SPFBO 8 Finalist Friday: Review of A Touch of Light (The Ashes of Avarin #1) by Thiago Abdalla

Posted On 21 April 2023

Filed under Book Reviews

Comments Dropped 4 responses


What is SPFBO 8 Check out Mark Lawrence’s post here to look at this year’s entrants, judges and allocations list.

This year I am teaming up again with the ladies from The Critiquing Chemist.  We recently announced our finalist. To check out all the Finalists simply follow this link.

Our finalist this year was Miss Percy’s Pocket Guide to the Care and Feeding of British Dragons by Quenby Olson – if you haven’t read it – I highly recommend it – seriously, grab yourself a copy and tuck in. It’s positively delightful.

Today is our eighth finalist review for #SPFBO 8.  Reviews for Scales and Sensibility, The Thirteenth Hour, Tethered Spirits,  Mysterious Ways, A Song for the Void, The Umbral Storm and Fire of the Forebears can be found here here, here, herehere, here and here.  Myself and the Critiquing Chemist will be posting a finalist review every Friday for the remainder of the competition – only one more to go after today.

So, to my eighth review is for an epic fantasy including a fierce warriors, a prince plagued with politics and backstabbing and a hunter hiding a curse.  Oh, and trouble is coming.


AToL is a story that pretty much hits the ground running.  We have three POVs and are thrown immediately into their current situations.  Let’s say that all three of them are having problems.

Prince Adrian is grieving his brother.  He doesn’t get along with his father and he wants answers.  Nasha is a hunter living in the clan lands where life is harsh not to mention cheap.  Lynn is a warrior gone rogue who is drawn back to her former life when she notices some troubling signs.  All three of these characters are going to become embroiled in a much bigger plot with the spread of a madness that seems to be sweeping across the nation.

So, I do find writing a review for this book quite difficult.  On the face of it there are so many elements here that work well for me and I have to say that I enjoyed the writing and the fact that the author clearly loves this world and the characters he’s created, but, at the same time this did create some issues for me.

The writing is solid but, I found it a little over descriptive, to be fair, this isn’t an overly long book but there are too many loose descriptions that bloat the story and slow down the plot.  I do understand how difficult it is though when you love the world you’re building so much and this is probably a personal thing that many other readers will be okay with but it just frustrated me a little.

In terms of the characters, I liked them but I didn’t love them.  I would say that the last third of the book saw more development but in some respects by that point I didn’t have that gut clenching fear that you feel when one of your favourites is under threat.

I think the plot was well thought out and intriguing.  I enjoyed the three differing point of views and being able to observe the differences between them.  I think my favourite character was the warrior (absolutely a coincidence that this character is called Lynn by the way!) – this was probably helped along by events that took place later in the book where her role actually started to really stand out.

Overall, I liked this but it took me quite some time to really become invested in the story and characters.  I confess myself perplexed, I expected to really like this, perhaps my expectations were too high on this occasion but I think this could work well for other readers and I certainly wouldn’t discourage others from picking this up.

Our rating 6 of 10 stars

Don’t forget to check out the Critiquing Chemist’s review which can be found here.


4 Responses to “SPFBO 8 Finalist Friday: Review of A Touch of Light (The Ashes of Avarin #1) by Thiago Abdalla”

  1. Tammy

    This sounds like it had potential but needed some work. I have to say I do like the cover, though.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, clearly an author who loves this world. I think it needs a little tweaking but overall the writing is sound. And, yes, that cover is lovely.
      Lynn 😀

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Intriguing review! Probably this novel needs some further editing to become the promising story that comes out of your comments.
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, it’s impressive really but just needs a bit of tweaking.
      Lynn 😀

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