Saturday, 31 May 2014

Like Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings?

If you are a fan of the fantasy genre , please check out the first book in the Empyria saga: Shadows in the Sand.

Reviews:  30 reviews, 4.7 out of 5 average

In Empyria it takes courage to live, and more than mere courage to challenge those who want to kill you. Athmane and his friends must take up that challenge or become the next victims. Forced to move they now face many unknown dangers. This story thrives on tension and danger. The sheer depth of “Shadows in the Sand” is simply amazing. This book exceeded all my expectations with its incredible story line that was highly imaginative, inspired and totally unique. The fast moving action pulls me along on a thrilling journey, which is full of vivid imagination and suspense. His characters are unique and original, yet seem simple when you realize that they aren't perfect. This is the beginning of book one where the journey begins. As a side note: the characters are not only likable, but are generally upstanding citizens with strong moral fiber. I like that. Also, there is fighting and death, but the scenes are not written too gruesome or gory. I like that as well.


Shadows in the Sand is set in an apocalyptic world where human survivors eke out an existence amongst a harsh and brutal environment. In contrast to the exposition-heavy opening chapters the novel is extremely well written. It is also a largely based action tale, something rare for a first instalment of a fantasy series.

The plotline is beautifully simple. A tribe’s water pool is running dry and it is up to a hunter and tracker Athmane, along with his childhood companions, Faria, a craftsman, Bayoud a soldier and Mary a medic, to go into new lands and find out why.
This is no clichéd quest but rather a life and death mission. The desert however is full of perils such as sandghoulls and serpents which always keep the narrative fresh and exciting. The mood of the desert, especially at night; its beauty as well as terrible dangers are wonderfully evoked.

The work is very different from most fantasy novels and reminds me of one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time, Frank Herbert’s Dune, yet this time with the tale told from Arakis’ Fremen viewpoint. That is not to say this tale is derivative. The story is entirely the author’s own.

The one staple fantasy character the author does borrow is the elf. Yet the reader need not fear clichés for they serve to act as an important catalyst in the narrative as it is realised the two races must work together if they are to withstand an encroaching dark, malign enemy.

This first instalment of Michael Diack’s Empyria trilogy promises great things. The canvas grows increasingly broader throughout as the author creates the foundation for the second instalment. If Diack manages to keep the same atmosphere and mood without falling into the usual fantasy stereotypes I believe this trilogy will be something very special indeed and attract an army of fans.

 Please click below to be taken to the Amazon webpage:
 Shadows in the Sand

No comments:

Post a Comment