My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Joinings is the first book in Stuart Aken’s Seared Sky trilogy. And that guarantee of more to come will be music to the ears of fantasy fans. It is hard to imagine anyone getting to the end of this and not thirsting for more.
The opening scene is gripping. It hooked me in and then I was compelled to read the rest. Aken weaves a complex tale through a meticulously constructed fantasy world showing us fascinating glimpses of different ways of life, different beliefs.
The dangers of a society in thrall to superstition and corrupt government are well drawn, as are the characters. There are no pantomime baddies here, no clichéd heroines, but well-rounded characters whose destinies we can’t help but follow. Tumalind and Okkyntalah; Dagla Kaz, Jodisa-Li, Aklon and the rest of the cast create a very real world with real problems and challenges. But it doesn’t get lost in big picture stuff. There are solid and compelling human stories at the core of this excellent book.
The only real problem: it’s a big book and it’s hard to put down. But when it comes to book, that’s just the sort of problem I love to be faced with. I’m watching out for the next.
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