Three rich storylines will enrapture fans of thoughtful fantasy. Prince Adrian of Othonea takes center stage as he struggles to live up to the memory of his deceased brother. Nasha, a fierce female protagonist, believes herself to be cursed and wants nothing more than to be respected as a member of the Ronar clan. And Lynn, whom we first meet in a prison cell of her own choosing, seeks redemption and seizes the opportunity to prove her value when the Madness spreads throughout the land. These characters find themselves battling their internal conflicts while struggling to survive the chilling illness, enduring vivid battles and heartbreaking betrayals that will keep readers glued to the page.
The depth and scope of Abdalla’s fantasy handily earn the “epic” designation, which means the novel might challenge readers not fascinated by worldbuilding and sprawling casts. But the characters’ journeys will reward the patient, who will enjoy watching Adrian, Nasha, and Lynn come to the thrilling realization that they must work with their enemies to save the land from the Madness. In the end, Abdalla will leave fantasy fans thirsty for more.
Takeaway: Fantasy readers fascinated by religious and political strife and rich characterization will savor this epic.
Great for fans of: Tanith Lee, Aliette de Bodard
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A