So first off this is not Historical Fantasy! I have seen some reviews state this but I wanted to make sure that I made a note of it. It is just pure fantasy, end of story!
The Initiate Brother Duology is really two books in one! So don’t let the page amount scare you! Book one is The Initiate Brother and is around 480 pages and it was very good!
Once I started reading this massive book I couldn't stop! I read the first section in about a day and picked up with Book 2, Gatherer of Clouds, the next day and just ate through it all! So this book covers a lot of things from how legends are made and that each one of his characters has the chance to be a hero or even a villain. This book is great for those who really love characters that are centered on an epic fantasy. The only thing that could have made it better was if the author did use real historical facts instead of fiction.
Sean Russell’s acclaimed duology, The Initiate Brother and Gatherer of Clouds, together in one omnibus edition for the first time!
Plague and warfare have swept across the ancient kingdom of Wa, devastating the royal line and leaving a new dynasty on the throne?a new Emperor, Akantsu, filled with fear of all who might seek to wrest the Empire from his grasp. Among those out of favor with the new liege is the Order of the Botahist Monks, whose mystical powers have enabled them to hold positions as Spiritual Advisors to the Imperial court for nearly ten centuries. But Emperor Akantsu fears none so greatly as he does Lord Shonto, the brilliant leader of the most important of the old families, whose influence could rally the Great Houses against the throne, and whose adopted daughter, the beautiful and talented Lady Nishima, is the last surviving member of the old royal family.
Sent to be military governor of a northern border province long threatened by barbarian invaders, Lord Shonto knows he is being lured to his death. But Akantsu has underestimated his foe, for not only is Lord Shonto the greatest military genius of the age, but he has with him a Spiritual Advisor from the Botahist Order?a young man gifted with extraordinary martial arts skills and magical abilities, Initiate Brother Shuyun. And even Lord Shonto does not realize the true potential of this young monk. Only time will reveal that Shuyun’s magical powers have not seen their equal in nearly a thousand years?not since the Perfect Master himself walked the paths of the Empire