Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
266 Pages
Reviewed on 12/12/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite

It has been thirty-one years since the war between men and elves began. Now is the time to start a new chapter; the Governor believes a peace treaty should be arranged between the two races. However, the price for peace is heavy and not everyone was eager to make friends with those they have fought for three decades. The war was about to take an unexpected turn. Dravos was an orphan of the streets. The last memory he had of his family was someone he thinks of as his aunt letting go of his hand in the crowded streets of Helmscrest during the Harvest Festival. He lived his life freely on rooftops, instead of gaining an education at the Academy. Little did he know that his simple life in the city below was about to change. He found himself a part of not just the war but something more. Read Embers by Simmons to find out what happens.

Embers was innovative, with well-rounded, varying characters and a plot that had me devouring the book in a day. Travis Simmons deftly captured my interest from the very first chapter. Dravos was an intriguing character who was maybe a little too trustful of a pretty face, Sophie, but was clever and had a humble heart. I found the story to be evenly paced and the author has seamlessly combined the elements of fantasy, fiction, action, and adventure and an exciting and engrossing story. Following Dravos on his journey was exhilarating and heartrending. It was great to see him grow through his challenges and learn from his experiences but the sacrifices he made along the way made my heart ache for him. “We don’t get to choose our fates, we can only make the best of the ones we are given.” This quote stuck with me throughout the book. Travis Simmons’ Embers was powerful and the narration, plot, and characters were sensational. I have been caught in a web of intrigue and it has left me craving more.

Emma Megan

Embers by Travis Simmons is a spellbinding adventure about bravery and destiny. Dravos is an orphan from Helmscrest, the Golden City. He lives in a place called the Web, which is run by his friend Asher. The Web is a safe haven for those the city has forgotten: the homeless, insane, vagabonds, and the blinkers, who are the truly dangerous ones. Rylan Braccus, the Commander of the Southern Realm, is on a mission to arrange a meeting that may finally end a thirty-one-year conflict between the elves and men. Braccus soon learns that bringing peace to Zanir is the most dangerous task he has ever embraced. Meanwhile, Dravos learns that someone plans to destroy Helmscrest, his home, and that an evil Paladin wants to steal his unique gift.

Embers by Travis Simmon is a fantastic read that blends religion and politics with the supernatural and science. It is infused with political intrigue, conflict, magic, suspense, romance, mystery, and just the right amount of epic battles to keep you turning the pages. The thrills are many, combined with strong writing, excellent world-building, engaging characters, genuine dialogue, and exciting action. I enjoyed following Dravos and Asher and their solid partnership. Embers is an enthralling start to a new series. It has the perfect finale, leaving you wanting to read the next installment. I highly recommend it to those who enjoy a well-crafted fantasy adventure.

Maria Victoria Beltran

Embers by Travis Simmons takes readers to the Golden City of Helmcrest where Dravos, an orphan with a stolen purse in his hand, is chased by a guard. He knows the city so well that the guard soon loses him and he emerges on the city’s rooftops to watch the sunset. Dravos will soon find himself entangled in an age-old conflict; one that goes beyond the current conflict between elves and men. Meanwhile, the Grandmaster summons Commander Braccus, the Order Commander keeping the peace in the townships and the wilderness that runs north of the Divide. He is tasked with ensuring the temporary truce with the great elven houses of Olimer is consolidated. There have been thirty-one years of conflict between elves and men, and Braccus is given the dangerous mission to have a formal declaration of peace signed by the great elven houses.

Travis Simmons’ Embers is a riveting story of the conflict between men and elves. The author has created an imaginary world, compelling characters, and a plot that produces a surprise or mystery around each twist and turn. What I liked about the book is the character of Dravos, a street-wise orphan forced to fend for himself and caught in a conflict that threatens to destroy his home and a budding relationship with the beautiful Sophie. Dravos and Sophie are characters readers can relate to, interacting in an alternate world that contains many different elements, including a unique setting, magic, and other-worldly characters. Embers reminds readers that most of the time, peace comes with a price and that we have to work to achieve it.

Essien Asian

Thirty-one years of war with the elves have taken its toll on Zanir. The land is suffering, along with the people living through this confrontation. In a last-ditch effort, the governors of the land come together to devise a daring plan which could lead to a lasting peace. They intend to send one of the kingdom's most popular warriors, Commander Braccus, to the Great Elven Houses of Olimer to negotiate for permanent peace. Not everyone is happy with this plan, and the discontent spreads along both sides of the divide. With monsters roaming and rumors of strange apparitions tormenting the countryside, Braccus must find a way to bring these two warring kingdoms to an accord, for the sake of his family, in Travis Simmons's Embers.

In Embers, Travis Simmons delivers an interesting political intrigue set against the backdrop of a land wreathed in turmoil and superstition, creating an enthralling storyline. The characters in the story are well-defined, with detailed backstories related to their origins and motivations. Braccus portrays a man dealing with the weight of divided loyalties when Dravos' activities in the city create a riveting subplot. The mythical creatures in the story are a delight to read about through Simmons' excellent explanation of their makeup and history. The pace is steady, but momentum builds consistently through to the climax. Embers is nicely balanced, with its fair share of subversive plots and intrigue, and when you throw in the romantic subplot, it all comes together nicely; this is a masterpiece readers will enjoy.

Nicholus Schroeder

Embers by Travis Simmons is an epic fantasy novel. Elves and men fought decades ago in a great war that ravaged the land and separated their people. The masses may think the war is over, but tensions between the two races remain high. Those in power know the only thing that's changed is the battlefield as the war is now fought secretly in the shadows. The leaders of both sides long for peace. Ryland Braccus, Commander of the Paladins, journeys beyond the Divide and into elvish territory on a diplomatic mission. Those working in the shadows block the way and Braccus reluctantly has to spill more blood before Zanir can find peace. Meanwhile, Dravos, an orphan living amongst thieves in the sewers, is soon thrust into the grand game being woven by those seeking bloodshed. Their fate is uncertain, and both men risk it all in a bid to unite the once-allied peoples.

Embers by Travis Simmons delivered the fantasy vibes I hoped for. It had deep and imaginative mythology that was easy to wrap my head around as Travis introduced his lore in moderate doses. The fight scenes had all the grandeur that only fantasy can deliver and the skirmishes flowed across the pages. There was also some light romance that was handled with tact. I found the romance quite endearing as a result of the author’s sensitivity when setting the stage. Travis didn't resort to weird fetishes or anything erotic to sell me on their love and that to me always separates a true author from all the rest. He let his writing show me how they felt and after reading this book, I could tell he enjoyed creating a unique world populated with authentic characters. An epic fantasy tale that I recommend to readers looking for a great story with magic.