Book One of the Auragole Quartet
Shirley Latessa has created a terrific fantasy saga that is unlike any other I’ve ever read. We enter a world that has been shattered by 500 years of warfare, where most people live lives of fear in semi-tribal conditions, and only a very few have been sheltered enough to remember what it is to be fully human. Into this torn world comes a youth upon whose actions the destiny of humanity will turn.
Auragole has been raised in isolation, away from the soldiers and roaming gangs, away from regional superstitions and laws; but, also away from any knowledge of, much less belief in, the spiritual world and the gods. When he emerges from his remote valley and encounters the world of people outside it, he arrives as a free human being. It is what he makes of his freedom, how he chooses to shape himself, that will determine whether he will aid the cause of humanity, or become its doom.
Auragole of the Mountains follows Auragole as he leaves the valley of his birth for the first time and encounters both friends and enemies in the wider world. He and his friends come at last to the Valley of Agavia, where a small group of people have preserved the knowledge of the gods and where it is known that the Last Battle, the battle against the Nethergod will be fought, and fought soon. The the future of all humanity will be determined by the victor. As Auragole leaves Agavia, it is still very uncertain which course he will choose and what role he will play in the Last Battle.
The author tells me she created The Auragole Quartet with teenagers in mind. I agree that teens are likely to love these stories. I would like to add that I believe adults will, too — I was barely able to put my copy down once I started reading. This is the first fantasy fiction I’ve read that has some real substance to it, that seriously considers some of the most pressing questions we humans face. Very, very highly recommended.