Ashes of the Rahn'ka

Part 1 of A Rebel's Crucible

Fiction - Fantasy - General
267 Pages
Reviewed on 10/30/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Ashes of the Rahn'ka is part one of A Rebel's Crucible and the fourth entry in the Pantracia Chronicles by Amanda Muratoff and Kayla Mansur. This fantasy novel follows a well-developed protagonist, Damien. He deserts the Helgathian military. A bounty is on his head and when he meets Rae, an attractive woman and a thief, he is irreversibly drawn to her, little knowing that she has other plans — win the bounty on his head. Disguised as Bastian, Damien soon realizes that he is the one destined to be the next Rahn’ka, but this also comes with serious repercussions that drive him to near madness. As Rae gets to know him, her trust in him deepens and she begins to see herself as part of the struggle to restore the Rahn’ka to the country and drive out tyranny. But does he have the inner strength to control the power that grows within him?

This is a beautiful story with characters that I fell in love with. Bastian is a sophisticated character and the authors do a wonderful job in exploring his military background, his physical strength, and his psychological state. The reader encounters a fugitive who is supposed to worry about his survival, but who receives great responsibility instead. Rae is another gorgeous character that readers will want to follow. She once belonged to a gang of robbers, but her connection with Bastian leads her to a new purpose. The worldbuilding is wonderfully achieved, and I enjoyed the rough uncultivated landscapes that come alive in the story with dangerous animals and enemies. Ashes of the Rahn'ka has a setting that comes alive in the writing. It is written in strong prose and in a voice that is absorbing and confident. While it is an entry in a series, it can be read as a standalone story; it’s a page-turner.

K.C. Finn

Ashes of the Rahn'ka is a work of fiction in the fantasy, romance, action, and adventure sub-genres, and was created by author duo Amanda Muratoff and Kayla Mansur. Written as the first part of A Rebel's Crucible series, this engaging and action-packed story is best suited to mature readers owing to the presence of explicit language throughout, scenes of a sexual nature, and graphic violence. We find ourselves with Rae the thief and ex-military man Damien, whom readers of the first three books in the Pantracia Chronicles will recall meeting. When these fiery souls come together, Rae realizes that Damien’s fate, and indeed the fate of Pantracia, may lie in her hands.

Author team Amanda Muratoff and Kayla Mansur continue their superb epic fantasy chronicles with a new adventure that can be enjoyed without any prior knowledge of the world but will also deeply enhance it for those who are returning readers. One of the things that I really enjoyed about this work was the effort that has gone into shaping Damien’s psychological narrative, blending emotive realism into the fantasy concepts to give us a truly tormented hero whom we can easily fall in love with. Adding the street smart and fierce Rae into the mix makes a perfect juxtaposition of energies, and their passion and emotion keep readers on their toes from cover to cover through a well-plotted adventure. Overall, I would certainly recommend Ashes of the Rahn'ka to fans of immersive and accomplished fantasy fiction.

Vincent Dublado

It is said that redemption follows those who forge a new path, and this story certainly delivers that premise. Ashes of the Rahn'ka is Part 1 of A Rebel's Crucible by Amanda Muratoff and Kayla Mansur. The main protagonist, Damien, has taken the disguise of Bastian after leaving the Helgethian military. A wanted man with a huge bounty on his head, he then crosses path with a stunning thief named Rae, a top-notch member of a criminal guild known as the Ashen Hawks. Little does he know that Rae wants to collect the bounty on his head. Damien is the next chosen Rahn’ka, and his inexperience in wielding an ancient power bears a heavy toll in his mind. Rae is growing more intimate with Damien, and with destiny bringing them together, the power of the Ranh’ka will be unleashed—if Damien can hold on to his sanity.

This fourth book in the Pantrancia Chronicles that focuses on Damien’s life and adventures shows a structured character development that complements the world-building. Romance and adventure intertwine with dark secrets. The best part of it is that it reflects Muratoff and Mansur’s efforts in building the relationship between Damien and Rae. Word choices are well crafted so that the story keeps moving. As a collaborative work, Ashes of the Rahn’ka has a consistent tone that blends well with scenes and imagery. This book can be read as a standalone, but it will be even more entertaining if you follow the series, as there will be a new adventure that you can look forward to.