Trysmoon Book 1: Ascension, by Brian K. Fuller
The Trysmoon Saga
Originally Reviewed Here. Posted 2015/08/24 on Amazon.com
Fantasy tropes, taken in unexpected and powerful directions.
At first glance, Trysmoon appears to be an almost cliche story of a village boy singled out by destiny. It becomes far more. Gen, the protagonist, is a young apprentice bard. When you first meet him, he seems confident, sarcastic, and slightly egotistical. There is more to him. His world is unique – a planet that was physically shattered when the heroes of centuries past failed. He lives in a feudal kingdom on one of the shards of that world, floating through the void in fragments.
Gen’s life is overturned when Shadan Khairn, warlord ruler of another nation, begins a covert invasion of his own. Khairn himself, though the villain of this book, has a greater role to play in the series. Khairn is brilliant, ruthless, crazed, and yet entertaining and strangely likable. He also has the power to heal, even from the brink of death, and he uses it for far from noble reasons. Khairn captures Gen and trains him to fight in the most brutal possible way, making full use of his healing powers.
Imagine the kind of harsh master in some old Chinese martial arts films, utterly uncaring of his student’s well being or even sanity. So Khairn deals with Gen. The young man emerges as a kind of emotionally detached, psychologically scarred killing machine – or so it seems. In truth, in his suffering for himself and those he cares for, Gen finds his moral compass. It forges him into a hero.
This is a dark book, but the overall series varies in tone. It is not grimdark. Gen truly becomes a hero, and subsequent events prove it. The writing is fantastic and powerful. The editing is generally good, though it has a few misses. Some reviewers have complained that Trysmoon is a single, massive book cut into four pieces. I agree, but I don’t see it as a problem. I’d rather read a story on such a scale in stages, deciding on my own how far I want to proceed, than expect more than a thousand odd pages for the price of one eBook.
And so I did. I eagerly bought book 2, and followed Gen’s tale.