Russell Kirkpatrick has the touch of JRR Tolkien about him in his extensive world building and complex plot, which I feel is both exciting as it is impressive. Across the face of the world is the first installment in the Fire of Haven trilogy (in the earth abides the flame and the right hand of God), that is set within the incalculable sixteen kingdoms of Faltha. The world is as richly imagined as in any modern fantasy by an accomplished author whose ingenious ideas, alongside the scope and depth that is delved into will blow you away. In the snow covered village of Loulea five men and women set out on an epic journey of discovery, that will not only change their lives forever but which ultimately will decide the fate of their entire world. It is an incredible, thrilling adventure that will have you glued to the page for hours on end and one which I strongly urge you to discover, for it will alter and change your perception on epic fantasy and the foundations of this genre that never fails to astonish me with new works.
The immortal destroyer (also known as Kannwar) has for two thousand years been planning revenge on the most high, and now his plans are nearing fruition as he surges forwards with the pieces falling into place. Kannwar drank from the forbidden fountain and so was cast out of Dona Mihst thus being set free to take his vengeance. Meanwhile a trader known as Mahnum escapes from the destroyer's prison, with the Lords of fear sent in pursuit whilst the escaper makes his way to Loulea. As Mahnum and his wife are captured it is then that his two sons Leith and Hal, together with a small group of villagers set off on a perilous quest to free Mahnum and Indrett, and warn those of significance that war is coming. The great battle is set, the pieces are all in motion and the future of the entire world rests on the shoulders of a group of people who aim to restore peace and destroy the evil that dwells throughout the kingdoms.
Once you have begun the adventure you will not rest until it is over. This tale may sound like just another magical, fantastical journey but it is so much more than that and is written with such depth and profundity as to quicken the beating of your heart. I lost myself within this mighty masterpiece that I cannot enthuse about enough, and which I rank highly next to many great writers of this genre. Great battles and wars rage as are heroes set out on horseback under the moonlight to try and overcome this evil, and fight for what they love most in this world. Courage and bravery, love and honor the characters will find a special place within the reader's heart as they speak to you through their actions and emotions. This is an author whose work has sparked my imagination, he has opened my eyes to what is deemed to be possible in the world of fantasy and has reinstated and affirmed my love for this genre by his works, which express all that is loved in epic fantasy. I cannot wait to read the next installment within this great trilogy and add more of Russell Kirkpatrick's books to my bookshelves, being another literary `giant' who will be placed next to Hobb and Tolkien, Feist, Jordan and Elliot. Just so staggering and superbly brilliant!