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A Star-Reckoner's Lot

(A Star-Reckoner's Legacy #1)

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  146 ratings  ·  61 reviews
Ashtadukht is a star-reckoner. The worst there's ever been.

She commands the might of the constellations... though her magic is as unpredictable as the die rolls that decide its fate. But star-reckoners are humanity's first defense against divs, so if Ashtadukht is to fulfill her duty, she must use every trick at her disposal—risks be damned.

An excuse. A lie she tells herse
Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published October 2nd 2016
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Average rating 3.33  · 
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Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book a lot. Magic coming from the stars is a deeply appealing concept to me, one of my biggest hero's growing up was Carl Sagan, and astronomy has always been a love of mine.

This is my first book set in Iran, ancient Iran at that. I didn't know anything about Iran before starting this book and I was so intrigued I decided to look up half a dozen or so books and documentaries on the subject.

The characters were definitely not Mary Sues, they were flawed but relatable. The dialogue
Ashtadukht is a star-reckoner. The worst there's ever been.

Who the hell is a star-reckoner you may ask? Well, they’re a bunch of mysterious ritualist-astronomers who dispatch divs – malevolent and depraved creatures. Think of them as of Persian monster hunters who’re able to command the might of constellations in a fight. Their power is rooted in astronomy and given by stars and planet. Drawing a lot isn’t always safe, it can go bad as planets aren’t always favorable to star-reckoner. When it ba
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full review is here, on my blog!~

This book grabbed my attention so hard that I read nearly half of it in one sitting. That can happen, but it’s not exactly common for me. It generally means that I’m going to quite like a book though!

This story takes place in Sasanian Iran, around the 6th century or so. That’s not a setting I generally encounter often so it felt really new and unique to me. It follows the story of Ashtadukht, who is a star-reckoner. They use the stars, the constellations and move
Apr 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Review originally published on my blog

So I received a copy of this from the author months ago and it’s taken me a while to get around to finally reading as I was saving it for the self-published square of Fantasy Bingo and was trying to not read too much on my Kindle.

Anyway, I finally decided to give it a read when I got Kindle Unlimited and realised I was about to start reading a lot more self-published novels. This book is inspired by 6th century Iran which I don’t know much about and so I am
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A hero that is bad at her job? Count me in.

The setting is ancient Iran? Again, count me in.

The magic comes from the stars and is unpredictable? Have I mentioned, count me in?

Ashtadukht is a great character, deeply flawed and well fleshed out. The magic system is fascinating, unpredictable and novel. The setting is fantastic and, from what I could tell, well researched. All in all, A Star-Reckoner's Lot did not disappoint.

Every time
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
A unique fantasy set in ancient Iran.

Star-Reckoning is a form of magic that draws its power from the contellations. Star-Reckoners use their magic to aid them against the fearsome and grotesque Div, which are demon-like creatures that wildly vary in appearance and power. The main character, Ashtadukht is a star-reckoner, but her reckoning can be exceptionally volatile. Ashta is aided on her quest against the Div by her cousin and protector Tirdad and a half-div that they meet along the way named
Amber Gregory
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Odd birds like me
Shelves: favorites
Amazon doesn't have a Tragic Fairy Tales of Central Asian Literature category because there can be only one. Original is a word to be used infrequently and with caution when describing any kind of art, but I feel it's well deserved when referring to A Star Reckoner's Lot.

It's best to read this book with no expectations, but if you love beautiful, lyrical language and extraordinary world building look no further.

I'm not sure what the author's intentions were, or if there were any intentions beyon
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book follows Ashtadukht, her guardian Tirdad, and their companion Waray, a half-div, on their adventures through ancient Iran. And it has puns, bad ones, and plenty of them. But, I like puns.

Ashtadukht is a Star-Reckoner, and a terrible one at that. The reason for this, and also for the mysterious illness that has plagued her all her life, was something totally unexpected.
Hiu Gregg
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-published
So this is a very spoilery review, copy-pasted from a discussion thread over on Reddit at /r/fantasy. Do NOT read this review if you want to avoid spoilers.

This was a very unique book, and so there's nothing I can really compare it to. I'm not at all familiar with the culture or history of Sasanian Iran, so I felt a little out of my depth at some passages, and I had to google quite a lot of the period-specific words (I really should have read this in e-book rather than paperback). It was fascina
The Nerd Book Review
I’ll write a more thorough review later but while I didn’t necessarily absolutely love this book I really liked it. There were a few small things that bugged me here and there but I was entertained and had fun reading it.
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ll be honest - I’ve never read a book set in Iran, much less ancient Iran. And I quite enjoyed the experience!

The book starts out quite light hearted but it gets really intense in the second half which I quite enjoyed. I loved Ashta as a character and her powers were really interesting to read about. Powers drawn from the stars is a really appealing concept and I’m looking forward to it being expanded in the future books.

One thing that stood out to me was how Ashta was supposed to be an awful
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Star Reckoner's Lot is one of the more original, inventive Fantasy novels I have read in some time. The magic system is of particular interest since while its inner workings are kept vague (and while that's not a criticism I think it would be nice to know the mechanics of it a little better), it's rooted in astronomy - power is given by the stars and planets, and it can be favorable or not - in fact, drawing a lot can go very badly indeed. This additional element of risk is deeply appealing to ...more
Jerry Newhouse
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: top-shelf
In A Star-Reckoner’s Lot, Darrell Drake combines several qualities any of which on their own would make for an engaging story, but together form an absolutely unique and unforgettable one. While the setting and structure of the book deserve praise, Drake’s greatest accomplishment is the development of the main characters. For better or worse they respond to the events of the story and change as time goes on. These are definitely not boilerplate heroes; they are deeply conflicted people with all ...more
Set in Iran roughly 1000 years ago, this novel was thoroughly an original fantasy while straddling the historical fiction line. Every so often Drake's story puts its toe over this line, especially with the world building. Every fort, castle, and town existed in the time period. Even the Kingdom's and their rulers were real to our world.

I also loved how Zoroastrian daeva (aka the Div) are heavily involved in the world. Waray was a very enjoyable character: she was novel, intriguing, and thorough
Darrell Drake
A Star-Reckoner's Lot was written as a standalone, and that has in no way changed. You could pick it up, read it, and put it down knowing Ashtadukht's tale is finished. However, I've decided to write a sequel thanks in no small part to its reception. So A Star-Reckoner's Lot is both standalone and now book one in A Star-Reckoner's Legacy. Book #2 will be An Ill-Fated Sky. ...more

Darrell suggested I read his book for TBRindr, and I'm darn glad that he did.

I like unusual in my fantasy, and this book delivers it in a ton of ways. First of all, the setting. The Sasanid empire is unusual as a choice. The only other books I've read that even touch on the setting are Eric Flint and David Drake's Belesarius books. And you can tell the author has done his homework. From the political geography through religion and customs, the world feels very real and lived in. The concepts
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was rather meh on this. Awesome setting, great premise, and good characters, but I really wasn't a fan of the direction the plot went. Also the language was annoyingly anachronistic; no one in ancient Persia should use the phrase "under the radar."
Kay Ling
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a copy provided by the author and am voluntarily reviewing the book. As the blurb states, this character-driven story is a tale of obsession and revenge. Despite the dark theme, the book had humor and light moments. The world and its mythology, based on ancient Iran, were unique and engaging. The magic system, which involves constellations and planet alignments, was unlike anything I’ve ever read. The main character, Ashtadukht, started off likable but changed over the course of the story ...more
Siddharth Gopalan
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Weird but interesting
Overall I'd give this 3.75 stars which I'm rounding up to 4 . This is a bit of a tough review for me because while there were a lot of pieces and ideas of this book that I really enjoyed I also feel like there were a lot of rough patches that detracted from my enjoyment as well. I feel like this is a diamond in the rough, true to its Persian/Iranian setting!

The ancient Iran setting was fantastic and I'd love to see this explored more. Much respect to the author for not just trekking through endl
Steve Boivie
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book drew me in. I will admit that it took me awhile to get into it, but as I kept reading, the uniqueness of the plot and characters kept me wanting to read more. The magic system is unique and is based on legends from ancient Iran. I also found the characters to be compelling. The plotting at times feels like just a string of disparate adventures and tasks, but everything comes together in the end. Overall, an enjoyable read and I would recommend it especially to those who are interested ...more
Marian Thorpe
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We are used to fantasies that involve either the magical, fey beings of Northern Europe, or those of Victorian horror novels. Darrell Drake's historical fantasy A Star-Reckoner's Lot introduces us to the mythology of Sassanian Iran, its beings of good and evil, and the complex idea of star-reckoning, a type of sorcery that channels the warring powers of the heavens to the benefit – or detriment – of humankind.

Revolving around three main characters: Ashtadukht, the Star-Reckoner; Tirdad, her cous
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: This book has been kindly provided by Darrell Drake for free, in exchange for a review. No one said anything about being honest but I wasn't told to lie either, so it evens out somewhere along the line, I reckon.

A Star-Reckoner's Lot has been an interesting ride, one that left me some strong impressions. Some of those are bad but I'm happy to say, the good ones outweigh them by a...Lot! (Hah, I'm a comedian!) I'll start with what bothered me and make my way down to all the good bits
A Star-Reckoner’s Lot is probably the first historical fantasy book I’ve read, so it was a bit of a different experience for me. Not a massive difference from normal fantasy, except you can look up historical figures mentioned in the book and actually see who they are, and what they did, which I found to be pretty cool.

Darrell does a good job at giving just as much information as needed for the story without going into the full historical background as well, however if you are like me, and want
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, historical
I received a free copy of this book from the author in return for a review.

Trained to be a star-reckoner from childhood Ashtadukht isn't very good at it. Tasked with finding and destroying evil divs using her powers, while dealing with a debilitating illness and the grief of losing her husband, how long can Ashtadukht hold it together and what will happen if it consumes her?

A Star-Recokner's Lot is a very different novel, unlike any I've read before. Advertised as a historical fantasy the events
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every once in a long while, comes a book.
This is such a book.

I had the great honor of beta-reading the quest of these three heroic adventurers through history. And boy, it was a ride, let me tell you.

To start with the initial main draw of the story, the research done by Darrell Drake into the setting is noticeable and more than a little awe-inspiring as the world takes as real and important a position in the book as any of the characters living in it. Ancient Iran also served as a welcome reprie
K.T. Munson
These characters are very unique. Ashtaduskht is both mentally and physically flawed. She is mindless in her pursues and yet has a kindness to her. I never really liked her for some reason. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first but she is just so bitter and aloof. Even in the second half of the book, I couldn’t bring myself to care or like her. Mostly she irritated me.
Tirdad, her cousin and protector, is a relief from her bitterness because he is a very noble soul. Despite his love
Shane Jardine
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted at

I really don’t know much about modern day Iran and I know absolutely nothing about Iranian myths and legends, or it’s ancient history, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I started to read this book. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it quite as much as I did. A Star-Reckoner’s Lot by Darrell Drake was a fun and interesting read from start to finish. Since I didn’t have any real expectations for the book and knew next to nothing about the author I assu
Susan Hampson
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: author-reads
How I love this genre, that of fantasy, where an author can take you where ever he likes and create the impossible. It is normally highly descriptive and very visual to a reader because they have nothing to compare it to. Well Darrell Drake does it all a little different, he filters out little bits of information so it is a little like a jigsaw where you store the pieces and fit it all together when you have all the relevant information. It works superbly as the fascination of just wanting to kn ...more
Jennifer (bunnyreads)
The first two-thirds or so, I was set to give this book four stars.

I loved- the characters and the unlikely friendship that grows between them. The setting- was unusual and the magic is something I’ve rarely seen- though neither were overly descriptive, I still appreciated the ideas behind them. The language and style of the writing just added to the atmosphere.

The combination of all of those things, while the story was not perfect- the style at times, tends to jump into the next scene and i
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Darrell Drake has spent years researching Sasanian Iran, and while he’s no scholar, his zeal for the late antique empire is plain. Besides his novels, Darrell works with members of the community to bring mods to Sid Meier’s Civilization VI. He spends his free time gaming, reading, modding, birdwatching, shitposting, running the r/Fantasy Discord, and most of all, with his cat, Grillgamesh.

Other books in the series

A Star-Reckoner's Legacy (3 books)
  • An Ill-Fated Sky (A Star-Reckoner's Legacy, #2)
  • The Thousand-Notched Axe (A Star-Reckoner's Legacy, #3)

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