Monday, 10 February 2020

Double Review: The Unspoken Name by AK Larkwood

Hi guys! Two of us read this new fantasy novel, one in ebook and one physically, so we're due a double review. Instead of the double format we've been using, we thought we'd try something a bit more fun, hopefully a bit more interesting. So welcome to the first of hopefully many BookChats.

B: Welcome to our first bookchat!

BeeJay: Thanks, B. It looks good in here!

B: Fresh wallpaper for the occasion. So what was your first impression of this book?

BJ: It's long! I haven't read adult fantasy in a while, I picked this up thinking it was YA, and no matter how much of it I read I never seemed to get anywhere.

B: It is pretty long, about 450 pages. It's very complex, though. I think it needed to be that long.

BJ: There's a lot going on, definitely. I can't say that I exactly followed all the reasoning, but I mostly knew who was doing what for what reason. 

B: The different groups - races? - are pretty confusing at first, yeah. All the different gods and things.

BJ: Although for an adult book it's very tame. Just a bit of kissing.

B: Suits me fine.

BJ: I loved the Maze and the Gates. That was clever storytelling.

B: Oh, yeah! Very clever. Deeply creepy, but a really clever way to string out travelling and make it harder to get anywhere, which was helpful about seventy percent of the time.

BJ: Depending on which side you're on. Characters, B! What did you think of Csorwe?

B: I got very strong Tombs of Atuan vibes at the start. Then she sort of became the Black Widow.

BJ: Tombs of...?

B: Part of the Earthsea series, about a young girl taken to serve as High Priestess of a cult. She doesn't get sacrificed, but it's the same sort of idea, and interestingly one of the important ceremonies of her Priestesshood happens when she's fourteen.

BJ: I'll have to look that one up. I liked Csorwe better right at the end, when she was developing her own personality. Blind loyalty's all very well but it does tend to get you in trouble.

B: True, but the poor girl didn't have much chance, really.

BJ: No, Sethennai designed things to make her loyal to him. He does the same thing to Tal later on. It just seems to be his thing.

B: You weren't taken in?

BJ: I didn't feel anything much about him. He felt a bit too slick. You were taken in?

B: Just a bit...

BJ: Well, it's designed to make you love him.

B: Yeah, let's say that's the excuse. Anything else you would have liked in this book?

BJ: I want to know what happened to the Sand Wife!

B: I was going to say I want the next one to be released now so I can read it before I forget who everyone is, but now that you've said that, I want to know too!

BJ: There'll be a Dramatis Personae at the start of the next one to remind you.

B: In that case, Sand Wife all the way!






What if you knew how and when you will die?
Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard's loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

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