Aerisia begins in the real world and gets interesting with a stump. No, really! From the corner of the main character’s eye, this stump might be a bear, a wolf, a stray dog, a monk in flowing robes… Love the departure from the norm with that last item, and the setup for magic.
I am enjoying the depth of the setting. There are characters with story lines so different they couldn’t possibly cross. What, for instance, has the resentful new ambassador got to do with the orphaned, wannabe pirate raider girl? And what’s the duke going to do with the doctor? Or the artist? Of course, I must read on.