I picked this up at Starfest 2016 this year – the cover really drew me in. It was both simple and evocative. This fantasy novel dives right into the story, beginning with Gavyn recounting a near miss of the life or death variety. You quickly realize that you are watching a number of threads that are loosely woven being drawn in more and more to create something.
But what? Initially, I couldn’t tell what the problem was, in the initial sections that introduced Gavyn, Kiril, and Rek. While other characters get stage time, these are the three main stories that we follow. We discover that their individual concerns are bringing them all together, and I couldn’t tell whether or not that would be a positive meeting. It certainly suggests that the meeting will cause change and problems for more than just these three.
I love Gavyn. I love the idea that someone gives up a pretty swanky life for a life of the unknown, and then, as events unfold, has cause to question his decision, and even bitterly regret it. It usually happened when Gavyn was in fairly dire straits, but I have to be honest – I snickered at his bemoaning his lost life. It’s very believable, and something most of us can relate to. I thought the characterization of him by Odo was rather harsh, but again, it was believable. We see Gavyn through his eyes; seeing him through the eyes of another is a wake-up call to not only Gavyn, but the reader (or at least, this reader).
Kiril is equally interesting. He wants to do the right thing, he knows what the expected thing is, but he no longer believes, or likes it. There are many things in his world, in the structure he’s a part of, that are done in the name of “for the good” and it’s interesting and rather sad discovering that the only good these actions help are the good of those in charge. Sounds real life, doesn’t it? He also has a lost love interest that is not completely in the past, and following his meandering over that is something I like to read.
Finally, we are with Rek, one of the three children featured in this work. I really like him, as well as Laria, one of the other children. The third child, Elsu, drove me mad, and I just wanted him to get a serious grounding. In Kiril and Rek’s world, however, there’s no gray area of “just being kids”. Everyone, even from a young age, understands the societal expectations, and if you don’t follow them, there are consequences. They are far more intense than grounding.
At the end of Book 1, all the threads of these various people are just on the verge of being drawn tight. It ended in a way that suggests there has to be another book. There needs to. I started this unsure of whether or not I would enjoy it. I read it in one sitting, and couldn’t put it down. Lee draws you along in such a manner that you’re turning each new page as fast as you can read it, and before you know it, you’re ready to pull an all-nighter.
If you enjoy fantasy, this is a great book. I am looking forward to Book 2!
About The Reviewer:
Lisa Manifold is fortunate to live in the amazing state of Colorado with her husband, two kids, two dogs, and one offended cat.
She enjoys skiing and carting kids and dogs to wherever they need to go, and she adores “treasure hunting” at local thrift stores. Her other hobbies include costuming within her favorite fandoms and periods
Learn more about Lisa and her work at http://www.lmmanifold.wordpress.com/