*I received this book as a Kickstarter prize.
This book picks up immediately where Hero of Legend left off. King Maebus is mortally wounded and it is up to Kelm to save him. Fable sets him, Normandy and Leoden on the path to Warlord Damian's fortress to find The Icon of Earth, known in legend for its healing powers. Meanwhile, Empress Saraya has taken over The Realm, looking for a temporary home for her nomadic kingdom. Unfortunately, the sun is dying, putting a wrench in her plans and adding urgency to Kelm's.
I don't hide the fact that I love this world. I even bought a copy of Candle of Crest, written entirely in verse form.* I was more than happy to participate in the Kickstarter campaign to get Icon of Earth published. I have to say, though, the book I received, is worth so much more than I donated.
Icon of Earth loses nothing from the first book that made me love the world. It's fast-paced without plot holes, incorporates world building with the action of the story, and has strong characters that show their character without exposition dumps. Yes, this book has a couple almost-romances but one is vital to the story and the other takes a back seat to the vital elements.
The overall feel of this book is so positive. This is a great read for people who are tired of the idea that a "good" book has to be sad and hopeless the whole way through. Yes, Kelm occasionally wishes to give up, but as this book points out, with the right circle of supportive people, you can survive anything. And if you always look to the past, you'll never be able to see how great the future can be.
This book was such a joy to read. I highly encourage anyone who has any interest in the fantasy genre to pick up this series. Jackson is a talented writer and I look forward to him keeping his promise:
*Please see my review over on Blogger's Bookshelf.