- Author: Rebecca Roanhorse
- Genre: Fantasy
- Publication Date: October 13, 2020
- Publisher: Saga Press
- Series: Between Earth and Sky #1
TRIGGER WARNING: disfigurement, homophobia, alcoholism, prostitution, mention of abuse
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book. I am providing my honest opinion voluntarily.
A god will return
When the earth and sky converge
Under the black sun
In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.
Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.
Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created an epic adventure exploring the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in the most original series debut of the decade.
This book hit all the right spots for a good fantasy read. I loved the various elements of world building that were involved in the story, and the way it incorporated an entirely new and fascinating setting. The story takes place in a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican inspired world, and I was ALL ABOUT IT! There’s a society involved matriarchal clans, a third gender accepted in society, celestial prophecies and worship, and magic. I’ve never read a book where a character (more than one, in fact) with a prominent role is referred to as xe/xir.
In addition to all these, the characters are all so intriguing. There are multiple characters who each have their own agenda, and I wanted each of them to succeed, even when it would interfere with the plans of the others. It was difficult to dislike any of the main characters, especially since they’re so well-rounded and the backstory is provided for most of them. The chapters are generally told in order, with the date provided in terms of time to the solstice, although there are flashbacks involved. These are also clearly noted.
My complaints were minimal. There was one chapter that was told out of order, which confused me, because not only did I not know what was happening, I didn’t really know the characters in it. It definitely threw me for a loop, especially later on when I actually understood what was really going on. The ending left me with more questions than answers, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I felt like the loose ends weren’t wrapped up enough. I want more!
The story is a great one, and I loved the concept and the plot twists, which were unpredictable and always kept me guessing. I will be (impatiently) waiting for the next book to come out, because this is definitely a series to watch.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 12
Categories: Book Review