I received an ARC copy of this book from the author in exchange for a honest review. The Known World is living in the aftermath of the great war which ravaged the land ten years ago. The war was ended with a mortal man using a magical orb and becoming a God but that’s not the whole story. A story filled with grit, edge of your seat action, and a incredibly imaginative magic system that would grab Brandon Sandersons attention. Seeds of War also carries with it a lot of pain, sorrow, and questions that will not all be answered in this volume. That being said, buckle up and be prepared for a debut novel you will not soon forget.
Gimlore is a mother of two children and war veteran who has decided to live a quiet life in the land of Heleronde. Owner of the Maidens Hall Bar, she frequently has customers visiting for more than just the soothing affects of the drink. Gimlore owns the land containing a very rare resource which she has been able to form into an elixir. This elixir gives its user great strength and healing abilities but it makes the user forever dependent on the drug. This potion brings all kinds of people looking to find a use for it. Gimlore can’t hide from the world forever and danger is about to come knocking at her door. Oberesis is a cult chief whom the world refers to as God Himself after the miracle he performed using a magical orb tens years back. What the world doesn’t know is that Oberesis has been living a lie ever since that day. He can’t use the magical orb in any meaningful way since the miracle, only his best friend Tavanar knows the truth, and he travels around from land to land with splitting headaches and migraines. His most trusted aid Solvi is tasked with protecting him and as a Smokesmith, she is all the protection he needs. Oberesis needs to find this legendary elixir and it can only be found in one place. Rednow is the leader of the Leeth, a mercenary group know for taking on harsh and dangerous jobs. Rednow is a smokesmith himself and equipped with his trusted sword there is no task he can’t accomplish. There is only one job left to do but it will be one that will test every ounce of will he has left.
The story telling in Seeds of War is both gripping and riddled with mystery. Each of the main characters has their own ambitions and desires for both how they see the world and the ways in which to exist in it. Throw on top of that the fact that all three main POV’s are of different ages brings an extra layer of intrigue to the plot. Most readers will fall in love with the magic system of the Smokesmiths as I explain a little bit about what all the fuss is about. To discover is a person is a Smokesmith or not, they are thrown into a locked chamber and forced to breath toxic smoke from certain herbs. Most people do not survive this initiation process but the ones who do become Smokesmiths and are highly sought after. The cool thing about being a Smokesmith is every one has a different affect when they inhale the smoke. Some grow to great sizes, some can turn invisible, and some can change their forms entirely into a ravenous monster. I’ll let you discover the rest as it is a page turn to be sure.
By far my favorite character was Oberesis because reliving his past life before becoming a God I saw as the most tragic parts of the book. A person who had nothing and then is given everything with admiration from everyone around him. The glory and fame change who he is but it is all a lie and he has to keep up this charade every single day. The ending shocked me to no end and I’m sure many will have the same reaction I did.
Seeds of War was a joy to read as it was not like most stories I have read in this genre. If you like lots of action with a good deal of worldbuilding and a magic system I have not seen yet in fantasy, then this is the series for you. Joao F. Silva will be an author to watch out for as he continues to add more works in this series and beyond.