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Empire of Salt Books In Order

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Publication Order of Empire of Salt Books

Darien (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shiang (2018)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Sword Saint (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Empire of Salt series by Conn Iggulden
Author C. F. Iggulden writes the “Empire of Salt” trilogy of fantasy novels. The series began publication in the year 2017, when “Darien” was released. Conn published these novels under a pen name in order to avoid any confusion with his historical fiction books.

The series is set in Darien and Shiang, two cities in a crumbling empire. The first novel’s events take place in and around Darien, while book two focuses more on the city of Shiang. The final novel brings the characters from these two cities and concludes their stories.

“Darien” is the first novel in the “Empire of Salt” series and was released in the year 2017. One throne, and twelve families who each race for a throne that is soon going to be made vacant, either by civil war or murder. Welcome to the Empire of Salt. Darien stands right at the tired end of a golden age. Twelve families keep the peace with artefacts and soldiers, memories and spies, and cling to a peace the crumbles and shifts. The people in the city endure what they can’t change.

Amongst old feuds, it is here that a plot is hatched to murder a king, which is going to summon strangers to the city. Like Arthur (a boy that is unable to speak), Daw Threefold (a gambler and cynical chancer), Elias Post (a hunter), Tellius (an old swordsman banished from his home). There’s also Vic Deeds (who doesn’t feel guilt) and Nancy (who may just be the undoing of everybody).

Their arrival inside of the walls while the sun sets is going to set off a series of explosive events. Before the sun rises again, five destinies are going to have been made, and lost, in the city of Darien. Even though the sun goes down, the city is going to know no slumber. For long slumbering passions have awoken. Fortunes are going to be lost and won, and lives are going to be claimed and staked. And one story long waiting to be told are going to catch fire in their telling.

Conn does a great job of establishing a wonderful world with its own mythos and history, and gives you glimpses of the past, exploring and expanding upon it at a steady pace. His magic system is well thought out and balanced, and it plays a significant role in the story. The many important subplots play a crucial role in the main story and each one of them are masterfully intertwined. For some, the second part is where everything comes together, and the characters start connecting with each other affecting one another. It is an old school Fantasy novel, which is strong on character and in which readers are able to immerse themselves in.

“Shiang” is the second novel in the “Empire of Salt” series and was released in the year 2018. If these stones were able to speak, they would yell for war.

In Shiang, Yung-Choji (the young king) rules without any dissent. Mazer swordsmen stand watch on each and every corner, looking to find the first sign of rebellion. This city is a place of slow and quiet dignity, like a guy eating rice with a razor pressed against his throat. But with just a sharp movement, order gets overturned. The delicate balance of centuries is undone with the sudden spill of blood, and in the darkness, there is something horrible that comes back to Shiang.

Much farther west, four Shiang masters approach the walls of Darien. The sword saint and his companions have crossed an entire continent to bring one old man home to face punishment. They are not going to be denied, even if it means the entire city stands in their way. Two ancient cities and a final war.

Conn delivers an outstanding follow up, and another that is fast paced and a high action fantasy read from beginning to end. His fight scenes are well done, the characters are a ton of fun and made this novel entertaining, and the final battle was incredibly written and exciting. There are a ton of battle sequences in the novel and Conn clearly is not afraid of adding touches of humor into the darker moments of the story.

“The Sword Saint” is the third novel in the “Empire of Salt” series and was released in the year 2019. Empires have fallen, cities have been broken, and there is darkness coming. Success has only drawn a cold gaze. One false king looks for dominion. His soldiers are going to bring despair and desolation to Darien. With treachery on every side, the ancient capital looks ready to fall.

The news from the north is rather grim. There is an army massing under the new king of Feal. They are heading toward Darien, the city of the Twelve families, and he demands either allegiance, or war. Tellius, who is the Speaker to the Council, knows that the divided city is never going to stand up against such a horrible enemy. But he does have a plan.

He is going to assemble a group of heroes. They are a dead man, a gambler, a hunter, a wielder of threads. And there is the sword saint of Shiang. Women and men that once aided Darien during her time of need. They will surely come if he calls. Darien herself gets threatened, Tellius is going to ask them to stand.

One city is worth a lot more than the lives of the people within. Darien’s courts and streets and taverns and homes are just a bonfire on the hill. A beacon of light and life in the entire world. This is why they will die in order to save her.

This is a fantastic conclusion to a tremendous trilogy of fantasy novels. All of Conn’s characters come wonderfully to life in this exciting fantasy adventure, and his storytelling is of a magnificent quality. This entire trilogy has fantastic characters and wonderful world building, and some readers hope there are more books set in this world, as there a lot of characters here that could have books of their own.

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