide the hideous scar from when he lost his eye. Gyre has a seething hatred to authority but the Twilight Order in particular and will do all he can to oppose them and bring them down.

Ashes of the Sun was my first time reading a novel by Django Wexler and I was very impressed by the top-notch writing, quality storytelling, and the fine worldbuilding. In fact, I completely lost myself in Wexler's world. The concept intrigued me from the very start. Two siblings on opposite sides of a looming civil war in a dystopian, futuristic fantasy world. Will their paths cross? What will the consequences be if they do? What will they say when finally reunited?

There is a huge glossary of Burningblade and Silvereye unique words such as cognomen, unmetal, dhakim, panoply field, ghouls, the Chosen etc which may seem confusing initially but soon fit perfectly and make complete sense. If confused at any point though the glossary can be found at the rear of the novel and is extremely detailed and useful.

The members of the supporting cast were a joy to follow too. Most of whom have extremely colourful hair. Personal favourites were rival/soon to be centarch Tanax, love interest and arcanist Beq, rebel influencer Yarrow, and the amusing scout Varo. The latter frequently discusses how his friends have died in humorously horrific fashion on former missions. The mysterious, frivolous and kooky Kit Doomseeker is a belter of a character too.

Ashes of the Sun is a real high-octane, dystopian fantasy thrill-ride. The action throughout is scintillating. There are some extremely exciting showdowns, skirmishes, and fights against grotesque monstrosities. Some scenes are unpredictable and shocking too. There is a large amount of violence and gore but the way I envisaged it was extremely heightened and colourful. Almost like a mix between an ultraviolent anime and a futuristic JRPG like Star Ocean. This might just be the way my mind pictured it and there aren't any other reviews on Goodreads yet to see if anyone else visioned the action in this way too. The finale of Ashes of the Sun is fantastic and was completely thrilling. This novel acts as a complete standalone yet there is still so much to see and explore in Wexler's world and I'll 100% be continuing the adventure of Burningblade and Silvereye when the subsequent books are released. Highly recommended.

*Quotations used in this review are subject to change for the final release.
Profile Image for Django Wexler.
Author 46 books3,011 followers
July 21, 2020
ASHES OF THE SUN is finally out! I hope you all have as much fun with it as I did.
Profile Image for Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller.
725 reviews1,204 followers
July 29, 2020
[3.5 stars] Although there were a lot of things I really enjoyed about Ashes of the Sun, I didn’t like it as much as I think I should have… and I can’t quite pinpoint why. From an evaluation standpoint, it had all the elements I expect from a high fantasy: intriguing world-building, great characters, an interesting plot, good pacing, and a more than adept writing style. It had a good mix of exciting action scenes and slower character development moments. So what’s my malfunction?

I think part of the problem may have been the audiobook narrator. In some ways the characters felt over-performed, coming across as more caricatures than real people. On one hand it set the tone for cheeky characters who I think were supposed to bring a bit of lightheartedness and fun to the novel (which they did), but on the other hand it made a couple of them come across a bit juvenile even though on paper they were actually pretty badass. The final nail in the coffin in this regard may have been how recently I’ve read Wexler’s YA Ship of Smoke and Steel. Both female leads, Maya (AotS) and Isoka (SoSaS) were a bit more similar to each other than I’d have preferred.

Also, based on the name of the series and where the story culminated, it kind of read like a prequel.

Also, also, I don’t know who had the idea first, but the magical constructs in the book were very, very similar to the villain in season 3 of Stranger Things. It’s entirely possible both ideas originated organically (much like the monsters themselves, lol), but either way the timing is quite unfortunate. Had I read this a year ago I think it would’ve come across a tad more original.

Okay, so on to the things I liked, which were plentiful. The world-building. Perhaps not completely original, but the framework for the story – an empire still suffering the after-effects of a war for power fought hundreds of years ago – set a wicked cool atmosphere with a city divided into factions, underground vies for power (often literally underground), and ongoing biases of politics. I loved the expansive feel of some of the settings and felt completely satisfied at how much Wexler helped me explore in this first book. It also added another great dynamic that the main characters fought on opposite sides of the conflict.

Another thing I liked was the overall character construction and how the author treated them. The beginning had a lot of great camaraderie, which really connected me to the characters. I like that he gave some of the minor characters a bit of a spotlight here and there because the way he did it felt unconventional. I’m not sure I liked where the story headed for many of them because I’m trying to wrap my head around what to expect in the sequel, but for this novel alone it was great.

So overall I’m battling between a rating based on comparable merit (solid 4 stars) and my own personal enjoyment of the book (3 stars). There were parts that had me glued to it mixed with others that had me wondering if I should consider a DNF. I’m going to split the difference with a 3.5 rating with the disclaimer that I think others will enjoy it a lot more than I did. It has a lot of things going for it.

Recommendations: this is a great high fantasy novel for fans of Wexler’s work. Dive in if you’re looking for great character dynamics, a cool world, and good action scenes. Maybe, just maybe, consider skipping the audio version.

Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com

Other books you might like:
The Dragon's Path (The Dagger and the Coin, #1) by Daniel Abraham Twelve Kings in Sharakhai (The Song of the Shattered Sands, #1) by Bradley P. Beaulieu Sins of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder, #1) by Brian McClellan The Waking Fire (The Draconis Memoria, #1) by Anthony Ryan The Way of Shadows (Night Angel, #1) by Brent Weeks
Profile Image for Rachel (TheShadesofOrange).
2,090 reviews2,953 followers
August 27, 2022
3.5 stars
This was such an entertaining fantasy book that gave me serious Star Wars vibes. The characters basically fight with lightsabers, which made it feel like reading an unauthorized media tie in.

The narrative was action packed and easy to follow. I liked the characters. The story was pretty predictable and not particularly innovative. Yet it was quite enjoyable.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for an underhyped fantasy series with a Star Wars feel.

Disclaimer I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
Profile Image for Dave.
3,014 reviews334 followers
July 29, 2020
Ashes of the Sun is a fast-paced, exciting epic fantasy that pits siblings against each other in an epic battle of good and evil. Four hundred years earlier the great civilization of the Chosen defeated the ghouls and their army of constructs, vanquishing them forever. On the ancient ruins of empire, a select few are trained from a young age to be the guardians of the Republic and carry on the traditions of the Chosen, the Twilight Order. They are trained to wield the light of the sun and graduate to become feared Centarchs, hardened to battle and exercising magical powers. Beneath the cities though in hidden tunnels and secret hollows are plague-spawn, Frankenstein like creations that combinations of all kinds of body parts. And, there are more fearsome things (like Tolkien-style Balrogs) that should not be awakened.

Two siblings are separated at a young age. The sister, Maya, is raised to become a Centarch. The brother was struck down trying to protect his five year old sister from being taken away. The brother, Gyere, is now a bandit and a rebel, willing to do anything to take revenge on the Centarchs. Having not heard from each other in twelve years, every reader knows they are on a collision course, a dangerous collision course.

Great world-building background with a lengthy glossary to help those not following everything. Lots of action. Very imaginative creations of plague-spawn and other constructs.

Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
Profile Image for Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*.
782 reviews133 followers
June 5, 2023
Read it if you like:
*nerdy lesbian crushes
*wild hair colours (including the beards on some ladies, and maybe carpets to match the drapes?)
*Brandon Sanderson (I see fan cross-appeal)

Just stare at it if you like:
*gorgeous cover art

I’m a Django fan, no doubt, and there’s a lot to recommend in this Star Wars-inspired fantasy trilogy launch. Hard-scrabble characters scavenging lost magic-tech centuries after a devastating war, with an oppressive-to-some ruling order of magical knights barely keeping twisted monsters at bay; a nerd-tastic cast of supporting characters, with estranged siblings at the heart. It’s an ambitious construction. I wish I enjoyed it more. My only reservation going in was the series title: "Burningblade and Silvereye"; it felt clunky to me, but it reflects in-world naming conventions that I bought into while reading.

The first thing that took the shine off was an occasional dip into YA-grade phrasing. Wexler’s main oeuvre to date consists of an adult series, then a middle-grade one, then a YA trilogy, and averages probably don’t count in writing but I entertain the thought that this sum veers his craft into teen territory at the moment. The book is marketed as adult fantasy, but increasingly I felt a “New Adult” vibe, which is just YA plus more sex than marketers think it’s safe to throw at teens. At first I thought the sentence-level dips into that territory might be attributed to a difference in editors and approaches to line editing between this and The Shadow Campaigns. But the YA quality was eventually further entrenched with some forced verbal debates, and a moderate excess of romance and bathing scenes. Wexler’s other series feature similar-age protagonists and many love affairs, but in The Shadow Campaigns they didn’t impinge on adult appeal to this extent. I’m still totally Team MayaBeq though.

In his acknowledgement, Wexler writes that this is his most-revised novel yet, and that may explain some of my lack of immersion in the story. It’s over-baked. The story progression is fine and sensible and epic but I didn’t have a strong urge to read extended chunks at a time.

As a final criticism, one story element was far too similar to something from Mistborn for comfort. You’ll know it when you see it.

One more that doesn’t count, because I put this on the publisher and not the author: the glossary at the end? Completely unnecessary. Wexler writes fantasy with enough skill that you absorb the invented terms from context, as it should be. To add the glossary is an insult to the author’s talent and the reader’s intelligence.

Will I still read the sequels? Absolutely. I expect the issues that required copious revision are worked out by now and I have hope for deeper immersion with the next books.


Addendum to the review:

I feel a need to write more, like I owe Django an explanation. First of all, three stars doesn't mean I think it's a bad book. It means "I liked it!" and there's plenty to like about this book: strongly written, vibrant young adult (in the literal sense) characters; riveting action; unique, imaginative sci-magic-tech worldbuilding; young lust. It merits positive comparison to Mistborn in readership. It's an exemplary contemporary all-ages-appeal high fantasy adventure. It's not the book or author's fault that I'm just not into that right now.

I was worried for a bit that I'm getting burnt out on reading fantasy, because what the else would I do if true? But thankfully I figured it out: as fun, well-crafted, and vibrantly imaginative this book is, it's not what I need right now. I need something grittier, deeper, more drastic, more disturbing. Maybe that's grimdark, or just something harsher and more adult. Something without character names like "Kit Doomseeker", as rad as Kit is. This book is poppy and peppy and excellent but also too smoothly a prime example of inoffensive contemporary fantasy for my mood right now. I'm struggling a bit and I need to see some of the same on the page. Wish me luck on my upcoming set of reading choices (looking past my in-progress status on this book's first sequel).

Look, I bought book three today, brand new and everything, from my FLIBS. (That's Friendly Local Independent Book Shop. "Stop trying to make FLIBS happen," I hear.) If that's not a rousing endorsement, then no such thing exists.
Profile Image for Holly (The GrimDragon).
1,000 reviews235 followers
September 4, 2020
"Blood was painted across the cobblestones, vivid crimson in the lamplight."

Ashes of the Sun is the first book in Django Wexler's new series, Burningblade and Silvereye.

Epic fantasy is such a comforting, nostalgic genre for me. It gives me the warm and fuzzies! It was so goddamn nice getting lost in this chonky fantasy. It was exactly what I needed! I've been struggling to focus and somehow, this big floppy beast of a book had me devouring 600 pages in five days, which.. these days? That is pretty fucking fast. I couldn't help but dive head first and get completely lost inside.

We meet our two main protagonists, siblings Gyre and Maya, when they are eight and five. They are about to go Through Some Shit™, beginning with Maya being taken away from her family by a mysterious centarch to the Twilight Order. If you think that sounds a bit like Star Wars, you aren't wrong! Wexler himself gives credit to Star Wars and the influence it has had on him in the acknowledgements.

Despite the similarities, this isn't a Star Wars story. Standing firmly on its own merits, this science-fantasy is ridiculously thrilling, deftly plotted and magnificantly told. And the worldbuilding? GODDAMN. This world that Wexler has brilliantly created absolutely leaps off of the pages!

Maya was constantly sick with fevers and a strange illness, which the centarch, or legendary warrior, promised to cure. He was taking her to train as one of them, in fact. The illness Maya suffered from? It's actually a gift, of sorts. Deiat is the Chosen's magic; the power of creation. The Twilight Order consider themselves the heir of the Chosen's desperate legacy to humanity.

Gyre attempted to stop the centarch and save Maya, however, he ended up badly injured. Losing the sight of one eye and left with a deep scar, Gyre is devastated at having lost his beloved little sister.

Jumping ahead twelve years, Ashes of the Sun alternates chapters between brother and sister, showcasing two very different stories. Gyre is relentless in his pursuit of overturning the corrupt centarchs, while Maya is working closely with the same organization that her brother so despises. They haven't seen each other since that day on the farm when they were kids.

"Her haken licked out, a horizontal cut that severed one of the thing’s legs and sliced the hanging ropes of guts, spraying the ground with vile fluids. The plaguespawn staggered, eyes rolling wildly, and Maya delivered another blow to its head, slicing the dog’s muzzle in two. It retreated, wobbling like a drunk, and she sent a wash of fire boiling over it. Eyeballs exploded in the heat, and after a few moments the increasingly blackened plaguespawn collapsed, settling down to burn with an awful stench."

Warbirds and plaguespawns and dhakims and hakens and WARRIOR MAGICIANS.. oh. Oh my! If you're wondering what all that means, read this you must! Because, dang. This is GOOD-good! Also? Wexler includes a meticulously detailed glossary at the back, which is super helpful.

Ashes of the Sun is populated with such rich, vivid characters that I absolutely adored! Maya, Kit, Varo, Tanax, Beq. Sweet, delightfully nerdy, green-haired Beq! My cinnamon roll. Oh how my little queer heart soared when I learned of the f/f relationship and reading through, seeing the normative queerness in the worldbuilding. There are many diverse relationships throughout. YES PLEASE THIS IS EXTREMELY RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS!!

I will admit, however, that the relationship between Maya and Beq isn't the most soul-aching pairing ever. At least, not yet. Some of their interactions felt forced and I didn't always love Maya's internal dialogue, with her seemingly fixated on how physically attractive she found Beq. Some of this could be chalked up to a male author writing a f/f couple, or it may just be the slow build that comes with forming a more authentic relationship as the series goes on. The foundation is there and I remain optimistic, as Wexler has proven that he is quite a sensational writer.

Ashes of the Sun may be my first Django Wexler, but it certainly won't be my last! Without a doubt, this will be going on my Best Of list at the end of this shitstorm of a year.

Book two cannot get here soon enough!

(Massive thanks to Orbit Books for sending me a copy!)
Profile Image for Sahitya.
1,033 reviews207 followers
July 17, 2020
Though I had never read anything by this author before, I dont know why had a bit of high expectations from this one and I guess that’s the main reason it didn’t seem to wow me.

Maya was definitely a standout character with both her badass as well as vulnerable moments whereas Gyre felt a little one dimensional with just wanting to burn everything down. I really didn’t connect much to any other characters and I never got the emotional payoff I always expect from a good fantasy novel. I was also not a particular fan of the writing style, which kinda made it hard for me to read quickly. The world building was okay but nothing really stood out as very different from other fantasy worlds.

I still think this is a fun novel, especially if you like the writing style and the extremely fast pacing of the plot which doesn’t leave a lot of time to explore the nuances of the characters. And I definitely appreciate the queer rep and it’s always exciting to see more f/f main couples in fantasy. I still haven’t decided if am gonna continue the series but I’m keeping an open mind.
461 reviews397 followers
July 27, 2020
The theme to my life recently, it seems, is being late. This released last week, gah!

I actually picked up the audio already for this, I had 20% left to go on release day and I needed to get through it quickly and I didn’t have time to physically read. The audio is pretty good, although, the first rating on audible was a 1 star. I do think this narrator could be marmite-like. She is a very expressive narrator that uses a lot of accents and tonal changes to create the characters voices. She also has a very storyteller quality to her narrations which may or may not work for you. Personally, I enjoyed it.

Anyway, this is a story about two siblings and their polar opposite roles in society. When Maya was very young she was taken away from her family by the Twighlight Order. She was constantly sick, and it was getting worse as the years progressed. The Twilight Order said they could help, but, unfortunately that also meant she couldn’t go back and visit her familt until she was done with training. ..which takes over a decade to finish. As the years went by they faded from her memory, and the Order became more like a family to her than the one she left behind. She had a mentor who I really liked and want to see more of in the next book.

Her brother, Gyre, tried to defend his sister when she was being taken. Maya was crying and screaming and didn’t want to go, so he stabbed the order member in the leg. He lost an eye for it, and he’s been bitter ever since. Bitter that his family was torn apart. Bitter about his parents subsequent deaths and depression. Bitter that there’s an organization thats above the rest, and dictates what magical items can and cant be used. As the years marched on he became a rebel leader, and a thorn in the Order’s side that they would like to eliminate.

Maya’s perspective paints the Order in a complex light, making them not the evil enemy that reading only Gyre’s POV would lead you to believe. I love when each side of a war is equally represented and neither side inherently wrong. The Order serves as a protection from dark magic, and from plaguespawn.

This is a really neat world, I love old school epic fantasies with tons of magic. I love the gross horrors of the Plaguespawn, which are monsters of a frankenstein nature…put together pieces of animals and humans to make a functional, albeit terrifying creature.

I enjoyed both Maya and Gyre, they were both relatable in their own ways, and had compelling arcs. I was waiting and waiting for them to finally meet up and it doesn’t happen until like 60% through the book. I was hoping their meeting would have held bigger consequences for their arcs, but it didn’t, yet. That could be coming in later installments.

The prose was excellent, as to be expected of Django. The pacing threw me off a bit at the end. It seemed like the story was wrapping up and setting up for the sequel and… lol it just kept going for a while. All things considered that’s not a huge problem, and I did enjoy what came later.

I recommend this to people who enjoy dual povs, sibling povs, lots of magic, old school epic fantasy, and two sides of a ‘war’. (Not a war yet, just rebellion from the lower class).


* plot: 12/15

* characters: 12.5/15

* world building: 13.5/15

* writing: 13.5/15

* pacing: 11/15

* originality: 11/15

* personal enjoyment: 8/10

Final Score: 81.5/100 or 4/5 stars
Profile Image for Brenda Waworga.
594 reviews668 followers
October 6, 2020
“Ashes Of The Sun” was my 1st Django Wexler’s book, I heard amazing things about this author and so happy I gave this book a shot because I love it

This epic fantasy story is a mixed between traditional fantasy world and modern fantasy world like there were elemental magic and also modern things like cabs and bombs.. the worldbuilding is one of my favorite aspect in this book

Once upon a time there was a war between the Chosen and the Ghouls that destroyed an empire, people believe there are still some magical artifacts buried deep down the crumbling world . The Chosen won the war and the ghouls disappear, the Chosen created a Republic and ruled by the Twilight Order and they have this trained warriors called “The Centarch” they can summon a Sword/blade with elemental powers such as fire, wind, water ect ect to fight some ghouls/evil force that still looming in the republic
We have 2 POVs here from 2 sibllings: Maya and Gyre, both separated when they were a child .. Maya taken to be trained as a Centarch while Gyre driven by revenge want to bring the Republic down to it's knees.. 2 sibllings in the completely opposite sides both with their personal beliefs and missions

Beside the world building I really love how easy to read Wexler’s writing style is, the plot is also fast pace and you just keep wanting to turn on the page, there was also romance in the middle of the story and great Bisexual, mlm, wlm representations in this book

It’s a traditional fantasy story between good and evil but with some cool twists, I have some issues about this book because i mostly didn't really like travelling story and there are alot of travelling stories inside this book.. but overall I enjoy this and excited to read the sequel

Profile Image for  Charlie.
477 reviews218 followers
July 11, 2020
This is the first book I’ve read by Django Wexler and I really enjoyed myself. It’s main strengths are it’s characters and their believable and stakes raising relationships, a mysterious magic system that offers great fun especially in terms combat, an exciting style and pace and of course a story that puts all of these things to excellent use.

Ashes of the Sun revolves around two main characters, Maya, a young farm girl who suffers mysterious bouts of sickness and Gyre her loving and protective older brother. One fateful day a Centarch of the Twilight Order, sort a ‘Jedi knight’, arrives at their home offering a cure for Maya and proceeds, despite her screams, to try and take her away. Her older and protective brother Gyre intervenes and loses half his face as punishment resulting in a serious revenge obsession and an overwhelming desire to see the entire system destroyed.

Years later life has gone on. Maya is still alive, a powerful junior Agathios on her way to becoming a full Centarch, and fully indoctrinated into the system she now serves. She believes that everything they do is for the greater good and this is in large part down to her mentor Jaedia, who has taught her that she must be decent and wise to the people she protects not laud over them with her power. Her heart is still in tact and with much of her time spent chasing plunderers of illegal old world magic she genuinely wants to do what she thinks is right. Gyre has grown into the leader of a group of bandits who disrupt and harass the authorities always seeking access to some sort of raw power or ancient technology that will eventually give them the edge of the magically infused Centarchs. He is driven by a need to overturn and destroy the system, to claim his own autonomy and to see the heavy-handed tactics of those that hold all the power and its possibilities usurped by those that live and work in the dirt.

Now obviously the two will meet up again but that’s pretty much the end in terms of predictability and I loved this part of the book. Even when prophecies appear and you’re thinking oh here we go, they’re never ponderously explained or vital enough in the moment to encumber the story. I truly never knew what was coming round the corner, I didn’t know who I was going to like from chapter to chapter and I didn’t want to know in case it brought the story to an end. There is a real skill in keeping someone that reads 50 fantasy books a year guessing and if you look very closely at the picture above you might be able to spot some very slight damage to the cover when something particularly surprising happened that caused me to throw the book across the room. I savored the moments of discovery but never felt distracted by a lack of information if you know what I mean.

The world is a crazy one. Ancient ghouls wielding powerful magic, the Centarchs and their desire to protect/control (again I come back to a comparison with the Jedi and their order), horrific beast’s joined with each other creating hybrid voluminous heaving sacks of guts and teeth and deep underground pits full of as many untold horrors as untold riches, I could go on and on.

Ashes of the Sun is great unpredictable fantasy that packs a serious punch and I'll definitely be picking up some of Django's earlier series to fill the gap before the release of the next book. It's an exciting and positive start to what could be one of the epic series of the Covid19 age.


Ashes of the Sun is published by Orbit Books and releasing on the 21st of July 2020. Thank you to Orbit for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Westerly Wind.
9 reviews4 followers
August 25, 2022
This the very entertaining beginning of a fantasy trilogy. I wonder why it is not more popular, since it is not only great, but also for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.
Ashes of the Sun is fantasy, but not of the medieval type. The setting is a post-apocalyptic world, after the collapse of the previous high-technology civilizations.
“The ghouls, masters of dhaka but without access to deiat, hadn’t wrought their creations in unmetal and crystal like the Chosen. Much of their arcana had been biological, tools and implements grown to fit their purpose.”
The remnants of these civilizations are appropriated by the Order and the rest is picked over by scavengers. That can range from parts of an old toilet, interesting only to scholars (and readers who appreciate the resulting funny scene), to powerful artefacts. The worldbuilding is great, and the resulting world is interesting and immersive, complete with plaguespawn, constructs, ancient technology ruins, warbirds and scavenger markets.
The POV shifts between Maya and Gyre. They are siblings, separated when Mara was five. The Order took Mara away from her family, and her older brother Gyre was grievously wounded when he tried to prevent this. Twelve years later, Gyre has become a rebel with only one goal: to destroy the Order and the Republic. Mara has become a knight in training (agathios) in the Order.
“The Twilight Order defends the Dawn Republic. That’s how it’s always been. But they defend us like a suit of iron armor. It might stop a knife, but it weighs you down until you can barely move.”
“It’s not about kids like Maya. Not just about that, anyway. The Order tells us what sort of arcana we can use, and they keep anything dangerous for themselves.”
Django Wexler points out in the acknowledgments that this trilogy was inspired by Star Wars. This means that there are elements that will remind you of Star Wars, but Ashes of the Sun is not a Star Wars rip-off. But there are swords without a corporeal blade (think lightsabers, only that the blades may be everything from fire to a distortion of space), there are “Jedis” (the Order’s knights, aka centarchs), and there is a force (deiat) that can only be used by an agathios/centarch. What the book in any case shares with Star Wars is that it is fun, even if it also deals with topics such as freedom, duty and justice.
I read Ashes of the Sun since I enjoyed Wexler’s The Shadow Campaigns series, which is probably best characterized as military flintlock fantasy. If you did not like this since you are not into military fantasy, you might nevertheless like Ashes of the Sun, which focuses on being an adventure romp. What all of Wexler’s books have in common is an engaging writing style and interesting characters. I also like his sense of humor.
“On the other hand, she wasn’t dead. Not being dead always opens up possibilities.”
““Politics,” Jaedia said, as though it were something scatological.”
“Tanax’s talent for stumbling into every patch of brambles and hanging vine in the forest bordered on the supernatural. At the moment, he’d managed both at once, flailing at the vine that had attached itself to his pack while stumbling deeper into the pricking bushes. His swearing was clearly audible above the rustle of branches. “If this were a comic opera,” Varo said, “about now a beehive would drop on his head.””
““Thank you, Kyriliarch. I’m honored by your trust.” “If you insist on being honored by everything, it’s going to be a long interview,” Prodominus said. “I …” Maya paused, nonplussed. “I apologize, Kyriliarch.” Nicomidi rolled his eyes and glared at Prodominus. “If you could keep your prodigious wit under control?””
Profile Image for charlotte,.
3,132 reviews820 followers
August 11, 2020
On my blog.

Rep: lesbian mc, bi character with heart problems, wlw & mlm side characters

CWs: violence, gore

Galley provided by publisher

When I first opened this book, I have to admit I was a little intimidated by its length. I mean, not solely length, because I’ve read longer, but its length and the fact I had no idea what I was getting into style-wise, since I’d never read the author before. I needn’t have worried though, because this book pretty much ticked every box for what I want from a fantasy.

Central to the book, and the series overall I would imagine, is a brother-sister relationship. Gyre has hated the Twilight Order since they took his sister and an eye from him when he was a child. Meanwhile, Maya is working her way through the ranks of said Order. With Gyre’s desires to bring down the order, they are on a collision course.

For such a long book, this was a very quick read. It was a combination of an easy writing style and the fact that the plot kept moving at all times. I’ve had a lot of trouble this year finding fantasy novels that I’ve actually enjoyed, particularly first books in series, but I never had a problem like that here. I was sucked in from the first page and never really wanted to put it down after that.

The worldbuilding was also excellent, not least because it was a fantasy world that not only had zero homophobia, but mentioned very casually a number of wlw and mlm relationships. It’s like, having no homophobia in your fantasy world has multiple stages. The first is, obviously, just having no overt homophobia. But it’s all very well doing that and then all your relationships are cishet. The next stage is making it so your society isn’t heteronormative, and that’s what I felt this book did very well. There were numerous instances of non-cishet relationships and no one batted an eyelid. I think it could have done more with regard to gender in general, but it was a nice start.

I think, really, the only thing that I was not so enamoured by was the f/f relationship. It’s just that it felt like a man writing it (because, duh, it was). Like I know people have differing opinions on that, and I’m not saying that it wasn’t written thoughtfully, because it was. But it still gave off that “written by a man” vibe. (I feel like I’m tying myself in knots writing this paragraph, so sorry if it’s not clear.) But that’s a personal complaint, etc etc and in the end didn’t really detract from my enjoyment of the book as a whole.

So, if you’re looking for a fast-paced adult fantasy that centres on an angsty sibling relationship (and, honestly, aren’t we all?), then this should be on your TBR.
Profile Image for GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott).
618 reviews111 followers
May 2, 2021
Without a doubt, Ashes of the Sun is one of my favorite reads of 2020.⁣

Originally, I listened to this as an audiobook (Imogen Church is the narrator and holy fuck was she ever amazing) but immediately after finishing it I ordered a physical copy as well cuz I NEEDED to have this on my shelf.⁣

This is the first book in Django Wexler's brand new series, Brightblade & Silvereye, and having never read any of his previous work I have to say...I'm really friggen impressed.⁣

The world is a really cool blend of fantasy, magic, and sci-fi, with intriguing characters bringing it all to life with their wit and charm.⁣

We follow 2 main characters, a brother and sister that are separated from one another in their earlier years now finding themselves on separate sides of a struggle. Both of them are kick-ass and the people they travel with or encounter along the way are helluva a lot of fun too. ⁣

And the action scenes!! Holy hell. This is definitely a fast-paced series that had me sucked in from the get-go.⁣

I honestly can't recommend this book enough. It has some fresh and original world-building ideas and Wexler masterfully paces the story so that you can't help but plow through the whole damned thing as fast as possible.⁣

Top-friggen-notch and an easy 5 stars!⁣
Profile Image for Hiu Gregg.
113 reviews156 followers
January 19, 2021
Wish there was a bit more complexity in certain areas. Found myself annoyed at the simplicity of some aspects, and at how some plot-lines ended. It was fun, for sure, and I thought it was very well paced throughout (3 nights worth of reading, more than a few hours of lost sleep). But I'm left with that nagging irritation of "I liked this, but I could have loved it."

Might write a full review later, might not. We'll see how my feelings on it settle.

Can some up my current feelings with "I wish it was a bit more Final Fantasy 7 and a little less Star Wars."
Profile Image for Kaffeeklatsch and Books.
725 reviews38 followers
July 15, 2020
It appears that my opinion is going to be an unpopular one.

I was anticipating "Ashes of Sun", but was quite disappointed. My eARC didn't come with a cover, map or glossary, but I've found that other reviewers copies did come with a glossary. I had a hard time imagining the creatures and world and I found some names extremely cringy - "Suddenstorm" and "Thousandcuts" and "unmetal" to name a few made me roll my eyes.

The writing felt more YA to me than the epic adult fantasy I expected.

The plot is loose and we get mission after mission with no real goal in mind (except Gyre wanting to take down everyone). It doesn't feel tied together enough.
Maya was the most interesting character and all the side characters never felt fleshed out enough for me to care if they lived or died (and die they did).

I believe that many people will enjoy this book as the ideas altogether are very good, but I'd urge the publishers to add maps and maybe some illustrations to make sure readers aren't as confused as I was and this ultimately didn't make for a good reading experience.

Thank you Head of Zeus and Netgalley for an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Sade.
312 reviews220 followers
September 16, 2022

"I am seizing you on the authority of the Twilight Order...You stand accused of practicing dhaka. You will have an opportunity to present evidence in your defense"

Ashes of the Sun has a very promising premise. The world especially, was definitely intriguing. However the execution of this very promising plot was below par. To be honest, I did not think this was the work of a seasoned author.

So the book opens up with Gyre and his sister Maya taking care of the family's farm animals. Fast forward to a random official showing up, Va something something Thousandcuts, Maya is taken against her parents will? maybe not against her parents will? We're never really told. Either way, she's taken, there's much crying, Gyre tries to "rescue" her and gets one of his eyes fucked up for his troubles.

12 years later, Gyre is older and swearing something that seems like revenge, smells like revenge and talks like revenge but he says it's liberation. Maya is firmly entrenched in the ideals of the Twilight Order and every time she opens her mouth basically sounds like the goody two shoes you'd hate in secondary school.

The nail in the coffin for this book for me is that you could more often than not, predict what was going to happen and quite frankly these characters were dumb as rocks.
Umm spoilers I guess *shrug*
Maya gets miraculous powers at the end of the book because sure that makes sense. Gyre's brain never picks up on the fact that Kit was one step from betraying him even though it was obvious to anyone with half a brain. But I guess when you're thinking with your penis you can't really think with your real brain.
Wexler dedicates for some weird reason too much time in my opinion to the sex life of Gyre and Maya. Oh, look Maya masturbates, oh look Gyre can't say no to Kit trying to drag his penis out every time she's horny (which is a lot of times by the way). How does this help the book? I'm guessing the point was to show them as regular people, readers could somehow relate to but to be honest, more time should have been spent giving them a brain and making them think smartly....

All in all, amazing world, great potential but
execution falls flat...
Profile Image for Skylar Phelps.
237 reviews30 followers
March 5, 2021

This was pretty much what I’d hoped it would be. Most of it wasn’t anything new for the genre but there were some pretty cool details that I thought were unique and fresh. It wasn’t perfect by any means but I had a great time with it.
Profile Image for Travis.
163 reviews60 followers
July 20, 2020
Well it's not often that I read a 600 page book in a few sittings, but this sucked me completely in. I should have a longer review to come, but damn that was a fun book.
Profile Image for Yuri.
115 reviews72 followers
April 26, 2021
It's cool, the worldbuilding is good, the characters are good enough.
Some of it is really predictable, but the worldbuilding made up for that imo.
The romance between characters is a bit shallow, but tbh they're young and it fits, I think it'll be more fleshed out in the sequels.

Overall this book is an enjoyable read, really.
It's just that the last 25% were a bit less enjoyable to me and way too predictable.

I don't know where the story goes from here, but I'll definitely pick up the next book.
Profile Image for Jenna Leone.
130 reviews27 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
November 2, 2022

I was hoping I'd like this one, because I've never read this author before and wanted a new fantasy author to follow. Alas...

This reads like YA (which I don't generally like), but I think it's supposed to be firmly adult fantasy, so that creates some weird dissonance that makes the whole tone of the book feel...off.

On top of that, the primary motivation for one of the two protagonists is basically "I don't like the consequences that resulted from my own dumb actions as a child, so now I'm going to overthrow the government." And I just...can't with that. It's not happening.

Profile Image for Thibault Busschots.
Author 3 books46 followers
March 13, 2023
I read somewhere that this was inspired by Star Wars. I was instantly hooked.

Maya and Gyre are siblings. Maya was five years old when she was taken from her home by a Centrach, a warrior of the Twilight Order. Gyre tried to stop her from getting taken and lost an eye while standing up to the Centrach.

Fast forward twelve years later and Gyre is consumed by hate for the order that stole his sister and scarred him for life. He wants to destroy the evil order and is willing to turn to a lost and forbidden power.

Maya on the other hand is training to be a Centrach in the Twilight Order and she learns exactly what their purpose is and how the Order defends the common people.

Their mission in life couldn’t be more opposite. One wants to protect the Order, the other wants to destroy it. What will happen when the paths of these two estranged siblings collide again?

This story is very fast paced and has an adventurous and exciting plot. The world building is elaborate and fascinating. With the order on one side and the ghouls on the other. There’s a cool magic system and creepy and weird monsters aplenty. Despite some violent action scenes and nude scenes, this story is actually pretty lighthearted at its core, which makes the pages just fly by. This also says a lot about the quality of the writing.

The Star Wars influences are most noticeable in the setting. With the Haken swords being influenced by light sabers. The Centrachs are clearly inspired by the Jedi. And the deiat powers are inspired by the force.

The protagonists are pretty well fleshed out and definitely serve their purpose but they’re also quite single-minded. Gyre wants to destroy the order, while Maya wants to find out what happened to her mentor Jaedia. This does make some of the side characters feel more interesting at times. But this also allows a lot of room for growth and development of the protagonists in the rest of the series.

There's a bit too many nude and sex scenes for me. Some might flesh out the characters better and be a part of their character arc, but most of them just feel unnecessary. This is personal preference though as one can say the same about Game of Thrones and a lot of people love that.

Overall, a really good start to a cool epic fantasy series.
Profile Image for Cassidy Chivers.
216 reviews1,347 followers
July 22, 2022
For most of this book I sat here going "man this is incredible" and although it didn't get a full five stars from me I still think this was an incredibly amazing book.

I had a few problems that were very nit picky on my part. A couple specific common things I don't really like to see. But are very personal to my reading taste that gave it a solid high 4 instead of that 5.

But here's why you should read this book:

- ITS UNIQUE and refreshing. The basic premise is a very classic fantasy idea but the way it's done *chefs kiss*

- A fantasy world with a light sci-fi influence. (Think Star Wars specifically the Jedi and the force) which leads me into a super cool magic system.

- A sapphic relationship.
Now most of the time I hate any kinda romance in my fantasy books. But both povs had love interests one sapphic, one not but I was not bothered by either. I do think the relationships taught us a lot about each of the characters, and compared and contrasted our two protagonists quite well.

- Lots of action but also lots of great character moments and a lot of politics

- Both povs had really good side characters, that were easy to love and root for. And then at the base of the story we have the relationship between the brother and sister. We only see glimmers in this book but I can't wait to see where it goes.

For my very few and picky negatives
- there's a healing scene during the book that is just a little pet peeve of mine
- the ending felt a little rushed compared to the great build up I had all Book long. Things seemed to happen a little too easy for my liking.

But as I said those negatives are super picky to me. So I 100% will be recommending to everyone. It's a great first instalment in the series. Book 2 here I come!!!!!
Profile Image for Sarah.
Author 19 books431 followers
August 24, 2020

I feel bad that it took me so long to get around to reading this book. Honestly, it wasn’t really my choice. I’ve been busy and life just keeps happening. That being said, I finally put some time aside to really tackle this beast and I’m glad I did. This book was a joy to read, and a joy to look at (that cover art is amazing).

I will be honest, dear reader, that I was a bit reluctant going into this one. For some reason, I had it in my head that this would be a good vs. evil struggle, pretty cut and dried, and while those are okay to read about, they don’t really rev my engine. Don’t get me wrong, some good vs. evil struggles are absolutely worth your time, but I prefer my books to be a bit grayer, a bit harder to pin down, and more morally complex.

So I stared this book thinking, “this will be a thing I’m reading” and I ended it thinking, “good god, this book was fantastic.”

The thing is, I have learned through writing my own books, that I really enjoy family dynamics, and in Ashes of the Sun you have a brother and sister, separated when they were children, now basically living on opposite ends of… everything. Maya, who is being trained to be a centrach of the Twilight Order, and Gyre, who is known as “halfmask” and spends his life trying to destroy said Twilight Order, along with his gang of rebels. Both of them are on opposite ends of practically everything, including a looming civil war. It’s a delicious setup for whatever is going to happen next.

Gyre and Maya were separated at the age of five, and this might be the part of the book I really liked the most. Siblings being torn apart is interesting, but the way that the entire book basically is the fallout of that one action and that had me there with bells on. Ashes of the Sun was about a lot of things, but the fact that nearly none of this would have happened if this one random kid wasn’t taken away at the age of five, was fascinating to me.

The chapters switch between Maya and Gyre, which gives you time to see both (dramatically different) sides to what is being set up here. Gyre lives in a sort of post-apocalyptic, post-conflict (pre-another conflict) hellscape where life is hard, and messy and struggles are prevalent. Maya lives with the Twilight Order working on her way through her education, learning magic and her place in the world. Interspersed in this are not only the struggles they are both preparing to face, but personal development and growth, and a whole lot of very interesting side characters with fully fleshed personalities and motivations. There’s a lot here, and it was all so very well done and tightly crafted.

Now, I can’t remember where I saw something about Django being inspired by Star Wars to write this book, and I will say that I could see a lot of that influence here, from the lightsaber-like blades that the Twilight Order uses, to the fact that it’s a family saga, as well as some of the unique to this world beasties and creatures. Ashes of the Sun largely explores the outcomes of a few pivotal actions and how it dramatically opposes members of a family unit as a result. I will also say (don’t throw rocks at me) that I really enjoyed this a whole lot more than I enjoy Star Wars.

There’s a lot happening in this book, and there isn’t much downtime for either characters or readers to take in what has been going on. This is fine, but when you read Ashes of the Sun, you need to understand that it starts out running and by the end, you’re going at a sprint. There’s a lot of action and adventure, a lot of intrigue, and it’s all set against the backdrop of a sort of dystopian secondary fantasy world that has some of the most interesting, nuanced development I’ve come across in a while. Mixing all of this together, as well as characters that seem to fly off the page and are wrapped in realness, is old hat for an author as skilled as Django Wexler. He knows when to describe, and when to step back and let readers figure things out on their own, and this balance makes the book that much easier to slip into, and get lost in.

There’s a big glossary of terms in the back of the book, and while I’m not usually a person who looks at that sort of thing (I prefer figuring it out on my own), I will say I was glad that it was here in this instance. There’s a lot of unique terminology, and while it is easy to roughly figure out the definition for some of these words, I was glad to have a way to validate my assumptions.

So, what does all this boil down to?

Ashes of the Sun was a book I was pretty sure I was going to feel rather “meh” about, but it ended up really sucking me in. It was a fantastic setup for a series that I’m sure will knock my socks off. This book checks off all my boxes. It’s complex, detailed, a bit morally gray, unpredictable, and so well written, with characters that keep you rooted in place and wanting more. Django Wexler has been an author to watch for years now. This book is different from his other work, but no less impressive. I was really glad I read this one, and I’m sure you will be too.

(Read this book. It was really, really good.)
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