Epic fantasy in the tradition of Trudi Canavan, Fiona McIntosh and Robert Jordan. A thousand years ago, the people of Achar drove the Forbidden from their lands. But now the northern tribes of the Ravensbund are fleeing south again, with nightmarish tales of creatures who feed upon the terror of their prey. Winter has come early, and with it the promise of war. Axis, bastard son of the dead Princess Rivkah, is sent north to the battlefront at Gorkenfort with his elite Axe-Wielders. Once there, he must hand over command to his hated half-brother, Borneheld, Duke of Ichar and heir to the throne. But during the long journey Axis falls in love with Faraday - Borneheld's betrothed - and finds himself reassessing the very essence of his beliefs. With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, Axis must unite the feuding lands under one banner before it is too late and the evil rising in the north engulfs them all for good.
All I can say is WOW! Its been quite a while since I have read some really good fantasy and I would even go as far to say as this was almost as good as Juliet Marilliers Daughter of the Forest although a bit different to that.
This has a great cast of characters Axis is the 'Battleaxe' and he is the leader of the axe-wielders who are a religious army, he was born to a mother who died shortly after birthing him and his half-brother Borneheld is a heir to a childless king, Borneheld also hates Axis and wants him destroyed, just to twist things Axis falls for Borneheld's betrothed, Faraday.
Looking at some reviews this is very mixed but, all I can say is its one of those books you need to read and make up your own mind, its not complex its a very easy to follow fantasy. The blurb on the back compares this to Janny Wurts, David Eddings &Raymond Feist I don't know how this compares tho those as I haven't read any of their works (yet!).
Personally I think for some reason Australians write the best fantasy unless they write most of it and I haven't come across any others yet.