Ashes of Our Joy: The Epic of Karolan, Volume 2 (Paperback) Ari Heinze
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This is fantasy with startling emotional and spiritual depth. Unforeseen calamity or blessing can fall on the characters – and the reader! – at any moment, yet each new twist fits into the story arc so well as to seem almost inevitable in retrospect. Sir Ilohan has made a long, dangerous journey from his home in Karolan, but it was far from wasted. Such holy joy rests on the guarded valley of Ceramir that he would gladly stay there for the rest of his life. This cannot be, however. Duty calls him to return to Karolan to help his people in the coming war. Even his hopes of spending a few more days in Ceramir with the beautiful maiden Veril are ruined by the arrival of dire news from home. With the war only days away, there is nothing Ilohan and his companion Jonathan can do to reach Karolan in time -- or is there? Will Ilohan and Jonathan attempt a journey that for centuries has been a byword for the impossible? In a world about to be shattered by war, what chance does Ilohan have of ever again seeing Veril – or Jonathan of coming back to his beloved Naomi in Karolan? The Epic of Karolan, which began with Bright Against the Storm, rushes onward with new intensity in Ashes of Our Joy. Here, characters must make decisions that will define their future lives, the stakes are raised incalculably high, and the long-dreaded storm strikes at last.