Vault of Heaven, Book 1
Synopsis: The gods, makers of worlds, seek to create balance — between matter and energy; and between mortals who strive toward the transcendent, and the natural perils they must tame or overcome. But one of the gods fashions a world filled with hellish creatures far too powerful to allow balance; he is condemned to live for eternity with his most hateful creations in that world’s distant Bourne, restrained by a magical veil kept vital by the power of song.
Millennia pass, awareness of the hidden danger fades to legend, and both song and veil weaken. And the most remote cities are laid waste by fell, nightmarish troops escaped from the Bourne. Some people dismiss the attacks as mere rumor. Instead of standing against the real threat, they persecute those with the knowledge, magic and power to fight these abominations, denying the inevitability of war and annihilation. And the evil from the Bourne swells…
The troubles of the world seem far from the Hollows where Tahn Junell struggles to remember his lost childhood and to understand words he feels compelled to utter each time he draws his bow. Trouble arrives when two strangers — an enigmatic man wearing the sigil of the feared Order of Sheason and a beautiful woman of the legendary Far — come, to take Tahn, his sister and his two best friends on a dangerous, secret journey.
Tahn knows neither why nor where they will go. He knows only that terrible forces have been unleashed upon mankind and he has been called to stand up and face that which most daunts him—his own forgotten secrets and the darkness that would destroy him and his world.
Review: I’m not necessarily a big fantasy reader but it’s true that I can be easily surprised by the genre. When I received the book, I was not sure that it would be for me but I admit that I was curious to find out how the story would be. I was also fortunate enough to have the second volume at hand to discover the following adventures.
From the beginning of the novel, we discover Tahn, a young man whose past is still quite unclear. The memories of his childhood have disappeared and he hopes to find them to understand who he really is. Yet this quest is far from easy, especially when the only person able to give him what he wants, explains that it’s for his own good, and that will recover everything in time. Launched on an adventure with his sister Wendra, whom he could not protect during the kidnapping of her child, he will try to deal with the terrible plagues that threaten his kingdom.
The novel is divided (as for most fantasy books) in several POVs. It must be said that in their quest, our heroes will be separated so we alternately follow their evolution. Tahn was a pretty interesting character to follow, full of guilt because he failed to protect his sister, but also full of desires to regain his memories. I also loved Wendra, we feel and understand her pain because of the loss of her child but also her desire to help and protect as she has not been able to do that before.
It was an interesting read even if I did not manage to get as easily into the story or to enjoy all the characters, but I admit that I was curious about the end of the story and I was surprised to see what the memories of our heroes contained.