Chris Wooding takes a turn for the epic

British+novelist+Chris+Wooding+recently+released+his+latest+story%2C+a+massive+epic+fantasy+titled+%E2%80%9CThe+Ember+Blade.%E2%80%9D+With+his+most+ambitious+release+to+date%2C+Wooding+has+crafted+a+sprawling+tale+that+displays+each+of+his+unique+talents+as+a+writer.
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Chris Wooding takes a turn for the epic

British novelist Chris Wooding recently released his latest story, a massive epic fantasy titled “The Ember Blade.” With his most ambitious release to date, Wooding has crafted a sprawling tale that displays each of his unique talents as a writer.

British novelist Chris Wooding recently released his latest story, a massive epic fantasy titled “The Ember Blade.” With his most ambitious release to date, Wooding has crafted a sprawling tale that displays each of his unique talents as a writer.

Ian Fertig

British novelist Chris Wooding recently released his latest story, a massive epic fantasy titled “The Ember Blade.” With his most ambitious release to date, Wooding has crafted a sprawling tale that displays each of his unique talents as a writer.

Ian Fertig

Ian Fertig

British novelist Chris Wooding recently released his latest story, a massive epic fantasy titled “The Ember Blade.” With his most ambitious release to date, Wooding has crafted a sprawling tale that displays each of his unique talents as a writer.

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Talented sci-fi and fantasy author Chris Wooding recently released “The Ember Blade,” a massive epic fantasy. This latest release was a magnificent first installment in what is destined to become one of the greatest fantasy series ever.

Just as the two boys reach the final days of their childhood, and the future looms dangerously close, their peaceful lives are upended.”

— A&E Editor Ian Fertig

Welcome to Ossia, a sprawling nation under the control of the neighboring Krodan empire. Ossia’s people have been occupied by the Krodans for over thirty years, and the last freedom fighters for Ossia have been all but extinguished entirely. Harsh laws and harsher punishments enslave the Ossians, most of whom welcome their Krodan masters with open arms (the only other option being death). In an age without heroes, when the legends of old are ancient history, hope is almost lost for Ossia. Almost.

Cade and Aren, two Ossians raised under the Krodan regime, are best friends in their coastal town of Shoal Point. Each differently influenced by their upbringings, Aren glorifies the Krodan culture while Cade wistfully admires his Ossian heritage. Just as the two boys reach the final days of their childhood, and the future looms dangerously close, their peaceful lives are upended. Aren’s father is murdered for treason, and the two boys are thrown into a work camp, sentenced to be worked to death for crimes they did not commit.

This is just the start of a journey that will test everything the boys believe about themselves, their homeland, and its rulers. Before long, the two find themselves on a quest for the Ember Blade, Ossia’s legendary sword, the symbol of their people, destined to only be wielded by Ossia’s rightful rulers. If they can steal it from their Krodan overlords, they will write themselves into history and hopefully spark a revolution.

Being familiar with Chris Wooding’s talent, I greeted this novel with high expectations. Wooding has the uncanny ability to create novels with complex worlds, lovable and three-dimensional characters, intimidating threats, and fascinating storylines. “The Ember Blade” shows all of these strengths and more. Wooding has built upon his past successes and taken his writing to a whole new level of depth.

Skeptics may consider the fantasy genre worn out. “The Ember Blade” breathes new life into fantasy, even when “Harry Potter,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Eragon,” “Game of Thrones” and countless others have all done it before. Without bombarding readers with overdone fantasy tropes, Wooding spins the typical fantasy story in his own way. He includes the supernatural and spiritual, the knights in armor and tyrannical villains, but the entire world is his and his only. Don’t worry about being reintroduced to elves, orcs, dwarves, magicians, or fairies. The story is centered around human characters, be they from Ossia or its neighboring nations.

Wooding’s characters in “The Ember Blade” are magnificently written. Instead of every hero being flawless and every villain being ruthlessly evil, Wooding rejects the formula in favor of a more realistic approach. Aren and Cade and their lovable companions are the protagonists, but none of them are perfect — each one has his or her own fears, failings, and weaknesses. In typical Wooding style, each of the characters is fleshed out with their own backstory, providing the reader with an insight into the minds of each character as the story progresses. It’s one strategy that keeps the book interesting for the entirety of its 824 pages.

Often the length of such a huge work of fiction is a detriment, but the size of ‘The Ember Blade’ gives it room to propel the story over vast distances while building the intricate world of Ossia and establishing a variety of wonderful characters in it.”

— A&E Editor Ian Fertig

Wooding takes a particularly nuanced approach when writing the villains. The Krodans fight for their country, same as the Ossians. The most prevalent Krodan villain has a wife and two daughters, and most of his actions are taken to help them. This is not a story of good versus evil. Who is right and wrong depends on whose side you take.

This moral insight comes straight from the pages of the book, which is packed with pieces of wisdom alongside the exciting story. Cade and Aren develop as young men over the course of the story, and each grapples with religion, morality, family, love, hate, friendship,  and leadership. Wooding leaves profound statements such as, “We are none of us responsible for the sins of our fathers” and “What’s history but a series of lessons we didn’t learn?” hidden like Easter eggs throughout his novel. It was refreshing to read a novel with more depth beyond the events of the plot, and it’s exciting to see an author I love create such a book. Chris Wooding’s future works are destined to be equally great.

Wooding gracefully composes scenes of immense tension throughout his story, which is impressive, but more impressive is the constant feeling of insurmountable odds facing the protagonists. Ossia has been ruled for so long that a successful revolution feels hopeless. The Krodans are an entire nation of soldiers, and Cade and Aren’s group are a small band of misfits and warriors. But they press on anyway, fugitives in their own homeland. Many of them doubt their own ability to succeed, but over the course of the story, as they overcome each obstacle, their faith in themselves and their cause grows. It’s an inspiring and entertaining tale to read.

The usual question that gets raised about an epic novel is this — doesn’t a book over 800 pages long become tiresome? Often the length of such a huge work of fiction is a detriment, but the size of “The Ember Blade” gives it room to propel the story over vast distances while building the intricate world of Ossia and establishing a variety of wonderful characters in it. Readers will be pleasantly surprised at Wooding’s ability to constantly keep the story going in new and endlessly entertaining ways.

Don’t hesitate to find a copy of “The Ember Blade” and enjoy this exciting and emotional story, brought to you by a superb author operating at his greatest level yet.