I read this book as part of a blog tour for Rachel’s Random Resources and was glad I did.
It was very enjoyable to do so.
Her writing falls into the ‘High Fantasy’ bracket (more similar to the gruelling nature of Terry Goodkind, rather than the fun and comedic Terry Pratchett).
Two wizards, 350 years apart. Can they save the realm of Paltria from Zarua’s dark past?
An ancient darkness haunts the realm of Paltria.
Apprentice wizard Paddren is plagued by visions of a city on the brink of annihilation. When his master dies in mysterious circumstances, the Royal Order of Wizards refuses to investigate.
Helped by his childhood friend, the skilled tracker Varnia, and her lover Leyoch, Paddren vows to find the killer.
The investigation leads Paddren down a sinister path of assassins, secret sects and creatures conjured by blood magic. But he is guided by a connection with a wizard from centuries ago – a wizard whose history holds the key to the horror at the heart of the abandoned city of Zarua. Can Paddren decipher his visions in time to save the Paltrian people from the dark menace of Zarua’s past?
The characterisation is strong (I think Leyoch was my favourite), the world-building is very able and the story is well-paced. There are a few typos / proofreading errors ( as a proofreader / copy editor, myself, I find these pretty glaring), however, no proofreader will catch every single one and most readers will simply accept these and move on. The country being named Paltria did bother me at first, due to the ‘paltry’ sound (I am unsure if that was deliberate and can only assume from Rogerson’s competence otherwise that it was) but that was the only real qualm I had, which is refreshing. The story is essentially told in two halves – from the present in a third-person narrative and the past in a first-person narrative – switching effortlessly between the two and providing a reliable structure for both reader and author to be guided by.
Rogerson has written another couple of novels before this book, called ‘The Silent Sea Chronicles’ (books one and two), and based on ‘Visions of Zarua’, I would be only too happy to read those, as well. In fact, credit where it is due – it seems that this is her third published book in under 18 months, and that is a pretty impressive output.
Overall, I would give it a very satisfactory 4* – and look forward to hearing more from this author.
I do not get paid for taking part in blog tours and this is an honest review.