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A.J. Smith Books In Order

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Publication Order of Form and Void Books

The Glass Breaks (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sword Falls (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sea Rises (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of The Long War Books

The Black Guard (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dark Blood (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Red Prince (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The World Raven (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

AJ Smith is an English author of fantasy, horror, and science fiction books. He has been writing tales set in the world of The Long War right from his campus days. Writing stories, crafting characters, and defining worlds became an excellent method of distracting himself from his degree in psychology, sociology, and philosophy, and has been equally distracted ever since. Surprisingly, the maps came first, and later, the world and characters began taking shape in the writing. Since graduating from University, he has worked with troubled children and authored several articles related to youth work and counseling. Writing fantasy books has been therapeutic for him, which makes it possible for him to decide what happens next rather than waiting for the real world to decide.

The first book in The Long War series, The Black Guard, kicks off as the city of Ro Canarn burns and the Red Army marche to the northern lords. The Black Guard opens with the murder of a drunken man named Sir Leon Great Claw because of a petty offense committed by his servant. Young Randall of Darkwald, distracted by his thoughts, unintentionally spills urine on a Purple Order priest. The old knight is calm and says as much when the priest comes knocking for an apology. He has a deep-seated hatred for purples. Brother Torian is forced to challenge the inebriate to a fight, which he wins. Soon after receiving Great Claw’s longsword, Randall is unexpectedly hired by his late master’s killer.

The stage establishes a fairly somewhat coming-of-age story but despite Randall’s presence in the second chapter, which is told from the viewpoint of Brother Utha, a Black church chaplain who travels with Torian on his mission to apprehend a Duke who has been deposed but still has a son, another 200 pages go by before Randall reappears. And we can only rely on his crew again over the length of The Black Guard’s two parts. Thus, starting with him and the trivial plot line he represents is an odd choice and problematically elevates Randall above the other figures in The Black Guard. However, we don’t spend much time exploring any of the numerous recognizable fantasy characters that make up Smith’s debut novel.

AJ Smith did a fantastic job in creating a world that feels like a character itself in the story. The Red Army’s occupation of the capital of Ro Canarn, which was ordered by a king subject to one of the Seven Sisters, is key to the plot of this book. Despite being banished and designated as Black Guards, Bromvy and Bronwyn have managed to escape. At the same time, the Seven Sisters have abandoned their devotion to the fire god Jaa for the sake of a more potent deity. The High Thain of Fjorlan’s brother from a northern nation was also taken during the city’s siege, which prompted the Norsemen to unleash their Dragon Fleet on the Red Army under the watchful eye of their mighty being Rowanoco.

As you can tell by this attempt at a tale outline, there are many distinct entities, gods, and individuals to keep track of, and figuring out their whereabouts and what they’re doing can be tough at times. The one-eyed axe maiden Halla is one of the favorites. Various characters are used, and some can stand out as potentially becoming more interesting as the story progresses. The Glass Breaks is the first book in the Form and Void series by A.J. Smith. It’s a fascinating tale of political upheavals and warfare between magic-wielding pirates, sea wolves, and Pure One who have no magic. The tale is narrated from the point of view of Adeline Brand and Duncan Greenfire.

Duncan Greenfire, who is bound on the stones and left to the tide, must either succeed in becoming a sea wolf or die in the process. All that lies between the 17-year-old and dying is the world of Void and his knack for crossing the Glass into it. However, as strong as Duncan is, it’s a raw strength he doesn’t always have control over. He has very little strength left after two days of doing nothing more than attempting to survive. However, if Duncan survives till dawn, his induction is complete. He will always be a Sea Wolf.
One hundred sixty-seven years have passed since the Sea Wolves and their relatives crossed the ocean to capture the Pure Lands. Their strength was unmatched, and the inhabitants were overcome by their power as they could move between the dimensions of Form and Void. Since then, their rule has been indisputable. The Eastron, however, are now divided: the People of Ice safeguarded themselves on the north isles; the Kneeling Wolves mope in the shadows of Big Brother; the Dark Brethren sit in neat rows upon the Father; the Winterlords bow to the Always King on Setting Sun; and the Sea Wolves who slumber on the Island of Nibonay.

Duncan learns as he enlists in their ranks, however, that the Sea Wolves might not be everything he had imagined of them, a view that is agreed upon by Duelist Adeline Brand. Adeline and Arthur are two of their clan’s most well-known and ruthless Duelists, wallowing in equal parts blood and wine. She has similar reservations regarding the Sea Wolves. These reach a boiling point when Duncan and Adeline are sent on separate clandestine missions: Duncan to the Island of Nowhere, home of the People of Ice, and Adeline to the Bay of Bliss, located on the opposite side of the Island of Nibonay.

Duncan, though, discovers a plot that might save everyone, while Adeline unearths a menace that will undoubtedly mean the end for her and the rest of Easton. Since this threat has been known to some nations for generations, they have attempted to thwart it. However, the issue still stands: will they succeed, or will the Sea Wolves and their family members be eliminated instead? Once again, A.J. Smith has excelled in creating a story that’s pretty good with plenty of twists and turns. The characters are interesting, from the mains to the supporting cast, as each has their own motives and backstory.

Book Series In Order » Authors » A.J. Smith

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