The Soulscape Code: Slags and Embers is the first of a series set in a ruined world. Deprived of its defenders (the three Forges of Light, Life, and Truth), the land has been ravaged and oppressed for hundreds of years by its three immortal Rifters (Darkness, Death, and Deceit).
But the transcendant forces of good have not forgotten the world. Now they raise up champions in the form of an unlikely collection of young misfits, including a runaway princess and a dead and resurrected assassin.
Lindow resembles David Farland or Brandon Sanderson in his approach. The fantasy and magic here are highly moralistic, and constructed around a vortex of interlocking conceptual opposites. In addition, the world is tiered into a series of three planes that impact each other: an individual’s internal Soulscape, the Terrascape of the physical world, and the Deisphere of the gods that surrounds it all. This is elaborate philosophical world-making, and well-built to tell tales of nobility and love.
With his tongue somewhat in his cheek, Lindow in his epilog says “I hope this will be the best starting book of which I am capable as well as the worst book I ever write.” If this is the worst book he ever writes, then he’s a writer to watch in the years to come.