Valley of Embers by Steven Kelliher is the first book in The Landkist Saga. Kole is an Emberfolk. He doesn't believe in the prophecy, and he is determined to prove that said prophecy is wrong.
I loved this story! There were new races which I had never heard of, and the pace was fast, for the most part. The middle of the book slowed, but picked up again towards the end. I also loved the author's writing style. This was definitely an exciting adventure.