For centuries Kirthanin has enjoyed peace despite the presence of its ancient enemy Malek. But now as young Joraiem prepares for the trip to Sulare, where the sons and daughters of nobles train together for six months every seven years, Malek seems to be on the rise. Black wolves have been spotted in the area, and Joraiem and a friend hunt down a great Malekim, a voiceless beast formed by Malek.
Worries about Malek fade as Joraiem faces heartbreaking loss on his day of departure. Days on the trail and an interesting troop of fellow travelers do nothing to ease the pain in his heart until he meets Wylla, crown princess of Kirthanin. But Joraiemís new friend, Rulalin, has already told Joraiem of his love for Wylla, despite not having seen her for eight years.
Valzaan, the revered blind prophet, joins their group and reveals to Joraiem that he also is a prophet. Joraiem is hesitant to believe the revelation, but he doesnít have much time to ponder it as the young people arrived in Sulare and begin their training. When a distant glow shines on the ocean horizon, destiny forces Joraiem and his companions to travel to Malekís stronghold, the Forbidden Isle.
This book begins slowly, spinning out much information on the history and geography of this fantasy world. While the first half of the novel has some interesting spots, the momentum of the story doesnít begin until the second half. Those who persist will find a compelling tale filled with rich characters, daring feats, betrayal, and love. -- Katie Hart, Christian Book Previews.com
The Binding of the Blade is an original fantasy series based in part on prophecy from the book of Isaiah. Book 1, Beyond the Summerland, is where the adventure begins for a band of young Novaana, eager to serve and rule the four regions of the world of Kirthanin. Kirthanin is enjoying a time of peace, though Malek, Master of the Forge, and the betrayer of old, controls Agia Muldonai, the Holy Mountain. Malekís servants are growing bolder and venturing further from their mountain stronghold, and the fragility of Kirthaninís peace is growing ever clearer. Join this adventure of friendship, love, and betrayal. Ride through majestic forests and sail the forgotten waters. Rest a while in a summer paradise and walk the streets of an ancient and forbidden city. It will be the greatest challenge of their lives, but it is only the beginning.
The Binding of the Blade Series has the world-building of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time, the heroic tone of Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle, and thematic richness and depth of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. While The Binding of the Blade is distinct from each of these series, these are authors whose works are "similar" in nature to Graham's series.