In An Empire Lost, author Kori Valley sets the scene for an epic struggle between the races of the Seven Lands and the hordes from Mishrak Cu Ra. The Golden Age has ended and it is time for the legendary Shelter Lord to reappear. He must travel the lands searching for the mysterious Eminanti – the Son of the Gods – while raising the races of Druids, Elves and Men to stand united against the Destiant Lord and his forces, called the Black Company.
To help him, the Shelter Lord takes Abasa Snerich, once King of the Druids; a man looking to validate the futility of his former life and find meaning for his future. Also Visara, the Witch Queen of Itsmalle, childhood sweetheart of Abasa. There’s also Bobolli, a once powerful wizard who is now a little too addicted to drink, and Brodderick, Seeker of Tast, the man who brings confirmed news that the Black Company are indeed on the move. Once the City of the Tyrene begins to fail – guided now by a King who does not have her interests at heart – the company leave. Along the way they gather other companions and thus form a company of their own. But before they can begin their appointed task, they must rid the city of South Oprem of the goblins that threaten to overwhelm it. This terrifying battle cements their shared goal and strengthens the ties that bind them.
The book gathers momentum as it progresses. This is understandable, given the scope of the author’s intentions. It also contains many errors, which is a shame, and would have benefitted from a thorough editing, but it is to the author’s credit that he informed me of this before I began reading. My 3-star rating would have been higher but I felt it had to reflect the book as a whole. The errors aside, An Empire Lost shows promise. The characters have the potential for further development and the Seven Lands themselves are a fitting backdrop for the scale of the premise. Given the almost visceral descriptions of the battle for South Oprem, the inevitable final battle ought to be well worth a read.