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We Ride the Storm

(The Reborn Empire #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  320 ratings  ·  106 reviews
War built the Kisian Empire and war will tear it down. And as an empire falls, three warriors rise.

Caught in a foreign war, Captain Rah e’Torin and his exiled warriors will have to fight or die. Their honour code is all they have left until orders from within stress them to breaking point, and the very bonds that hold them together will be ripped apart.

Cassandra wants the
Paperback, 444 pages
Published June 7th 2018 by Cloudburst Books
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Grimdark and Asian-inspired fantasy fans
A new gale of hope for self-published fantasy blows with all its might as Devin Madson summons a new triumphant tornado in We Ride the Storm.

Open up your thesaurus and look up the word “underrated.” Devin Madson’s name truly belongs there. I bloody loved this book, even more than all of Madson’s previous works which were great themselves. You can check my review history and you’ll see that for self-published/indie books that I've read and reviewed so far, I’ve given a full 5 stars rating
Mark Lawrence
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book came joint 2nd out of 300 entries to the 4th Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off contest from a field of 300 entries!

It's a pretty long book so it has taken me a while to read, but I really enjoyed it! I think for me the defining feature that raises it above almost all the SPFBO entries I've read and above most books in general is the quality of the prose. For those that care about such things - and many readers do not - it's a really well written
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
EDIT: This is a finalist for SPFBO4 and this is now the official review from The Weatherwax Report for the scoreboard!

The first line in the book is describing the difficulties of severing a head with a knife and how it’s more difficult than many people think. It sets up the readers to anticipate a darker book with a lot of violence – which is absolutely what you should expect from the rest of it. If you’re not a fan of grimdark, this book will likely not be to your taste.

So, it’s one of the
Kitvaria Sarene
Just finished this one and really loved it!

I enjoyed all the POVs, and how different they were. 3 different cultures, two at war and the third mingled up in the middle. Male and female main characters along with emperors, priests and assassins. All this variety has kept me hooked all the way through and kept it interesting!

The strongest suit for this book definitely were the characters and cultures. I loved spending time with them, and learning more and more over the course of the story! I was
Anna Stephens
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Epic fantasy of the highest quality

Intricate, compelling and vividly imagined, this is the first in a new trilogy that I am hugely excited about. Visceral battles, complex politics and fascinating worldbuilding bring Devin's words to life. The ending is both satisfying and leaves the reader craving more - mysteries are revealed around our three protagonists, but further mysteries are introduced that will carry the narrative wth excitement and aplomb into the next book.

Devin makes the bold
Hiu Gregg
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Every so often you come across a book that you just want to rave about. The kind of book that causes you to forget all the unwritten rules of social propriety and “personal space” as you violently attempt to shove it into your friends’ eyeballs. The kind of book that will have you out on the streets, throwing paperbacks at passersby like a shit darts player on acid.

For me, this was that kind of book.

We Ride the Storm is a story about three people from three different walks of life trying to
Through war empires rise and fall. War is ready to tear down the Kisian Empire. Some like Princess Miko, a daughter of a traitor, will fight to preserve the empire. Some like exiled Rah e'Torin will fight because he has no choice. One woman, Cassandra, fights to make the voice in her mind go away. Blood will be spilled as a storm wipes away an empire.

We Ride the Storm reads like a low magic version of A Song of Ice and Fire. There are bastards, traitors, secrets, horse lords, and so many lies.
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So after my foray in YA and sci-fi books I decided to come back to my typical reads and landed on this book....... holy was like going completely to the other side of the spectrum. I mean it starts off with a guy getting beheaded(not a spoiler). It was like the author wanted to REALLY reassure you that this was indeed a grim dark book in case you didn't get the memo. Even though it starts off pretty gruesome it never really goes full DEEP DARK DEPRESSION and even people who aren't ...more
Jon Adams
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yet another series I must follow. I can't wait for book two! I really want to learn more about this world.
Iryna *Book and Sword*
“Be careful what you say, Rah,” he said. “Be careful what you do. Open your eyes. Watch before you speak. Speak before you act. Trust those who have earned your trust. That is our way.”

I don't know if my expectations were too high, or what, but I didn't enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed every single other of Madson's books. The novel is brilliantly written, so this really just came down to my personal taste. Something just didn't click in We Ride the Storm for me. And with this review I will
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: spfbo-2018
* This is a finalist in the 2018 #SPFBO so I read it as a judge *

I had heard a lot of hype surrounding this book when I went into it, so naturally I had some high expectations. I think this book has even been suggested as the book which could win the competition this year, and I was very excited to get to it because it's a big old epic with Asian influence, and I thought it would be exactly my kind of read. Maybe I expected a little too much from it, because whilst it was a likeable read and one
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Many congratulations to the author for becoming a SPFBO (Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off organised by Mark_Lawrence) finalist.

This book is a wild ride filled with non-stop action, fantastic characters and imaginative world-building.

It took me a few chapters to get into it, simply because there's three protagonists and all three of them are written in the first person. At first, I wasn't sure who I was reading about, but once that became clear I could sit back and enjoy the ride.

The characters
The Nerd Book Review
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Im calling this a 4+.
Link to the author interview

The Nerd Book Review

As I have written far too often lately I will leave a much more in depth review at some point in the not too distant future. I also plan to interview the author in the next week or two.
Quick thoughts. Well written and an exciting story that I really enjoyed. My only real problem with the story and the reason it is a 4* not a 5* for me is the way the POV chapters were structured. I really enjoyed 2 of the 3 peeps and liked the
Peter McLean
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Splendid read with amazing world-building. Full review to follow.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spfbo4
Full review is here, on my blog!

This story follows three primary characters, with each telling their story in the first person.

We start out with Rah e’Torin, who is the commander of a group of nomadic horse riding warriors from a people known as the Levanti. Due to something that Rah did, his group has been exiled from their homeland, and must leave for a year before they can be welcomed back into the herd of his people. As they travel into the land of Chiltae, they get captured by… well
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've never tried to saw off the head. To my surprise, it's a complicated and bloody process*. If you've ever wondered how it's done, it's described in gory detail in the first chapter of We Ride The Storm. From here, things get even more gruesome. It's probably the most violent novel I've read this year.

It's also a surprisingly layered book, but before you fully appreciate it, you'll have to look past spilt blood, sticky viscera or brains oozing through the cracked skulls.

Sounds fun?

Then buckle
Adrian Collins
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on Grimdark Magazine.

When We Ride the Storm by Devin Madison opened with the line, “It’s harder to sever a head than people think. Perhaps if one were skilled with an axe it could be done in a single blow—so long as the body was not trying to run away at the time” I knew I’d found something truly special.

We Ride the Storm is a book that fans of dark fantasy will love and contains a lot of the themes expected with the genre. he story unravels like a tangle of gore slick
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Note: This is a personal review, and does not reflect the final rating that this blog may give for the SPFBO contest. will notify readers of their official SPFBO-submitted scores when appropriate.

I was unaware of Devin Madson’s previous work until early reviews of We Ride the Storm started popping up on some trustworthy blogs from reviewers that I respect. There was a lot of hype built around this book’s release that piqued my interest, and I’m happy to report that the
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Alright, so my friends all know I'm not a big fan of the subgenres "epic fantasy" or "grimdark". So.. I wasn't really planning on checking this book out. But the author's really nice, it was on sale for 1 EUR, and like half my book friends were reading it so, you know, why not.

Aaaand I loved it. 4.5 stars!!

Which just goes to show how silly labels can be I guess?

Like, when a book is described as "epic", I'm always nervous we'll get chapters upon chapters of unnecessary info for the sake of
Rosalyn Kelly
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well. This is by far my favourite read of 2018. It was B R I L L I A N T. It knocked the socks off everything I’ve read this year, and that’s saying something as I’ve read a lot of great books in the past 12 months. So, why was We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson that good? Let me explain…

This grimdark fantasy novel throws the reader right in at the deep end with this gloriously gruesome first line: “It’s harder to sever a head than people think.” And as the chapter progresses the rich world,
Jennifer (bunnyreads)

I can describe this book the hard way and tell you it’s about people, and war and basically, it’s survival during a shift in power. It’s complicated choices and characters weaving through other people’s lives, sometimes intersecting them, sometimes not, spurring an outcome that may not be the one they’d expect. So, the trick for some is to out-think, out-maneuver and/or just survive and hope you’re the one that’s a step ahead in the end, and not the other guy.

Oh, and of course, there is magic.
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When We Ride the Storm by Devin Madison opened with the lines “It’s harder to sever a head than people think. Perhaps if one were skilled with an axe it could be done in a single blow – so long as the body was not trying to run away at the time – but out in the grasslands decapitation has to be done with a knife.” I knew I was dealing with some truly grim, dark stuff. Grimdark you might say, see what I did there? Moving on, this is most definitely a book for fans of darker fantasy.

So as a
I've read this book before SPFBO. My rating is not FBR's final rating, that will be announced later as the final phase progresses.

The full review with a choosen song can be found on my blog!

I've received an ARC from the author in exchange of an honest review. I'm sorry it took me so long to read this one. I was an idiot not to read it back in May. Well, there was a lesson to be learned.

We Ride the Storm is set after the events in The Vengeance Trilogy. It's not necessary to read those books
We Ride the Storm is dark fantasy done right. There’s a lot going on, and it never stops. It’s also beautiful, and deep, with characters that jump off the page. This book really surprised me. I expected to like it. I didn’t expect to love it.
Petros Triantafyllou
I read this one for the SPFBO, so I can't review or rate it yet.
wanderer (Para)
I received an ARC of this book on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

There has been quite a lot of hype surrounding this book in the blogger circles I run in. I simply had to try it. And yes, it lives up.

“But what is choice?” he said, checking over every blister and sore. “What is power? In truth you have none. None of us do. We are but leaves buffeted upon life’s stream, our every decision already made before it comes to us.”

We follow three characters - Rah, a disgraced but honourable
Adam Wheeler
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow, quite a strong ending to a book that truly felt like riding a storm!

Madson has crafted a great story here told pretty uniquely through a first person perspective from three separate POV characters. It really works quite well, I just wish I'd have noticed the unique chapter heading graphics for each character a little earlier as I early on I re-read a few paragraphs in several chapters after I figured out whose POV I was reading.

Rah was my favorite. As Captain of a unit of nomadic horse
Lynn K : Grimmedian
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Epic dark fantasy, Asian setting, Grimdark
My first foray into the work of Devin Madson was quite rewarding. Character driven information, succinct world building, and well done pacing. Intrigue and action are balanced throughout with the well written characters bringing it to life vividly.
This story will have great appeal to those who enjoy multiple POV fantasy. It’s dark and bloody, with the empire under attack from its neighbor, the Chiltaens. The Chiltaens have bolstered their army by enslaving the Levanti, a nomad people whose
A.M. Justice
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spfbo
This checked all the boxes for me, including a brief hint at a science fiction aspect to the story near the end. In brief, the pacing, plotting, and characterizations were stellar, and the writing was knock-out gorgeous. If I had 10 stars to play with, I might give it a 9.5 because the pacing slowed down just a tad in the middle (I think because Cassandra--the coolest character--disappears in the middle of the story and doesn't turn up again until the end).

Cannot recommend this book enough.
Al Burke
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
OMG. One of the must reads of 2018. Review here -
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/r/Fantasy Discus...: July 2018: We Ride the Storm 1 10 Sep 08, 2018 11:42PM  

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Devin Madson is an Aurealis Award-winning fantasy author from Australia. After some sucky teenage years, she gave up reality and is now a dual-wielding rogue who works through every tiny side-quest and always ends up too over-powered for the final boss. Anything but zen, Devin subsists on tea and chocolate and so much fried zucchini she ought to have turned into one by now. Her fantasy novels come ...more

Other books in the series

The Reborn Empire (2 books)
  • We Lie With Death (The Reborn Empire #2)
“Do not make assumptions about things you know nothing about. An emperor serves his people. The day the people serve the emperor is the day the empire falls. Remember that, Miko, if nothing else. War profits no peasant.” 4 likes
“Be careful what you say, Rah,” he said. “Be careful what you do. Open your eyes. Watch before you speak. Speak before you act. Trust those who have earned your trust. That is our way.” 1 likes
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