*I received a free copy of this novel, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: “The only thing keeping that seal around his neck is his head. Heads are easily removed.”
Time is running out. Tzoladia is under siege. Heads will roll.
As the prophecy unfolds, Emperor Zoltov’s military forces take action to exterminate the “Subhumans.” Leaders form risky alliances. Metlan’s ambition propels him into places of mystery and murder. Brina and Amanki sail through a sea filled with enchantment and betrayal. Moshoi is dazzled by treasure as he faces the horrors of an evil empire. All forces converge on Tzoladia for a showdown.
Will mud, rocks, and trees come together and prevail? Who will lose their heads?
The Emperor’s Vision is Book 4 in the 5-book Tales of Tzoladia series and I definitely advise that you read the books in series order, as each instalment picks up where the previous left off.
The individual story threads follow Amanki (‘Mud’ – the Webby race), Moshoi (‘Rocks’ – the Armored race), Brina (‘Trees’ – the Glider race), and Metlan (‘Grass’ – representing the human race, from the Samalitan lion-rider tribe). Three of the main characters are trying to unite the Tzoladian seals of their respective races in order to fulfil an ancient prophecy, to place the true Emperor on the throne. The fourth is trying to take the Emperor’s throne for himself.
At this point in the series, there is outright war between the Tzoladian empire and the other races, which the Emperor has variously labelled ‘animals’, ‘inferior’, ‘dangerous’ or ‘diseased’, whilst happily using their talents as soldiers, craftsmen and guards. Women and children have been surreptitiously slaughtered or starved, as the Emperor strives to weaken his perceived enemies and prevent the prophecy from ever coming to pass. The young heroes must face their own demons and temptations in order to unite against the cruelty and fight for what is right.
There is a strong religious theme to the series, as all of the various races and tribes have their own unique gods and rituals, but the main characters all follow the ‘one true god, Adon’, and regularly pray for his guidance in times of crisis.
Spiritual matters aside, this is a well-written fantasy adventure for teens upwards, that contains plenty of action and intrigue, and just a little, clean romance! The worldbuilding, with all of the different races and their unique anatomy and culture, is excellent, and the characters develop believably as the series progresses.
Recommended for fans of clean, Christian, epic fantasy, aged teen+.
Metlan wanted word of his exploits to reach the corners of the empire. Fame could be as rewarding as power. At this point, Metlan wasn’t even sure if there was a difference. What was one without the other?
The deal clinched, Metlan walked out into the cobbled streets of the mountain fortress to find a latrine. Peeking through the clouds, the new star shone down upon him, like a second moon. The wine and song had helped him to forget about the heavy price he might pay for his ambition. He glanced down at the blue cylinder seal dangling from his neck. So far, it had brought him nothing but good fortune.
He soon returned to the hall to continue to enjoy the rowdy company of the soldiers. It wasn’t until later that he noticed that Bladar and his horsemen had all quietly slipped away. The next day, they were nowhere to be found.
– R.A. Denny, The Emperor’s Visions
The Emperor’s Visions (and the rest of the Tales of Tzoladia) is available on Amazon right now!