BRAND NEW RELEASE with GIVEAWAY!
(details at the end of the review)
The Black God has tormented Lucia’s very existence since she was a child. He tortures her dreams nightly, and forces terrifying visions upon her. Lucia doesn’t understand what he wants from her, and she resists his messages. Her father, the king, has all but ignored her in favor of her brother, Caio, the savior of the Rezzian people. The king continues his warfare against the Pawelon people, in spite of the staunch resistance of Caio and Lucia. The king feels his children, especially Caio, are necessary tools to be used to ensure victory. He is zealous in his belief that the Pawelon must be conquered to be saved, but the Pawelon people see things differently. When their prince, Rao, throws his own powers into the ring, both tribes of people realize that nothing is guaranteed, and their personal beliefs may not be enough to save any of them. When events spiral out of control and Lucia is confronted with the most difficult decision of her life, the fate of two lands rests on her choice. It is only then that she realizes that this is the moment for which the Black God has prepared her. But is she really ready for this?
This newly released epic fantasy by Moses Siregar III takes the novella of this same name and expands it to a full-length novel. And what well executed expansion it is! One comment I noted in my review of the novella was that I wanted more perspective on the Pawelon people. In this full-length novel, I got that and more. The author does a fantastic job really fleshing out the culture of each tribe, and the personalities of the important players. As a result, my sympathies didn’t fall squarely on one side or the other. In fact, I was conflicted about who should win this war, and that really added to my investment in this story. I was no longer just a reader, I was involved.
With well-defined main characters, I was really able to feel I knew them through their actions and thoughts as well as their words. Inside each of them rested both positive and negative qualities, rounding them out to make them realistic and whole. Their choices weren’t always expected, and they each had their own demons with whom to struggle. In each of the main characters, I saw growth as some emerged as more than they seemed and others diminished in my eyes. In the second half of the story in particular, I really felt what the characters were feeling and I was shocked when they suffered, and joyous when they prevailed.
There were quite a few unexpected events in this book. I loved that I couldn’t predict anything, and I read in disbelief as unexpected things happened. The ending felt very complete in itself, and it left me anxious to discover where we were headed in the next book. I had noticed religious undertones in the novella, and those undertones were in this novel as well- expanded in a way that really caused me to think about the very nature of belief. When is religion a myth, and when is it the truth? This book was not what I would call religious, but the very core of the the conflict between the two tribes of people involved spirituality of a sort The epic war waged in the story resembled any number of wars battled in our own history for similar reasons. Diverse beliefs are the ultimate battleground, and this book does a good job of making it clear that “right” is perhaps not always easy to discern.
As with the novella, this book is well-written and the pacing is excellent. Although the beginning felt a bit slow, I was quickly engaged in the adventure. The number of characters could be overwhelming at times, however, and sometimes I lost track of the more minor characters. The chapters are each given titles, but in a tale that alternates between two different groups of people, headers on each chapter to indicate to the reader which tribe each chapter is about would have gone a long way towards helping me quickly distinguish the setting. This would be especially helpful because the story doesn’t alternate each chapter with a different tribe, and we sometimes spend several chapters with one group of people. I spent the first bit of several chapters figuring out where we were by looking for familiar names. The author uses italics to show the thoughts of many of the main characters throughout the book, and some were placed in such a way that caused me to question who was thinking. Small points, but clarification in these two areas would have made less work for the reader.
If you follow my reviews regularly, you know I don’t give many 5 star reviews. In my way of thinking, there are almost always things I would have changed about a story. Although I’ve listed a few things I’d change about this story (clarify chapter headings and characters’ thoughts), I find that (hours later), I can’t stop thinking about the characters and their journeys. I find myself contemplating the messages that were delivered (whether overtly or veiled). Overall, I find I really can’t stop thinking about this story. Unforgettable story, intriguing characters, compelling journey with unexpected twists- in short, a very satisfying and engaging read. Isn’t that why we read for pleasure?
5 /5 stars
The author has generously provided THREE digital copies for this giveaway! To win, all you need to do is leave a comment here on this post (comment link is at the top right of the post). Leave your email address and whether you’d like the book from Amazon (for Kindle) or Smashwords (Sony, Nook, all other ereaders). If you’d like to tweet about this giveaway, post this link on your own blog/ facebook page, or otherwise share this information with others, that is very much appreciated! Help me spread the word! (Giveaway ends August 20th)
If you just can’t wait to see if you’ve won your very own copy, this book is currently:
(The novella, comprising several key chapters from this full-length novel, is always available FREE at Smashwords. It’s a great way to sample the writing and plot!)