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Reviewed by Maureen Dangarembizi for Readers' Favorite
A Testament of Steel is an epic fantasy by Davis Ashura. The story opens in a small village where Cinder Shade and his parents work as farmers. His parents are killed by an aether-crazed snow tiger. During the attack, he escapes death but loses his memory, family, and finally his home. Due to the nature of their world which does not make allowances for the idle, Cinder finds himself placed in an orphanage in Swift Sword City to earn his keep. Not long after that, he distinguishes himself as a fighter. His dream to join the most elite force in the land, the Third Directorate, is much closer if only he can beat the young men who have spent most of their lives training for the same honor. But Cinder has a secret. Ever since his near-death experience, he’s been plagued by the memories of an older man. A warrior.
Davis Ashura is a talented writer and A Testament of Steel is a masterpiece. I loved the characters in this book, most especially Cinder. He goes on the hero's journey but it’s filled with unexpected twists and turns that leave you wanting to know what happens next. Davis Ashura takes a young man who seemed to have a bleak future and turns his life into an epic adventure. I felt like I was a part of Cinder’s every victory. For someone looking for an Eragon-type hero minus the dragons, this is the book for you. There are some super scary giant spiders that can open a man’s gut in one blow. Not to mention the other horrors the good guys have to vanquish. This book is a romantic, blood and gore, sword fighting fantasy buffet. I can’t wait to read more of Cinder’s story in the next installment. The Memory of Prophecies is on my to-read list.