Danie Ware's Ecko trilogy (Ecko Rising, Ecko Burning and Ecko Endgame) was published by Titan Books.
The Ecko trilogy was published during 2012-2015.
Information about Danie Ware:
Danie Ware is the publicist and event organiser for cult entertainment retailer Forbidden Planet. She has worked closely with a wide-range of genre authors and has been immersed in the science-fiction and fantasy community for the past decade. An early adopter of blogging, social media and a familiar face at conventions, she appears on panels as an expert on genre marketing and retailing.
Click here to visit her official website.
Information about the Ecko novels:
Ecko: Rising is a unique genre-bending fantasy-sci-fi epic following a savage, gleefully cynical anti-hero. After awakening in a dimension-jumping inn to find himself immersed in his own sardonic fantasy world, Ecko strives to conquer his deepest fears and save the world from extinction.
Ruthless and ambitious, Lord Phylos has control of Fhaveon city, and is using her forces to bring the grasslands under his command. His last opponent is an elderly scribe who’s lost his best friend and wants only to do the right thing.
Seeking weapons, Ecko and his companions follow a trail of myth and rumour to a ruined city where both nightmare and shocking truth lie in wait.
Back in London, the Bard is offered the opportunity to realise everything he has ever wanted - if he will give up his soul.
When all of these things come together, the world will change beyond recognition.
Winter has come to the Varchinde - and with it, the fatal spread of the blight. The grass is dead, and the plains’ cities are falling to the loss of crops and trade.
Now, the Kas take their chance to rise from Rammouthe. Overmatched, betrayed and abandoned by his own forces, Rhan takes the ultimate gamble - he will abandon Fhaveon to lure the Kas into a final confrontation.
But the world’s memory is returning. And, as the battle rages round him, Ecko begins to realise that everything they have done has been for a purpose. If they can fit the pieces together, then they might just win the war.
Yet, even if they do defeat the Kas, the blight is still there. And to save both the Varchinde and himself, Ecko must face the worst fear of all - the one that has come from his own world.
A REVIEW OF DANIE WARE'S ECKO TRILOGY (ECKO RISING, ECKO BURNING AND ECKO ENDGAME)
Before I begin to review and analyse Danie Ware's Ecko Rising, Ecko Burning and Ecko Endgame, I think it's good to mention that this trilogy is not your normal kind of a science fiction trilogy, but far from it - it's a mesmerisingly entertaining and unique trilogy. The story breaks and bends a few unwritten rules and treads along its own wondrous path.
Danie Ware's Ecko novels - Ecko Rising, Ecko Burning and Ecko Endgame - are among the most entertaining and extraordinary genre-bending novels I've read to date. They form a thrilling, furious and unique trilogy that is something brilliant. It instantly captivates and simultaneously stimulates and teases the reader's mind, because the author combines science, fantasy and magic in an original way.
This trilogy reads like a rich blend of epic fantasy and futuristic cyberpunk story. All three novels feel refreshingly different and vivid when compared to other science fiction novels and stand proudly on their own feet among other science fiction novels as unique achievements filled with imagination.
The Ecko trilogy is a refreshing and imaginative blend of fantasy and science fiction that is ideal for fans of extraordinary stories. The author has made no compromises to endanger her original vision about a technology-free world where strange things happen, but has fully realised it in her own unique way.
To be honest, I never would've thought that it would be possible to write this kind of an absorbing science-fantasy trilogy, because it feels so wonderfully vibrant and entertaining in every possible way that you can't help but wonder how the author has come up with the story. I don't recall reading anything quite like this ever before. There have been a few similar kind of novels and stories, but they haven't been able to reach this level of entertainment. I'm aware that what I just wrote is high praise, but in this case all praise is fully warranted due to the trilogy's excellent entertainment values.
The main reason why the Ecko trilogy is intriguing and works so well is that it's shamelessly entertaining and fast-paced. Besides being a fast-paced and intriguing account of a savage person's adventures in a fantasy world, this trilogy is thought-provoking and offers food for thoughts.
Here's a bit of information about each of the three novels:
- Tamarlaine Benjamin Gabriel, aka the 'Ecko', is a man who operates out of futuristic hi-tech London. He's a cynical rebel and assassin who makes his own rules in a repressed and subdued society.
- London is a place where Pilgrim rules. There's no room for social freedom anymore, because people are subdued and happy with their existence. Nobody fights against anything or anyone, because they're content and don't even protect themselves anymore.
- When Ecko's biggest job goes badly wrong, he wakes up in another world that is different from our world. He is surrounded by people who wonder what he is, because they've never seen anything like him before. He doesn't know where he is, but soon he learns that he is in Roviarath. Roderick of Avesyr, the Bard, welcomes him to Roviarath. Ecko finds out that he is in a tavern called The Wanderer.
- Ecko thinks that he may be in Virtual Rorschach, which is a functional and unique reality that has been made for him and from him. In other words, he may be stuck in his own head, but he doesn't know if it's true or not. He has to try to find a way to return to his own world.
- The place, The Wanderer, where is Ecko is full of different kind of people with pasts of their own. The people range from a human who can transform into a beast to a political outcast.
- An apothecary and healer called Amethea and her apprentice, Feren, are travelling throught the grasslands and run into terrible trouble. Amethea is kidnapped by a strange creature and Feren is left alone to survive. Amethea is taken to Maugrim who needs her to do something and welcomes her to the world's new beginning...
- Ecko wanders around Roviarath after what happened at the end of the previous novel. He feels abandoned and a bit bitter about what has happened, because he hasn't been rewarded and sent home. He ransacks the debris, because his hoarded stash vanished with The Wanderer. He thinks that the Bard has died.
- CityWarden wants Ecko to do someting for him: a little trade for the things he's collected.
- The plains are diseased and suffer from blight - the rot has begun to spread its tentacles around the plains. Ecko learns that what he and his companion did may be the source of the blight. The blight is fatal to people's lives, farmlands, culture and cities.
- Lord Phylos has taken control of Fhaveon and tries to bring the plains under his control. His moves are brutal and he tightens his grip on people.
- Amethea is a bit disturbed by what happened to her.
- The Bard has arrived in London. His sudden and unexpected arrival causes amazement in people. He is given a unique opportunity to realise everything he ever wants, but he has to give up his soul for it...
- Triq is afraid and thinks that the aftermath of Aeona would prove to be too much. She fears that the blight and the winter will finish them all. Amethea shows Triq a terrifying sight.
- Winter has arrived in the Varchinde and the grass on the plains is dead. The blight has spread and threatens many people.
- Rhan makes plans and tries to lure the Kas into a final confrontation.
- Ecko realises that he has to face a great threat that has come from his own world.
- As events rush into motion, the inevitable endgame approaches...
Each of these novels is a fun read. They've been written in an entertaining way that makes readers enjoy them as soon as they begin to read them. The story flows fast forward and takes readers on a wild journey into another realm where weird things happen and where trouble and unrest brews under the otherwise calm surface. The author moves the story masterfully towards the final confrontation and reckoning.
I love the author's way of adding political intrigue and tension to these novels. The first novel is a pretty straight-forward adventure story, but gradually the author builds up tension by adding political intrigue and violent happenings to the story.
Because writing about political intrigue and all things related to it seems to be a bit difficult for many authors, it was nice to read a trilogy in which these issues were handled in an entertaining way. There was nothing heavy or tedious about the author's vision of political intrigue.
It's great that the author writes well about issues related to commerce and trade, because it was enjoyable to read about them. It added lots of realism to the fantasy world.
The characterisation works well and the narrative shifts nicely between the characters. The different characters - Ecko, Lugan, Amathea, Triq, the Bard, Maugrim, Phylos etc - are fully realised with feelings and ambitions of their own. Some of them are more fully fleshed than others, but each of them is a unique character.
One of the best things about the story is that all of the characters can die or suffer. None of them are invincible and bad things can happen to them. I liked this very much, because it added roughness to the story.
Character interaction is good. The author writes well about what goes on between the characters and how they feel about each other. I think that readers will especially enjoy reading about Ecko's reactions to other people, because it is handled perfectly.
Ecko is an interesting character, because he is a modified, cynical and savage man. He has been built to be many things: stealther, spy, thief, tech and assassin. He is a unique man with extraordinary skills and quite an attitude. He finds himself in another world that doesn't have technology. He has to survive in this strange world, because he seems to be stuck there and can't escape unless he somehow finds a way to get back to his world.
Ecko can be called an anti-hero, because he is foulmouthed and thinks mostly about his own wellbeing and pays little attention to others. When he realises that he begins to care about others and what is happenings around him, he is angry at himself. Although he is not an easy person and acts in a sociopathic way, he's strangely loveable.
It was intriguing for me to read about how Ecko reacted to the changes in his life and how he handled things. His remarks and observations about many things and people around him were funny and witty.
I enjoyed reading about the Bard and his adventures. His arrival in London was a wonderful surprise. The events that followed his arrival were mesmerising. I won't go into details about these events in order to avoid writing spoilers, but I can mention that readers will enjoy reading about them, because the Bard becomes a changed man.
These novels are full of well placed and well written action scenes. These scenes are fascinatingly fast-paced and brutal. The characters have to fight for their survival, but all of them are vulnerable and may suffer during battles.
There's plenty of humorous elements in this trilogy. The author uses popular culture references in an interesting and funny way (I can mention that there's even a reference to Cthulhu in these novels). Some of the dialogues are wonderfully infused with humour.
Danie Ware has created a fascinating fantasy world. She writes captivatingly about the different places and their inhabitants. The world has its own history and lore, but much of the ancient lore has been forgotten. The author writes well about what has been forgotten and how some of the ancient knowledge has seeped back to the world.
Maugrim's ability to use ancient power that people had forgotten had a distinct edge of dark fantasy that I found fascinating. It was intriguing to read about what he could with his powers and how he created new creatures, monsters and beasts. He had power and he intended to use it to his advantage.
It was also intriguing to read about the blight, because it caused problems to people. The blight was a serious threat to all who lived on the plains, because the grass began to die and crops were in danger of failing. Danie Ware writes realistically about the effects of the blight, because it can wipe out people.
Danie Ware has created an immersive trilogy that grows richer and more complicated with each novel. She pays attention to action and entertainment values, but also focuses on developing her fantasy world. There's a fine balance between depth, action and entertainment. In my opinion, the story has a few dark elements that will most likely appeal to readers of George R.R. Martin, Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence.
It's nice that Titan Books has published this trilogy, because we need this kind of series in which author blend different elements in an inventive way. This kind of series are unfortunately rare and only a few of them are worth reading, so the Ecko trilogy is a real gem. I honestly think that everyone who is a bit fed up with formulaic science fiction stories will love this trilogy, because it's boldly different and vivid. The fusion of fantasy and science fiction elements works perfectly, because the story is good.
I think it's good to mention that the story may not be to everyone's liking, but that's not a bad thing. In fact, it's an extremely good thing, because it shows that the author doesn't try to please all readers. I have lots of respect for authors who are not afraid to shock and thrill readers with their stories.
In my opinion, Danie Ware is definitely an author to watch. Because I loved her way of combining Tolkienesque fantasy with cyberpunk elements, I look forward to reading new stories written by her.
I'm a bit torn between giving this trilogy four stars or five stars (on the scale from one to five stars), but the strong entertainment values tip the scale towards five stars. I truly enjoyed this fast-paced trilogy and found it mesmerising, because it was something different and exciting.
Danie Ware's Ecko trilogy is wonderfully entertaining because of its original combination of epic fantasy and science fiction. It's first class entertainment to adult readers who enjoy good stories. It's one of the most exciting new trilogies to appear during the recent years, so please take a look at it and let yourself be hooked by the fast moving and imaginative story. If you're fascinated by action scenes, good stories, plot twists, magic, science and witty humour, you'll find all of them here in an addictive format.