Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Sequel to Obsidian Sun
After achieving the impossible and releasing their people from the Varas slavers, Anan and Terja, a spellweaver and spellspinner, start the arduous journey back to their homeland. A winter trek across the grasslands is dangerous enough, but the traitor, Xain, is tasked with recapturing the slaves, and failure will mean his death. As added insurance, the Varas High Regent hires a Triad of legendary Ubica assassins and assigns a full regiment of his personal guards, along with their captain, to the task. Their mission is clear: recapture the escaped Talac slaves destined for the Varas pleasure houses—and the bed of the High Regent—at any cost.
The newly freed Talac travel toward their homelands with the full knowledge they are likely being pursued. The flight westward is fraught with new and unexpected dangers as Anan and Terja struggle to save their tribe. The battle for shelter, food, and a way to defend themselves becomes an all-consuming task, but they are reminded by the avatars of their gods that all is not as it appears.
The sequel to the amazing fantasy epic Obsidian Sun (Obsidian #1), Obsidian Moons, enlarges on the peoples, cultures and religions of the world that Jon Keys started in his first story. In Obsidian Sun, we met Anan, a spellweaver and Terja a spellspinner of the Talac people and followed them on a tale of blood revenge and rescue while learning about their culture, their religion, their part of the world and yes, their enemy, the Varas, a frightening people.
Keys forgot nothing in building up his universe from the grasses and insects to the climates. It was an jaw-dropping bit of artistry and the story laid on top of it was just as incredible. Even more amazing for being his first published novel.
Now comes Obsidian Moons. How does it stand up?
While I jumped into the first story immediately, this novel took a bit to get into. Keys re-accounts some of the past history for readers unfamiliar with his tale (by no means should you skip the first story, this is not a standalone). It felt denser, less forward moving in the narrative than the first. Of course the first started with a massacre, so that’s hard to top.
But while I was getting reacquainted with all the familiar characters, the wonderfully magical and fascinating like Anan, Terja and the Talac (even Xain, that traitor), Keys starts introducing his new elements here. Again all marvelous additions to his world building. Keys brings in other cultures, religions, magic even. Keys gives us a triad of contract assassins from Ubica to hunt the escaped Talac (a vocabulary is supplied in the front which is maybe not necessary but definitely worth checking out), and a wild mountain tribe Meke, a separated tribe that…well, that part of the story is better left to the saga, and more. Each addition comes fully established, down to the clothes they wear, the weapons they carry, and the deities they worship. All blended so smoothly into the narrative that its seamless.
While the enemy is hunting for the escaped Talac, we see the growth in both Anan and Terja, individually and in their relationship that was born out of a blood revenge oath. Yes, there is multiple points of view here but it works and never feels too jumbled or too much to keep track of. In fact, sometimes I wished for less because this is a scary, daunting, and pain-filled journey. Not without cost of life. Some of those voices will be lost.
It won’t take long to get back into this saga and these people as they are hunted across some of the harshest terrain this world has to offer. Jon Keys brings it all vividly to life. Every snow bound step, all the predators after them. The loss of hope, and the hope found once more. Its an incredible story. And it ends just as another journey is about to begin. I can’t wait for that novel and that story too.
Jon Keys has an incredible saga here. One you should put on your TBR list if you are a lover of fantasy. Or of love and hope. Its an amazing tale. Start with Obsidian Sun and then come here to Obsidian Moons. I highly recommend them both.
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond. I loved the first cover. Found that one amazing. This one doesn’t live up to that one’s standards imo.
ebook, 220 pages
Expected publication: September 12th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634777182 (ISBN13: 9781634777186)
Series Obsidian – add to your Goodreads shelf here: