The Way Into Chaos: Book One of the Great Way by Harry Connolly
Let’s talk a little about what this story is and isn’t.
This story is an ensemble cast centered on Tyr Teyjohn Treygar, a soldier, to the King and Queen of an Empire and protector of the Crown Prince. The book opens with what we are led to believe is the usual visitation by a magical race to trade performances and shows of creativity for spells, which is the source of preeminence for the empire. Instead a vast swarm of creatures comes through and devastates the empire in very short order.
As the companions split up to seek their own solutions to the plague of beasts both end up facing impossible odds. Tyr Treygar sees the tense political alliances that kept the empire together crumbling at the opportunity to scramble for power and young fosterling Cazia relies too heavily on her magic risking a hollowing. I do look forward to learning more about the magical system and difference between the wizard magic and that gifted to the Empire to use and risk hollowing.
Connolly is a fun author and he does create some interesting characters to follow. Magical elder races exchanging their great magic for a little entertainment to lift their seemingly immortal ennui seems a bit elfish to me. I do enjoy the addition of some of the creatures and cultures surrounding the Peradaini Empire, they seem a lot more interesting and different. So I’d say the story, to date, is not genre bending or breaking.
I have enjoyed greatly Connolly while reading the 20 Palaces series. My bar was pretty high and I felt the 20 Palaces series was much more original, but if you like traditional epic fantasies with multiple POVs and fast pacing I think you will enjoy this. Don’t let my concerns dissuade you because I think books are like ice cream flavors, most people can agree ice cream is good, but they can argue about flavors until the cows come home. There are some editing and consistency issues that you see in many self-published works.