Cry Of The Newborn

by James Barclay

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Book 32 of 34 in the Best Military Fantasy Books
15 votes 2 comments
The Estorean Conquord has stood for 850 years. Its Advocate, Herine Del Aglios, knows that she presides over the greatest civilisation in history. But she wants more. And in Estorea's recently conquered territories dissent is brewing. Forced to fight old friends and neighbours in the cause of the ever-growing Conquord, they face brutal choices and savage demands for money and men to be fed into Estorea's wars - demands made by Paul Jhered, head of the Gatherers and the iron hand of the Advocate, With Jhered by her side, Herine believes that nothing can go wrong. Until a disastrous and bloody reversal in the war to overrun the Kingdom of Tsard puts Estorea's armies on the back foot and has Tsardon troops flooding into the Conquord. As the empire trembles, far from the war four unique children are discovering their powers. They are the first true Ascendants, in touch with the elements, able to shape the world. An empire descending into war is about to discover the wonder and terror of magic ...James Barclay's new series is a triumph of epic plotting and heart-stopping action.

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2 comments
BenC | 2013-01-26 12:55:03
Have just finished reading this book and it's amazing! The more 'hardcore' military fantasy gets a bit monotonous for me oftentimes. Barclay's battle scenes are so engaging and not for lack of detail or knowledge of strategy and tactics. The characters another triumph - a great balance between the one dimensional that so many criticize and, what is for me, the equally bad opposite extreme of 'grittiness' masquerading as sophisticated storytelling. A great read!!
BenC | 2013-01-27 03:37:17
Obviously I'm very enthusiastic about the Ascendant Duology. I've now just finished reading the sequel to Cry of the Newborn, Shout for the Dead and it's another great read. I have heard critiques that SFTD is a bit of anti-climax, but that isn't the case. The great strength of Cry of the Newborn is its believability. The only weakness of the sequel is the means that the villain uses to wreak havoc which is a little too unrealistic and, as such, is jarringly out of step with the excellent plot, world build and characterizations. The conclusion while maybe more a whimper than a bang is all the better for feeling authentic. Not being a fan of misery for the sake of 'gritty' Gen Y dark fantasy pretensions, I really wanted at least a partially happy ending but it was all the better for not being so. I'm not so enthused by the author's series which preceded the Ascendancy books.
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