Harbingers of Mortality

Rated 4.14/5 based on 7 reviews
When an assassination attempt goes awry, Jeshu is forced into the service of the empire he was sworn to destroy. His target: a woman searching for ancient knowledge that would save her people, but throw the world's balance of power into chaos. He must travel to the land of the sorcerers, where unlimited magic reigns and a bloodthirsty goddess lurks in the shadows, waiting for a chance to strike. More

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Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Words: 82,930
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465935830

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Reviews

Review by: Elizabeth Miller on May 12, 2012 :
This novel is very visual and well written. Not knowing it is part two of a series, I had no problem enjoying the story. Would have liked to have a little more of the actual assassination of the elf cause it sort of glossed over that part. The story seems more about a magical creature called a Paiktur that can use magic without it causeing too much strain on its well being and he has a plan to take over the empire. I can't wait to go back and read the first part. But all in all not a bad way to spend an afternoon in the sun.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Jeffrey Poole on May 04, 2012 :
When nothing goes as it should...

Jeshu is a deadly assassin living in the world of Kalharia. His mission? A simple assassination. When things go wrong, he's forced to team up with a mute Vian Knight and his squire to confront someone who threatens the lives of everyone in the kingdom. To make matters worse, an ancient evil goddess is just waiting to return to power so that she can exact her revenge on those who have shunned her.

The Harbingers of Mortality is a fantastic adventure story set in a world of magic, elves, knights, and dragons. Mr. Thomas has skillfully created a believable unique world where not only does magic exist, but it can be depleted and renewed, much like a rechargable battery. The world-building is very impressive and very comprehensive. I love how plausible the explanations are for how the magic works in Kalharia, as well as how unique his characters are.

My biggest critique, in my opinion, was the difficulty in following along with the time line. I really did love the amount of detail that went into everyone's point of view regarding the ongoing situation they found themselves in. It made sure there weren't any open plot holes. Not once did I wonder what had happened to a particular character. However, since the author created their own specialized months and number of days for each months (again, bravo for going into so much detail!), at the beginning of each chapter had the day and month of the year. But without a frame of reference, I was left unsure which sequence of events happened at which time. Then, once I finished the book, then I found the Appendices at the end, which addresses the calendar, and which month follows which. Should have read that first. :)

There was also a few times when I was wondering who I should be rooting for, but after discussing the issue with the author in a book club forum, he mentions that how he had written it. So that was just my own personal preference.

All in all, a great fantasy book worth reading. I'm off to pick up the first in the series (his books are written so that it's not necessary to read the first). Don't forget to look for the Appendices at the back so that you don't do what I did! Great job, Steve!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Jeffrey Poole on May 04, 2012 :
When nothing goes as it should...

Jeshu is a deadly assassin living in the world of Kalharia. His mission? A simple assassination. When things go wrong, he's forced to team up with a mute Vian Knight and his squire to confront someone who threatens the lives of everyone in the kingdom. To make matters worse, an ancient evil goddess is just waiting to return to power so that she can exact her revenge on those who have shunned her.

The Harbingers of Mortality is a fantastic adventure story set in a world of magic, elves, knights, and dragons. Mr. Thomas has skillfully created a believable unique world where not only does magic exist, but it can be depleted and renewed, much like a rechargable battery. The world-building is very impressive and very comprehensive. I love how plausible the explanations are for how the magic works in Kalharia, as well as how unique his characters are.

My biggest critique, in my opinion, was the difficulty in following along with the time line. I really did love the amount of detail that went into everyone's point of view regarding the ongoing situation they found themselves in. It made sure there weren't any open plot holes. Not once did I wonder what had happened to a particular character. However, since the author created their own specialized months and number of days for each months (again, bravo for going into so much detail!), at the beginning of each chapter had the day and month of the year. But without a frame of reference, I was left unsure which sequence of events happened at which time. Then, once I finished the book, then I found the Appendices at the end, which addresses the calendar, and which month follows which. Should have read that first. :)

There was also a few times when I was wondering who I should be rooting for, but after discussing the issue with the author in a book club forum, he mentions that how he had written it. So that was just my own personal preference.

All in all, a great fantasy book worth reading. I'm off to pick up the first in the series (his books are written so that it's not necessary to read the first). Don't forget to look for the Appendices at the back so that you don't do what I did! Great job, Steve!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Caroline Ernst on Jan. 17, 2012 :
I read this as a Member Giveaway book on LibraryThing.
A few threads weave through this interesting fantasy book; a captured assassin is forced into service for the empire to carry out the murder of a pregnant elf; generally magicians need seithsand to power their magics although there are rogue sorcerors who do not (one of whom is an ogre and very interesting character) there are several side characters- soldiers, knights and magicians. I occasionally found it hard to follow where and who we were with, but overall this was a well-written book that carried you through the tale well.

We are in the land of Kalharia and the main plot follows our compulsory conscript, an ancient-horde assassin called Jeshu who is caught trying to kill a senator and then tasked to kill an elf. He is kept to his mission by a vian knight with magic armour and a sorceress with mind-magic who are also in the party. The tale shifts from this focus to the friend of the elf, who is a sorceror. He bands together with another sorceror and they take over a seithsand mine and control all the miners. There is an epic battle finish.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: roadway2000 on Oct. 17, 2011 :
This book was a good fantasy tale... It had many different characters - An assasin, multiple magicians, some trained, some natural and even an Ogre who was a magician. The magic was limited by natural means, you needed sand or a mineral to restore yourself. It seemed to end reasonably well at the end and left the opening for some continuation, even with other characters.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Hannah Hummel on Sep. 04, 2011 :
Harbingers of Mortality is the second book in The Histories of Atreus series by Steve Thomas. The books are however both stand alone stories. They both take place in Kalharia, but the only character they share is Atreus the King of the Underworld and chronicler of human history.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Mimu on Aug. 29, 2011 :
I found this an enjoyable romp through a traditional fantasy tale. We had elves, assassins, knights and magicians plus an interesting squire who added a bit of humour to the story. There is a depth to the story if you were willing to look for it but it is also very easy to skim along the surface and come out the end very happily and move on. I found this story stimulating and fun to read.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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