From Unseen Fire is the first novel in the Aven Cycle, a historical fantasy set in an alternate Rome, by debut author Cass Morris
The Dictator is dead; long live the Republic.
But whose Republic will it be? Senators, generals, and elemental mages vie for the power to shape the future of the city of Aven. Latona of the Vitelliae, a mage of Spirit and Fire, has suppressed her phenomenal talents for fear they would draw unwanted attention from unscrupulous men. Now that the Dictator who threatened her family is gone, she may have an opportunity to seize a greater destiny as a protector of the people—if only she can find the courage to try.
Her siblings—a widow who conceals a canny political mind in the guise of a frivolous socialite, a young prophetess learning to navigate a treacherous world, and a military tribune leading a dangerous expedition in the province of Iberia—will be her allies as she builds a place for herself in this new world, against the objections of their father, her husband, and the strictures of Aventan society.
Latona’s path intersects with that of Sempronius Tarren, an ambitious senator harboring a dangerous secret. Sacred law dictates that no mage may hold high office, but Sempronius, a Shadow mage who has kept his abilities a life-long secret, intends to do just that. As rebellion brews in the provinces, Sempronius must outwit the ruthless leader of the opposing Senate faction to claim the political and military power he needs to secure a glorious future for Aven and his own place in history.
As politics draw them together and romance blossoms between them, Latona and Sempronius will use wit, charm, and magic to shape Aven’s fate. But when their foes resort to brutal violence and foul sorcery, will their efforts be enough to save the Republic they love?
About the Author
Cass Morris lives and works in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with the companionship of two royal felines, Princess and Ptolemy. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a minor in history, from the College of William and Mary in 2007. She reads voraciously, wears corsets voluntarily, and will beat you at MarioKart. She can be found on Twitter at @CassRMorris.
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Excerpted from "From Unseen Fire"
Copyright © 2018 Cass Morris.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book reminded me so much of my favorite all-time book (The Light Bearer by Donna Gillespie), that I fell in love immediately
2.5 Stars This was an example for me of not judging a book by it’s cover. The beautiful cover art and description made me think this book would be something I would love. I liked the basic ideas of the story, but it fell flat for me. Latona and the other characters are okay, but just okay. I didn’t care about them or what happened to them. The magic was interesting, but I didn’t get caught up in it. The world building was decent but not so great that I got lost in another land. In fact I wish the names had simply remained the same as the places they were based on, the changes were distracting not enthralling. The book wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t very good. I would be open to reading something else from this author because I do see potential, but I doubt I would continue with this series.
From Unseen Fire by Cass Morris is the 1st book in her Aven Cycle fantasy series. This is an epic fantasy that takes place in Aven, with an Ancient Rome background, where they worship the Roman Deity. The story is filled with magic, intrigue, history and romance. From Unseen Fire was a very good story, but I did have some mixed feelings, which I will note later in my review. Latona, our heroine, is the middle sister of the Vitelliae family that is highly respected in Aven. With the Dictator now dead, Latona finds herself free to learn more about her hidden ability as a mage of spirit and fire. Latona is in a loveless marriage forced by her father, but she is loyal very close to her sisters. I really loved Latona, and her two sisters, Aula and Alhena, and how strong all three women truly were. Sempronius Tarren, our hero, is a senator who has kept himself in the background because of the evil dictator. He is a very powerful shadow mage, who also has hidden abilities that he keeps secret that allows him to also see prophecy. Tarren is determined to run for political office to become their leader, and bring Aven to a better world for all citizens. Tarren begins to notice how powerful Latona is, and how she tries to hide it. She is able to secretly calm people with her spirit ability and fight or stop fire with that ability. Tarren will be the one who will give Latona confidence in harnessing and controlling her powers. Latona and her family all support Tarren, and she begins to feel an attraction to him. When trouble arises, Latona will find a way to help Tarren. Their attraction for each other grows, but they both know since she is married, even in name only, it is best to leave it as friendship. There are a number of villains in this story, one being the deceased dictator’s 2nd in command, who wants to take over everything, including kill Tarren. The other main villain comes from another area, who murders people along the way to destroy Aven and become the power. What follows is an exciting adventure that will put both Tarren and Latona in dangerous situations a few times. There slow build romance is kept loosely in the background, as we know how they feel and we root for them, but Latona is tied to a marriage with a husband who is becoming more difficult and anti anything she wants to do to help others. Latona is a strong woman, but can she find a way to utilize her ability to help Tarren and the good people of Aven? As much as I enjoyed the story revolving around Aven, Latona, her family, Tarren, his sister & his supporters, I did have some feelings about the rest. The villain who was trying to stop Tarren was bad, but it did blend in with that part of the story, which was exciting. I did not like the story around the other villain murdering villages and innocent people to gain control (though this does happen in many fantasy novels), as well as the story about Latona’s brother, who was in the army battling this villain. It was slow, and I lost interest, pushing along to get back to Latona and Tarren’s story. There is a lot of history in the background, and perhaps that is where I got lost. Overall, From the Unseen Fire was a very good story, well written by Morris, with some very good characters. I want to see what happens in the next book; how will Latona’s strength grow; will Tarren be able to fight off his enemies; will Latona’ s youngest sister control her powers; and the people of Aven survive.