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The Realms have split apart, the Stones of Elation have been hidden, and warnings of dokojin drift among the tribes.
The land and its people are corrupted. The Sachem, chief of the Unified Tribes, is to blame.
It is this conviction that drives Annilasia and Delilee to risk their lives. Afraid of the aether magic he wields, they enact a subtler scheme: kidnap his wife. In her place, Delilee will pretend to be the chieftess and spy on the Sachem.
Unaware of this plot against her husband, Jalice is whisked away by Annilasia. Pleading with her captor proves futile, and she rejects Annilasia’s delusional accusations against the chief. After all, the Sachem has brought peace to the land.
Yet a dangerous truth hides in Jalice’s past. As she and Annilasia flee through a forest of insidious threats, they must confront the evil plaguing the tribes and the events that unleashed it.
Enthralled by the magic that written stories contain, Jesse Nolan Bailey has always wanted to be an author. With his debut novel finally released to the masses, he can now claim such title with relief. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, where he has embraced the equally-gratifying lifework of hosting a trio of spoiled cats.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Storytellers on Tour and Jesse Nolan Bailey for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
I don’t think I would normally pick up a book like this on my own since I feel like I’ve been worn out on adult fantasy novels for the rest of the year. But I’m very glad that I had the opportunity to read this one as it was refreshing to read a dark fantasy that seemed to be based off something other than medieval Europe or something similar to that effect. The vibe just felt completely different, and the concept of this novel was one that I don’t think I’ve seen before in any of the books that I’ve read lately or this year alone.
I feel like this was one of those books that you also really needed to pay attention to in order to make sure you were understanding what was going on. One of the reasons was especially because of the whole replacing Jalice with Delilee thing. One would think that Jalice’s husband would be able to tell the difference between the two women, so how would Delilee and Annilasia be able to pull that off, but things aren’t as they appear in this novel.
But then again, one also needs to remember the magic system of this world and the worldbuilding as a whole in this novel – and the kind of things that the tribes are facing that would make Delilee and Annilasia go for this route rather than another one. I think having Jalice away from her comfortable life as the tribe chief’s wife makes her see what’s really going on in the world around her, and I’m curious to see what happens in the second book.