Oblivion’s Forge (Aona Series Book 1) by Simon Williams, 346 pages, May 12th 2012, Genre: Epic Fantasy. Warning: May Contain Spoilers.
Review by Leigh Holland.
Oblivion’s Forge is the first in a four book epic fantasy series by Simon Williams. In this installment, we follow four viewpoint characters whose destinies are irrevocably intertwined with the fate of Aona, their world. Each chapter follows a different character along their path. While some readers may find this style difficult to follow, I adjusted to it rather quickly and enjoyed the focus on the characters.
The plot is straightforward and, for Aona, inescapable. What happened long ago is happening again. People are falling prey to a strange malady that imparts dreams and visions of beings of light, the Marandaal, emerging from a gate. The malady drives its victims into despair, madness, and eventual death. Ancient lore says that these beings of light will wash over the world of Aona and seek the destruction of all life. They’ve been here once before and were defeated. However, lore did not record how they were defeated. What will the characters do when the Marandaal come?
My favorite characters were Jaana, the human healer, and her traveling companion and friend Lyya. Jaana was relatable, kind-hearted, friendly, and compassionate. Lyya is a loyal friend and knows her own flaws and strengths. I also liked Vornen, an exile from his home city who is attracted to The Gates, the gateway through which the Marandaal will arrive. Although I didn’t much care for Iyoth, I’m curious to know if he changes over the course of the rest of the books.
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to fans of epic fantasy novels. It’s a promising beginning to the series.
You can find this book at Oblivion’s Forge.
Other reviews of this book:
Close to death, a loner who lives a life of slavery to geomantic forces tries to forget the horror he glimpsed and the god-like beings that threaten the very existence of the world.
A young woman cursed by a witch seeks shelter in a castle as winter closes in- only to find herself propelled into a nightmare.
A healer who has reached the limit of her abilities and endurance when she struggles with a mysterious, incurable disease, seeks help from her mentor but is swept up in events beyond her control.
In each of these people and many others, ancient forces stir in response to the existential threat facing the world of Aona. A suffocating darkness to stand against the destroying light; a raging torrent of power bestowed through a thousand years of blood.
Oblivion’s Forge is the first book in the Aona series, which tells of a monumental struggle between two great powers, an unparalleled existential war.
“What if all of this- our powers, our world- is that last light hanging in the void?”
About the Author:
Simon Williams is the author of the Aona dark fantasy series, which is attracting growing acclaim for its fusion of different genres and atmospheric, character-driven narrative. Three books in the series are out so far, and the fourth is due out early in 2015.
He has also written “Summer’s Dark Waters”, a sci-fi / fantasy /supernatural novel for all ages 10+ and aimed more at the younger market. A sequel is already underway and the aim is for this to be published later on in 2015.