A brilliant and thoughtful start to what promises to be a watershed epic fantasy series. I loved it.
When a story ends with a great battle, I'm sometimes left with an hollow feeling. While it's fulfilling to read a climactic payoff after so long a buildup,, I find myself wishing to know what happens after the battle. How is the new government going to rule? What is the temperment of the people? Can two hated countries put long-ingrained differences aside to work towards peace? The aftermath of these battles are rife with interesting storylines, and I would love to read more about the difficulties of shfiting cultural alliances.
The Black Coast skips directly to this period of aftermath. One kingdom is divided by religion, highlighted by vastly different cultural values, langauge honorifics, and societal norms, A group of foreigners--one-time raiders and generational enemies--now wish to live among these kingdoms as peaceful settlers. This melting pot has a lot of spice. Yet the POVs from each side show that they're trying to do what's best for their own people, and many cannot be faulted for being fearful, or angry, or reactionary. It's compelling stuff.
The story's threads weave a bigger and bigger tapestry throughout the book as it covers all the major beats of what makes a memorable epic fantasy story. There are high levels of adventure, love, danger, politics, and so forth, but the consistent focus on humanity's struggle to survive together in an increasingly uncomfortable atmosphere was the book's biggest draw.
An easy recommendation for a brilliant and thoughtful start to what promises to be a watershed epic fantasy series. I loved it.
Review by Adam Weller
9/10 from 1 reviews
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