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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Hour of Embers is a work of fantasy fiction by author N.L. Willcome, and the second book in the series titled An Empyrian Odyssey. Central characters Tamsin and Haven were separated in the previous volume, and Haven is now trapped in the beautifully atmospheric Ravine of Bones. Tamsin and Samih attempt a rescue, but it’s fraught with dangers in the marshland. Meanwhile, Emilia’s newfound freedom is short lived when her real identity comes to light, and the presumed-dead Lord Urbane hides himself away as he awaits yet more secrets to be revealed. On the wider scale of the world, these events are all part of the greater collapse of Empyria which is looming and threatening them all.
I really need to go back and read the first book after getting to review this excellent story! N.L. Willcome has created a lavish and deeply conceived fantasy world in the realm of Empyria. I adored all of the characters living their disparate yet intertwined lives, and the way that Willcome weaves them all together as the fate of Empyria hangs in the balance is truly masterful. The prose is fluid and without errors, the characters leap off the page with lush visual descriptions and lively dialogue, and the various gorgeous settings of the land set a high bar for atmosphere akin to Laini Taylor or Neil Gaiman. Overall, The Hour of Embers is a superb sequel in a series that’s not to be missed. Highly recommend to all fans of high fantasy.