Title: King's Envoy
Series: Artesans of Albia, Book One
Author: Cas Peace
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing (August 15, 2011)
Format: Paperback ARC
To Purchase: Amazon
Description: Taran Elijah's quest for knowledge uncovers a plot that threatens the world. In Albia, the fourth realm, the precious Artesan gift is dying. Although born to the craft, Taran is struggling to achieve his potential. Against his friends' advice, he embarks on a foolhardy plan to acquire the teaching he craves. Alone, he crosses into Andaryon, the fifth realm, but instead of finding a mentor, he stumbles upon a treacherous plot. In the wake of Taran's actions, Albia suffers a series of vicious raids. Major Sullyan of the High King's forces is sent to oppose them. But a dark and treacherous force is moving through the realms and both Taran and Sullyan will feel its power. Their craft, the lives of their friends, the very existence of their realm are under threat unless they expose and oppose the evil.
Review: Cas Peace's King's Envoy weaves a magical tale that's a supremely masterful fantasy.
Taran Elijah will do anything for knowledge and to rise above his Journeyman rank. When he crosses into the fifth realm, his quest goes terribly wrong. He flees to his own realm, but he returns with a powerful magical object. Now he, his apprentice, and a healer must journey to the Manor to speak with Major Sullyan. The fifth realm is attacking Albia, but the complexities of politics and war might be too much. Taran has to learn quickly or they all might be lost.
King's Envoy reads like an old friend. The magic, characters, setting are so well-written that it's easy to slip into the story and not want to leave the world Peace has created. Whether on the battlefield or sipping fellan (a type of tea), every scene adds another complexity to this novel. The pacing speeds along, and I found myself reading to the next scene, the next chapter to know what would happen next. The magic of the Artesans bases itself off the elements, but how the characters learn and use the magic is unique. Like Taran, I thirst for the knowledge of what will happen next.
The Artesans of Albia is a great new fantasy series and will appeal to fans of Mercedes Lackey. King's Envoy by Cas Peace is powerful and easy to read. I don't know how I'll wait until 2012 to read book two!