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Ashael Rising (Vessel of KalaDene, #1)

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Ashael is a hunter-gatherer woman, apprenticed to Bhearra, the healer and spiritual leader of their tribe.

The Zanthar are invaders from another world who extend their own lives by stealing the life-force of everything around them. They were last seen on KalaDene 200 years ago. They have returned, looking for The Vessel, a being prophesied to hold the life-force of the la
Published February 6th 2017 by Unbound
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Shona Kinsella The second book is provisionally titled Ashael Falling.

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Faith Rivens
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-of-2017
A very strong debut! Full review to come!
Sarina Langer
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ashael Rising is the strong debut high fantasy novel by Shona Kinsella. I received an unfinished ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

While Ashael Rising follows several view points, the main POVs are Ashael herself, and Iwan - a slave sent by the enemy to spy on her people. Ashael's people, a group of hunter-gatherers, are very trusting and offer Iwan a place in their cam when he asks for shelter, not realising the trouble he brings with him.

While I was a little frustrated with
M.A. Clarke
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ashael Rising is a warmhearted fantasy story, full of thoughtful world building and depth. It's characters live at one with nature, and there's a strong message of respecting the world throughout, which is told with gentle subtly. It's a worthy theme that feels refreshing in our days of fast-paced information, technology and over-the-top luxuries. KalaDene is a picturesque place I would want to visit - albeit without the nasty Zanthar present - and Shona Kinsella's descriptions pulled me easily ...more
Paige L. Christie
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a fun read. Part classic Fae fantasy and part light Science Fiction, this story hit all the notes of a high fantasy tale, but with a touch of modern sensibilities. The characters are well realized, and the world is rich, framing the story with a background of depth that adds subtle layers to every scene.

At the heart of the story is a nature based society faced with the sudden return of powerful, ancient enemies long thought to have been vanquished. A community which cares about equa
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, I wasn't looking forward to reading this book cause I was not in a "fantasy" mood. I am so glad I did though. It is simply amazing! For this book to be Shona Kinsella debut book, I can not wait to see what she comes out with next. I can not wait for book two to come out to see what Ashael & Iwan do & how they handle the Zanthar. The book kept me completely enthralled and I had such a hard time putting it down to go to sleep at night.

I highly recommend you read this book. I give it five st
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I freely chose to review this ARC, and I was intrigued from the first chapter! I liked that Ashael took her position as assistant to Bhearra to learn to heal her people from the old one. Centuries ago, her people had been enslaved to the Zanthar, and only with the help of Sirion had her people broke free. The Zanthar had killed slaves to extend their own lives and it was feared that they would return to their world again. I liked Iwan's dedication to do the right thing once he was sent to spy on ...more
Kathryn at Book Ink Reivews
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A copy of this review can be found at Book Ink Reviews.
A free ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review and a slot in the blog tour.

The world building is absolutely breathtaking and large in scope. Though it sometimes reads like a young adult novel, I would place it firmly in the new adult genre. There are a few PG fade to black scenes, and most of the characters come across as late teens, early twenties. There are the wise leaders, and a few background characters, but in order to truly
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received this book in exchange for an honest review,and let me say I loved it!Here's why:
There are several different P.O.V.s from characters like Ashael who is an apprentice healer to her tribe and has to learn to accept and deal with her developing new powers. (I also liked that for once the 'chosen one' is not a warrior princess or assassin,which made this a refreshing change.) From Iwan who is a slave forced to spy on Ashael and her people,The Folk in order to keep his mother safe. Even fro
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This confident and well-written debut novel sits firmly in the fantasy genre, whilst bringing something new and different at the same time. Ashael, the eponymous heroine, is a well-drawn and convincing character who puts me in mind of Jean M. Auel's Ayla, as did the the sure and deftly handled description of the People of the Cam. This is most definitely a compliment. Ms. Kinsella introduces the differing races - humanoid or not - and their milieus with compact exposition and yes, "shows" much m ...more
Jo Thomas
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Short review of Ashael Rising This is a strong debut fantasy novel and the start of a new series. Kinsella has a sparse writing style that will not satisfy anyone who's after a wordy Hardy or Tolkien-alike and allows the more foolish of us to make some assumptions about this new universe. However, the prose flowed well enough to get me over my initial, jaded assumptions and it is most definitely worth the time. This is not just a faux-medieval fantasy, but a stone-age people dealing with a much ...more
Anthony P Phoenix
A really good story

An original story told with skill at a good pace. All the characters are well introduced without spoiling the flow of the story
Chasing Dreams
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think I can officially say, I’m a fan of Shona Kinsella.

Ashael, as a character is wonderful. She’s strong, kind, powerful, but also not perfect. She doesn’t deliberately set out to save the day, but instead makes decisions which she takes responsibility for, even when they go wrong.

Bhearra is amazing. I absolutely love her wisdom and gentle courage, and the way she guides her people without forcing them.

The worldbuilding! Be still my beating heart. There were instances where the story slowed d
S. Thomas
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ashael is training to be a medicine woman for her tribe of people that live a Stone Age existence. Ewan is a slave to the evil Davan whose only goal is to rob Ashael’s world of its Goddess’s life essence in order to make a power play on his own world. Ewan’s mission is to spy on Ashael’s tribe, and his mother’s life is at stake if he runs or reveals his allegiance. His tough situation gets tougher when he falls for Ashael.

Kinsley did a great job of establishing checks and balances in the system
Cheryl M-M
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Zanthar are an ancient race and the enemies of the so-called Cams, which are small communities of people who live from and off the planet they inhabit. They are a peaceful people and believe in the strength and powers of their healers. One of those healers is Bhearra and she is training a young woman called Ashael. The young woman seems to have more than an affinity for healing. In fact recently she has started to do more than she should be capable of.

The Zanthar think she is part of a proph
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book reminded me of why I love fantasy. I don’t read fantasy all the time, and whenever I start a new one I do get a bit worried that I might be lost in the new fantasy world with all new names and worlds, etc. But that definitely wasn’t the case in Ashael Rising.

I really enjoyed reading about Ashael and her mentor Bhearra. Their conversations, everything; it just seemed so natural. And I had no clue how Iwan was going to get out of a difficult situation he was put in as well, which is grea
Katje van Loon
Not sure why it took me so long to start this book but once I did it was very difficult to put down. The only reason it took me as long as it did to read was because I had to force myself to limit my reading time so I could get things like studying and errands done during the end of semester.

The characters are captivating, the story is engaging, the world that Kinsella has built has depth and warmth. Probably one of my favourite things about the worldbuilding is that Kinsella didn't ignore reli
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed on behalf of 3 degrees of fiction. I really enjoyed this book, which I wasn't expecting. I was worried it would be like many fantasy books and would feel dragged out and overdescribed but it was not. It was well written and thought out. All the characters felt developed to a good level with enough story linking the main character Ashael to the secondary and background characters. The world it is set in sounds beautiful (most of it anyway) and the descriptions really helped picture what ...more
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Nice debut! Could not put it down!
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved book one. Shona, you are a wonderful writer. Made me feel as if I was on this adventure with you. Anxiously waiting for book two.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Ashael Rising is an interesting fantasy from Shona Kinsella, which follows a young woman with ever developing abilities. She is training as a filidh, a kind of healer and spiritual leader, under the guidance of Bhearra. When her home is threatened, she must push her new skills to their limit to save her friends.

From the prologue, I knew that this was going to a rich and innovative world. This, I think, is where Kinsella’s skills lie. As a fantasy writer, she certainly knows how to world-build in
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Joyce Barrie
rated it it was amazing
May 21, 2017
Marion McDonald
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denise cox
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Emma-louise Smith
May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book, really enjoyed the story. It is unique and different but extremely well done. I am highly anticipating the sequel.
Erica Hudson
rated it it was amazing
May 31, 2018
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