A thoroughly enjoyable and captivating debut that presents three equally exciting narratives in a dark but beautifully imagined world.
Author – Thiago Abdalla
Pages – 481
Publishing Information – Self Published, 1st March 2022
Thankyou to Escapist Book Tours and the author Thiago Abdalla for the opportunity to read this work in exchange for an honest review – it was a real pleasure. This is my first tour for Escapist Book Tours; despite being really busy lately I loved how this sounded and couldn’t turn it down. I’m glad I didn’t, because it really lives up to the name of the tour group, being such a welcome escape from real world events.
It’s a brutal setting at times, but that’s fine because I know this one isn’t real.
I started playing the newly released Elden Ring just after finishing A Touch of Light and it’s weird because in some respects, it felt like finishing a book and moving into its world with a video game. Sure, there are obvious differences. But the parallels are there too; the epic medieval setting filled with dark goings on, people losing their minds, magic and curses, a once vibrant world withering away, the sense that things aren’t quite right. A madness taking hold.
Many of you won’t be gamers and that paragraph will have been a total waste of your time – sorry! I had to mention this though because I felt like it was a really fun coincidence that has complemented my experience of both book and game, perhaps it’s given you a sense for the worldbuilding at least.
For me, the worldbuilding is the biggest strength of the book and the author’s imagination really compelled me to want to learn more about the world, the factions vying for power and the role the characters play in the wider world. He’s really adept at giving you the information you need without holding your hand, in a show don’t tell way. I’ve never really been against info dumps but Abdalla certainly has a skill in being able to give you what you need organically in the story, which was for the most part really impressive. At times, especially towards the start, I did have to re-read a little and concentrate to pick up some of this. Maybe some readers will feel they could benefit from a little more explanation here and there, which would have made things feel more familiar a little earlier on.
You do get little snippets of info at the start of each chapter which is becoming a popular theme I’d like to see – often just a saying or phrase but something that adds depth and character, a little extra something to layer on that I enjoyed.
I mentioned an epic medieval setting but the settings did feel like there were multiple influences – not just Northern Europe. Think Game of Thrones and you’d be along the right path. In fact, with the political manoeuvrings, various factions with their own idealism and wants, and a magic system that isn’t the centrepiece of the book – this is a rare book that can actually justifiably be compared to A Song of Ice and Fire (one of my favourite series.)
Instead of having dozens of protagonists, here there are 3. If you like lots of characters, you’ll still find yourself enjoying the book as there are a lot introduced, but the core 3 are whose stories we are told. I found Lynn to be the most intriguing due to her inner battles with her own inner demons and the way she was introduced (in a prison cell of her own free will) which was really cool, setting up her character brilliantly.
Adrian’s is the more traditional type fantasy tale, focusing on royalty and power, but with the twist of a religion that sees death as a weakness and not something to be commemorated. His story sees him trying to see his place in the world in the aftermath of his brother’s death and the role he has to play.
My favourite character personality wise was probably Nasha and I really enjoyed sharing her struggles in a tribal clan in which all the odds are stacked against her. Her clan also have a similar but unique stance on death, putting importance on a life lived well, not wasted.
All the characters in the book are colourful and vivid, with their own motivations and desires working to meander the story to its conclusion. I love revenge, betrayals and political manoeuvrings and there is plenty here, so it really suited my preferences and those juicy moments that widen the eyes and give you those spine tingling emotions!
Ultimately this is a very solid debut with so much to enjoy. I loved the imaginative ideas on death and religion, political manoeuvrings and interesting characters – and of course the personal highlight for me, the worldbuilding.
A real showcase for the power of self published fantasy.
Would you like to win an ebook, paperback or hardcover of A Touch of Light? Of course you do – visit the rafflecopter link here for the opportunity!
Want to know more? There are some brilliant bloggers taking part in this blog tour, for which you can see the full schedule below. Carry on reading for the book blurb and author info.
The dead shall not be mourned or remembered, for death is the enemy, and will only drive the Seraph away.
The Domain is the bastion of life. The Seraph blesses her faithful with endless years, and death is kept away in hope for Her return. But The Domain nations are not the only ones in Avarin. They have managed only a tenuous peace with the clans to the south, who believe life must be returned to the Earth to keep it whole.
Yet the world of Avarin is changing.
In the clanlands, parts of the Earth seem to be withering away, while in the Domain, a deadly frenzy spreads among the people. It brings darkness to the minds of men and bloodlust to their hearts.
This sickness threatens more than just the peace in the realm,
it imperils its very heart.
Now the people of Avarin must fight to save it,
before death comes for them all.
Dive into this sweeping epic fantasy saga where religion and politics are one, magic brings terror into the hearts of men, and a looming blight threatens to tear everything down.
About the Author
Thiago was born in Brazil but grew up in the fantasy worlds from the stories he kept in his mind. He has inhabited everywhere from Middle-Earth and Azeroth to the planes of Dominaria, Ravnica and Tarkir. No matter the medium, what kept him coming back was always his love for story.
He could never wait for the next world to dive into, so, after being (indirectly) urged on by the (printed) words of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, Patrick Rothfuss, N. K. Jemisin and many, many others, decided to create his own.