I read a lot of fantasy books, but the author of The Rise of Nazil has created a world that had hooked me right away. The land of Faélondul is ruled by the Nazil, a race of men called 'ghosts' because of their white hair and pale skins. Pentanimir is First Chosen, the leader of their military forces and guards to the ruler. When he comes across Brahanu, a beautiful human lost and hurt in the woods, he is torn between duty and desire. For the Nazil are xenophobic, taking humans as slaves and generally treating them horrifically. The scenes here are graphic both in violence and sexually, but are necessary to explain the history and behavior of these people. The author does give warnings.
The story travels at a good pace among different parts of the country of Faelondul and there is a vast cast of characters. But they are all so interesting that I kept reading to find out what happens next. The world building is detailed, including some new language, and varied, fitting well in the context of the story.
The writing style is slightly archaic which fits very nicely with the fantasy style. You get used to it quickly and I quite enjoyed it.
This is going to be a series of books and I can not wait to read more. I highly recommend this book to lovers of fantasy (ages 18+). Aaron-Michael Hall is a great new author and I am very happy that I found him.
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