My rating: 5 of 5 stars
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review
First of all, let me tell you that you will get so much more out of this book if you have read the books in the Venery series. In fact, I doubt that I would have cried like a baby towards the end had I not read the books and had I not already been traumatized by parts of them. So yeah, thank you Suanne for that. You owe me a pack of Kleenex.
Now, onto the nitty gritty. This book is not generally the type of book I read… or that most people read, to be honest. It’s simply different, even from fantasy, IMO. At times, it reminded of the epic tales we studied in high school for my epic class, other times it even resembled a sacred text. And then a character would tell the other to fuck off and I’d be like, “nope, not bible-like, are you?”. I absolutely loved that this book was nothing like anything I had ever read before and I applaud the author for being so brave to put out there something that hardly fits into one, if even several, categories.
For all of you who have not read this yet, this book was written, vicariously, by Jav, our Jav (read, MY Jav. Not up for debate guys. I’ll only share him with Finch), and is a fantastic creaction that incorporates basically parts of his life, of the people who made it such, and the things that left a mark in him, all packaged in this otherwordly story of Kheirons and giants, and krakens and gods.
It was truly a joy to read this book and find the themes of the Venery series hidden, or other times showcased, in another light. Also, this book is the reason why I currently go around wearing nine rings, to the stupor of my coworkers and family who always knew of my reluctancy for jewerly. But anywaaaaay, the rings, the Gemelos, gelang, valentes, khe l’khe… I was literally trembling of joy every time I spotted something in the narration that reminded me of Finch, Jav, even the unisphere for hell’s sake! I was one giant mess of emotion at the mere mention of an object, a sentence etc. Not to talk about Trueblood and Fen talking LATER. Half the Kleenex box was immolated for that moment.
Now, before you guys think this is a tear-jerker, let me reassure you it is not. Especially the first half of the book, I didn’t feel very emotional. All characters were introduced and the pacing was kind of slow, but never boring because the style just keeps you reading. I liked how we saw kind of the old guard of the ship, and how Trueblood came to be kepten. It made the second half of the book more meaningful and added “chronicles” to the list of genre this book belongs to, or rather that belong to this book.
Onto the characters. Trueblood. This single word brought me to my knees for years after reading Larks. This was a magnificent tribute to Jav’s Trueblood. I liked how we see him basically from his birth to the present, growing, learning, making mistakes, and learning the ambiguity of life, its grief, and finally love and gelang.
Then there is Fen, my beautiful broken foal. I adored his character and out of all of them I liked his character’s arc more. He truly blossomed and seeing him reach happiness with Trueblood… it gave me a sense of peace.
In conclusion, this book was different from anything I’ve ever read before, and yet it captivated me, and made me care about its characters in ways I hardly do. Finding so much of Jav’s life, and the themes that already in Venery had given me so much, that was priceless. Things like valentos, or don’t you love me anymore, that made me realize how much of the writer was bleeding on the page.
Suanne Laqueur managed to create a wonderful piece of art that tugged at my heartstrings and made my head spin, joining different books through the emotions it caused in me and making me feel honored once again to having been part of this epic journey.