For a fantastic world in both senses of the word, for an epic adventure kind of story, for creatures that will certainly haunt you in sleep
The veil is thinning. Every day more undead creatures slip into Everra. Soon their most terrifying kin, spawn of the dark goddess Orestin, will emerge to devour all life. Master Historian Mycellane enlists an aging Knight and an inexperienced priestess to join him on a journey to obtain an ancient artifact-one that can bring an end to the incursion. But their salvation lies on the other side of the veil, in the Dead Waste of Myrcantos, and only one person can bring them through: a Myrcantan necromancer who remains loyal to the enemy. The path before them leads through a barren, unforgiving land. Ravenous abominations lurk in the shadows. But the greatest danger to their mission is the hatred and distrust they feel for one another…
Orestin’s Own deftly avoided the trap of falling into expected cliches and “twists” that are actually pretty much the norm by this point. The twists here? Are entirely unique. A book I can’t predict 100% is a rare treat for me, and this was one of them. Reading this felt so lyrical, and so emotive. The feeling of cold seeping into the characters bones as they traverse the frozen wasteland of the dead… the paranoia they grapple with, both towards each other and their more pressing threats… the jarring descriptions of all manner of shambling corpses and afterworldly horrors…. I felt it.
The characters were the weakest point in the story for me, and particularly Calesta. Solarys and Malebrand have their simple motivations and angles, which are clear enough. Yet despite getting the most insight into Caelesta (I thought), I still don’t really understand why she does what she does. Her commitment to duty mis clear, but I’m not sure about the relationships between her, Solarys, and Malebrand. It didn’t seem like there was much basis for Caelesta’s feelings. And sorry, HOW OLD is Caelesta? Because at one point I’m pretty sure it said she was 16. And the others are definitely close to 40. Which vastly colors her interactions with the men on her journey in a way that makes my skin crawl. I super hope I’m wrong. 😅
Even though I felt like the characters were somewhat thin despite the time given to each of them, that really didn’t affect my reading of the story at all. Personally this story is about the world and the characters are just a means for me to explore it. 😍
There’s the required setup of the story, but the action starts RIGHT QUICK. Like quicker than I expected it to, which meant that the first hurdle the party has to jump blindsided me as much as it did them, and I LOVE IT. The many creatures we encounter, the magic, the history of the world and Malebrand: I was simply enchanted. If I could read a chronicle that just delves into every aspect of this world, I absolutely would. It came to life for me, particularly the creatures of death.
I am really really hoping there will be more in this world, because I’m so desperate to know more about it. The ending set me up with a lot of interesting possibilities, but even despite that I would want more. Dear Author, hear my plea? 😁
Thank you to the author for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.