(4 of 5 stars on Amazon)
Here is another review for a really great book. If you like action, battle scenes and war stories with an underlying bit of romance and erotica, read on. As always, I try to refrain from using spoilers.
This latest blog is a review for Kydona: From Ashes, by T.K. Krug III. This is the sequel to Kydona which I reviewed in May, 2013. In case you haven’t read the first book, Kydona, you can read that review as well if you’d like to. You can find it on my blog here: https://wandasparyla.com/2013/05/15/book-review-kydona-7/
I think it’s important for you to read my review of Kydona because in Kydona: From Ashes you’ll get more of the same, but this time with more plot and more places to visit. Some things I liked most about the first book besides that it was written by an author who knew his subject, was how a few characters showed me there was more to them than meets the eye, and how the story closed was awesome too. The door just slammed shut. I know some won’t like that type of ending, but if there’s going to be a sequel, it’s fine and dandy by me. It was a nice little cliff hanger for this, the second story.
I can say little more than I already have in my earlier review of Kydona about the author’s incredible ability to bring one into war with him…or his characters…and force you to see and feel everything and everyone. This book is less about the development of some old character and more about development of a human being in the midst of the greatest despair to date in his history. It’s about how people under life-altering, horrifying distress can do one of two things, give up and give in, or reach for each other in support instead of lying down their sword to an enemy whether that enemy be foe or oneself. This is a book about a path to destiny. In this book we see the main character, Marcus, grow tremendously, even if unwilling at times, unfurling himself slowly like a military banner. And, this is exactly as it might have been for a man like him, in his situation, 1,000 years ago…or even today.
Marcus’ ability to go from drinking and binging like a teenager in the first book to overcoming his feelings toward unspeakable crimes against humanity, as well as his need to commit them for the common good, and live to the bitter end to make peace with himself, is heroic. In Kydona, he was tossed headlong into a war, to the frontlines, carelessly as a punishment and/or to be rid of him, yet in Kydona: From Ashes we champion him on as he prevails little by little overcoming his foes.
And, of course, there is no shortness of scheming. There are still methodical wenches and politicians, and military men…we just don’t realize what’s truly going on off scene until closer to the end. And well, there’s lies. The place that these lies put Marcus in regarding his father is maddening and sad.
This second book has quite a few twists and turns in it and despite Marcus being let down at nearly every turn, it is his men…who were first his comrades, then became his very own army… that showed him the respect and loyalty that carried him through. It was for their honor, and not his own, that he trudged onward through to the end of the book.
In Kydona, the two countries, Elessia and Kydona, are forced into a battle because their leaders refused to realize the one thing that would bring peace. Then in the end of Kydona: From Ashes, the story comes full circle (maybe seemingly accidental, if you don’t believe in fate) and peace is, for the moment, derived from the very thing first denied. Can’t tell…I don’t want to spoil.
Again, as in the first book, there is a character that proved that he was not just hogwash. For me, in Kydona it was Vernon. In Kydona: From Ashes, it is Roslene. I thought the whole time she was out only for Number One, and while even in the end it seemed so, I realize that maybe she schemed for love to actually raise someone above her. Devious, yes; shallow, no. But you all may find the characters that surprise you to be different from my picks.
We don’t see a huge difference in some of the lesser characters, but the growth of Marcus as a person is overwhelming enough in and of itself, and while we still catch glimpses of Vernon’s love of mischief, wine and women, as this story progresses, it becomes more of a joke. After all, even in our own lives, as we grow and learn out of pain, do we not wish for the good ol’ days? And really, would we truly go back if we could? Vernon continues to be a pertinent piece of this saga, even though he disappears for awhile, while Marcus makes his mark in Kydona and deals his hand with its tzarista, then Vernon reappears just as loyal as ever in the end.
I am still stumped as to the underlying theme of immortality that wades around in the last quarter or so of this book. I am wondering, will that go somewhere?
There are a couple of small things that kept me from giving Kydona: From Ashes five stars. Of course, these are just my opinion. I think the author should have given an introduction to the characters and a little back story for those who didn’t realize Kydona: From Ashes is a sequel. And it would also be a good refresher for those who might read Kydona but take several months to pick up the next book. This information could be given in a prologue or even in bits and pieces in the first couple chapters of the book with Marcus reminding us who these people are. The next thing along that same line is that perhaps on the back cover, or in the description, it should be revealed that this is a sequel so folks know to grab the first book.
In passing, this book could use a bit more editing but the oversights did not distract me from the story, but I’d urge the author or a proof reader to have another go at sprucing it up.
Overall, the story is engaging, the feeling of camaraderie stays with you as you read. If you want to know how people make it through war…maybe this is it. My assessment of the first book, Kydona, stands true for From Ashes as well (don’t forget to read my Kydona review!). Once again Krug’s work reads as well-researched historical fiction from the start. Nothing about what goes on in this book seems forged or overblown to me.
Feel free to check out an interview I did with T.K. Krug III here: https://wandasparyla.com/2013/05/15/t-k-krug-iii-an-author-interview/