Published by Rogue Kite Publishing on January 19, 2021
Series: The Haidren Legacy #1
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy & Magic
BEHIND THE MASK OF DUTY AND POWER, NO ONE IS WHO THEY SEEM…
Centuries after the Forgotten Wars ravaged the world and turned it to ash, the Houses of Pilar, Darakai, Boreal, and Bastiion forged an accord with the royal line of Thoarne, founding a Quadren of advisory to the throne of Orynthia. Every generation, a single Haidren from each of the four Houses is appointed to this coveted chair.
Upon her Ascension to adulthood, Luscia Tiergan takes her seat at court as al’Haidren to the House of Boreal and is quickly drawn into a maze of political traps and dark secrets. As she adjusts to her new life, Luscia uncovers a pattern of forgotten children, slain in the streets of Bastiion.
Raised on superstitious rumors about Boreal’s penchant for sorcery, Zaethan Kasim, al’Haidren to the House of Darakai, inevitably clashes with Lusica when she arrives in Bastiion. But when his position is threatened by an old rival, Zaethan is forced to set aside his hatred and form an uneasy alliance with the Boreali al’Haidren to secure his claim.
Following a disturbing stream of innocent bloodshed across Orynthia, Luscia and Zaethan discover their ideals are far more aligned than they might have imagined. But in a land of war and deceit, the path to peace should never be trusted.
House of Bastiion is the first book in the new adult fantasy series called, The Haidren Legacy by K.L. Kolarich. House of Bastiion took me a little while to get all the words, people and worlds right in my head but after that I ended up being really interested in the plot. I think this is the start of what will be a really cool fantasy series. K.L. Kolarich created a vast epic fantasy world that is going to be a fascinating setting for this series. Full of complex politics and intriguing characters that all have their own secrets and agendas, there is a lot to unpack in this first novel. House of Bastiion serves as a great foundational novel to acquaint readers with this detailed world.
In House of Bastiion we first meet Luscia, who is on her way from her homeland of Boreal to Orynthia’s stronghold of Bastiion, where she will serve as her house’s advisor to the King. In Orynthia, the King has an advisor panel called a Quadren, which is comprised of advisors (or Haidrens) from each of the four houses- Pilar, Darakai, Boreal, and Bastiion. There is a long standing rivalry and distrust between the other three houses and Boreal, because the Boreali’s are thought to be witches or sorcerers. I loved Luscia as a main character. She is strong, caring and very intelligent. I felt for her so much when she was at court. It is hard to be instantly disliked by so many people and she really did not have an easy go of it. I appreciated how kind the Prince was to her. It made me like him so much more.
House of Bastiion is told in multiple points of view. Mostly alternating between Luscia and the Al’Haidren to Darakai, Zaethan, though there are a few chapters interspersed from other points of views. I will admit that I spent the first 50 pages of the book very confused. It was super hard for me to figure out what was going on, who all the characters were and what they were saying. There are many phrases in various native languages, and I had to consult the glossary in the back of the book several times while reading just so I could make sense of what was said. There were often not enough context clues or explanations to pick it up from the book passages alone. It wasn’t an issue for me because I was reading from a paper copy of the book, but I could see it being a larger issue were I reading this book in ecopy form because it is not as easy to flip to the back to see the glossary, or even to know it is back there. So if you are reading the ecopy, you might want to review the glossary first before diving into the story. Once I figured out the lay of the land and got a good sense for who each of the characters were and which houses they represented, it was easier for me to fall into the story and to enjoy and appreciate the intricate plot. K.L. Kolarich did a great job of weaving secrets and a fascinating story together. There are still so many secrets out there for us to discover and I am really invested in seeing which direction the overall plot is going to go next. I have a feeling that the second book is going to be even better than the first because I know understand the layout of the story, the world and the characters.
There is little to no romance in House of Bastiion, which I will admit did disappoint me, but I saw the author mention on goodreads that the next books in the series will have a lot more romance. I was super excited to see that! I have an idea of who the romance will be between but honestly I am just not sure 100%. I could see it being between Lusica and Zaethan, Luscia and the Prince or Luscia and her guard. House of Bastiion is very much a plot driven fantasy novel filled with complex court politics and plenty of secrets woven together with multiple mysteries. The mystery of what’s going on with the Prince, with Luscia herself as well as the mystery of the murdered children. Don’t be discouraged if you are initially confused. Stick with the story because it all comes together and definitely utilize the glossary while you are reading. The plot and the secrets have intrigued me so much! I can’t wait to read the next book in the series so I can see what happens. I think plot driven readers will love this complex fantasy world.