Tumultus by KS Turner

Rating 8.7/10
Refreshing and accomplished works of speculative fiction.

Tumultus is the second book in the Chronicles of Fate and Choice series, written by Norwich-born author KS Turner. It is preceded by Before the Gods.

The world is at peace. The Earth flourishes. The Old One dreams. Kutu and humans exist in harmony. It is a beautiful time.

But on the far side of infinity, where the shadow was darkest and laughter rare, a Nigh-kutu paces a darkened room in agitation. His brother is dying and he must embrace the rage and cut free all else he feels. It is the warrior code. There is no place for weakness. There is going to be a war for life itself, a conflict of light and shadow. Love versus hate, good versus evil, hope versus fear, life versus death.

If, like me, you greatly enjoyed Before the Gods then you are going to enjoy Tumultus even more. The Chronicles of Fate and Choice are refreshing and accomplished works of speculative fiction that are both thought-provoking and entertaining.

What I have liked most about these books has been the unhurried, thoughtful and evenly-paced narrative. It has allowed me, as the reader, to relax into the book and to find the reading experience both relaxing and engaging. I have also enjoyed the clever use of contrast - the action in the second book action is split between Eden1, the home-land of the Shaa-kutu, Immorah, the home-land of the Nigh-kutu, and Earth. We have the darkness of Immorah, where the Nigh-kutu (a warrior race reminiscent of the Spartans) are bred for war and conflict; we have the white citadel and white towers of bright Eden1 where the Shaa-kutu live a peaceful, almost utopian existence; and then we have the natural beauty of an unspoiled Earth. These locations bounce off each other well and help to maintain momentum and interest in the story being told.

Another strength of KS Turner's is her ability to provoke thought while keeping the narrative energetic. She does not rely on cliché or literary trope and there is much within that is original, a good deal that feels fresh and well-thought out. I also really liked her use of colours, particularly in regards to her Shaa-kutu characters. I've always thought that JRR Tolkien used colour to great effect in both The Hobbit and The Silmarillion, particularly when referring to character’s raiment, and here Turner uses its capacity to create strong mental imagery well the result is that her characters are vibrant and full of life.

Turner writes with a spare elegance and those who have read and enjoyed Before the Gods will greatly enjoy this sequel. This is a series that is definitely worth emerging yourself within, particularly if speculative fiction appeals to you.

8.7/10

KS Turner grew up in Norwich, studied Art and Design at Central Saint Martins and Middlesex University in London, and now lives in Somerset with a posse of fluffy animals. Kate has a juxtaposition of unusual interests, from playing music to playing chess, and from sculpting bold pieces of art to studying maths. Inspiration for the Chronicles of Fate and Choice trilogy originated from a vivid series of dreams. Tumultus is the second book in the Chronicles of Fate and Choice.

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