Battleaxe is the first book in The Axis Trilogy by Sara Douglas. As you work your way through the book, you become instantly aware that there are a plethora of threads woven together to create the story. This makes it both crammed full of detail but also more complex perhaps than the average fantasy book.
The story centres around the illegitimate son of a dead princess, named Axis. He is the ‘BattleAxe’, the leader of the ‘Axe Wielders’, a prestigious fighting force in the land of Achar. His connection to the Royal family is not recognised by them. Borneheld, the King’s son and heir, and the leader of the army has a strong hatred for Axis, his illegitimate half brother.
Borneheld has to return to his border castle in the north; the Forbidden, wraith-like monsters only remembered in legend, seem to have returned. Axis is charged with taking Borneheld’s beautiful bride-to-be, Faraday, to the castle, but along the way, they fall in love. Magic, myth, love, religion, prophecy and war…nothing and no one is as they seem, and the world that Douglass has created is vivid, if a little formulaic at times.
It was fast-paced for the majority of the story, though I felt the beginning was a little slow. The characters on the whole were engaging and believable. The setting was richly described, but some of the terms used I didn’t quite like, StarMan being one of them. That being said, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book. The various twists and turns in the tale kept you guessing as to what was going to happen next. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the trilogy.