Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king's realm. But that day will come all too soon. Only when he loses those he loves will he learn the true price of courage. The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Although the giant-clans were broken in ages past, their ruined fortresses still scar the land. But now giants stir anew, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of giant wyrms. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. Sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. Then there will be a war to end all wars. High King Aquilus summons his fellow kings to council, seeking an alliance in this time of need. Prophesy indicates darkness and light will demand two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. They would be wise to seek out both, for if the Black Sun gains ascendancy, mankind's hopes and dreams will fall to dust.
Wow. That was intense. At first I wasn't completely hooked with this book: I found it tropey and quite standard, without anything really original in it. But then... THEN! oh god, everything started to become very interesting very fast and I was totally in awe. The characters were believable and compelling (especially Veradis and Nathair at first... but Corban and Cywen became appealing after a while as well), we follow multiple POVs but luckily I wasn't bored with any one of them. The plot at first is pretty typical (the young-farm-boy-is-destined-for-Greatness kind of story) but there are some pleasantly unexpected twists that keep you extremely interested. The ending was something else. I couldn't put this book down or read it fast enough: very very cool but also worse than the red weddings. I'm still kinda shocked. In conclusion, this is a great first book in a series. It sets the story nicely and leaves you wanting more. Can't wait to read the second one (even though I don't think I'll be able to start it before September... I hate heavy luggages and long trips sometimes)!