Bane of Ashkarith by Ariel Paiement
Book One of Legends of Alcardia
Husband and wife Kaidan and Zerua travel the world searching for the truth. Being Searchers means the quest for truth is of utmost importance. But what happens when they find evidence that may change the entire world? The two will journey to the ruins of Ashkarith, a city cursed during its destruction. They will stand up against ghostly foes and discover things that no one else has heard of. Truths that people will do anything to keep hidden.
Bane of Ashkarith is a straightforward and to the point storyline. There is no deviation from the main characters’ original mission of finding and sharing the truth. It is very evident that no matter what, they will do all they can to fulfill their duty. Even if it does mean standing up against the world.
What I enjoyed the most was the solid foundations set down for the relationship between Kaidan and Zerua. Without needing to go into too much detail, the love and trust seen between the two characters carried the story. When one fell the other was always there to help move them forward, whether it was with a small touch or reassuring words. You could tell they had a long history and were devoted to each other.
I did find that there was little conflict in the book, and some of the secondary characters were too quick to develop relationships with Kaidan and Zerua. I would have liked to see more tension between new characters in order to forge the new relationships into something more believable. There was a lot of room for potential rise and fall in action, but the resolutions always came quickly and did not make it possible.
This is a book of quiet contemplation as Kaidan and Zerua test their faith and all they know. The settings were beautifully explained. Rarely do I see two main characters that are archaeologists in a fantasy novel, and it was a nice addition as they brought their professions into analyzing the city of Ashkarith. This novel felt like the fantasy version of a historical novel. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy books based around the search for history and light romance.
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