by Sharon Tucker
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of Unlit. We also have a link to order it from Amazon, and an indie bookstore where a portion of the sale goes to help support KRL.
Discovering an engaging author is the best experience a reader can have, but discovering an engaging author with eleven series already to her credit is even better. Keri Arthur’s Unlit (2018) begins her most recent foray into urban fantasy and the first Kingdoms of Earth and Air series. With two more planned, one each year, it is going to be difficult to wait for the next in the series.
Our first scene is the vista of Tenterra, a kingdom of barren land made so by magic worked generations ago to stop the onslaught of invaders, the Irkallans, now long in hibernation. Neve March, our protagonist, a government-raised non-magic wielder, sets the scene by gazing out over the wasteland from a watchtower behind the great wall Winterbourne has constructed to keep out Irkallans and their ilk. She spots suspicious activity some distance away, a beacon of sorts, and as a trained soldier of the Nightwatch she boards a flyer, speeding away to investigate. March is an intriguing, imperfect heroine who begins to understand the inconsistencies about herself as the story progresses. March may be the main character, but the novel is peopled with many other well-developed, attractive characters on both sides of the hero/villain spectrum and within their social hierarchy.
Neve is in an unusual position in her world. She is classified among the unlit, those who have no magical power over earth or air. She wants a life of freedom, and if it were known she has powers, even limited ones, her life would be controlled; she would be bred to further future children’s abilities and essentially imprisoned. Her career as a soldier allows for personal freedom as long as she stays under the radar, limiting her affinity for summoning the wind. In addition, since she has formed warm and spicy relations with her fellow unit, her needs are met. It is a good, if rather uneventful life.
Since she is also stained, as are a percentage of this world’s population, she is seen as less than desirable to most of her world’s inhabitants, but her excellent service in the Nightwatch renders that moot to both her and us, the readers. What follows is an adventure that puts her anonymity in peril yet opens her world to the possibility of being part of a broader, more complex community, getting to the heart of what has ruined and still threatens Tentara and puts he in a peril she is not likely to survive.
Therefore, although I regret being late to the parade, I am so glad I finally found Arthur’s collection of series, and I could not be happier that Unlit was my entry. Her experience at word building is much in evidence here, and she has written characters it will be fun to get to know better as the novels appear. Now to go back and catch up on what I have missed.
You can find more fantasy reviews in out Fantasy and Fangs section.
To enter to win an ebook copy of Unlit, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “unlit,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 28, 2018. U.S. residents only. If entering via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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