Rating: 4 stars out of 5
The nearby country of Ammet, however, only sees an exploitable resource to be conquered. Caught between the political machinations of Ammet and his love for the prairie, Ruse can only hope he doesn’t wind up killed by one or the other.
I honestly hesitated on the rating because the imagination behind the concept of Ground of Insurrection is just incredible. There have been sentient planets, yes. Sentient plants. But here you have a sentient eco system, one that came about via a mage war. A sentient prairie that once was a man. Mind blowing stuff.
My mind went all over the place with questions that quite frankly the author never answered. How? What? As in I wanted to know exactly what it feels like to be a prairie! One that gobbles up people mind you for sustenance among other things. The adjustments to life, mind, everything that had to have taken. There’s the book I kept thinking….
But nope. We get Ruse as a storyteller. One of the convict’s sent to the Prairie from Ammet as a part of the city’s survive or die program. True, Ruse has his own secrets and each small village of criminals is interesting on its own. That would be small towns that grew as the killers, perverts, thieves…one by one…started to figure out how to survive and come together long enough to form a village structure.
The dynamics at work within such a village are fascinating too, especially the ease at which they each accept what other societies find horrifically unacceptable: the serial killer who continues to kill leaving bodies of the unwary to be deposed of at dawn, the psychopaths, the thieves, all working together, in a criminal harmony.
Mell Eight has other elements at work. Espionage, treason, assassination, and more plotting than I was honestly interested in. No. My focus was on the Prairie, his existence, his beginning, and how the others started to interact with him.
He is a 5 star creation in my books. The rest almost suffers next to him.
In fact, the ending brought up so many questions and opened up a bunch of holes in the narrative for me. The villagers starting orchards for one thing. Orchards are the very bane of prairies. Any woody plant it because its the first stages of a forest. The very introduction of something that could mean the end of such a ecosystem seemed all wrong. Surely Ruse and the settlers/villagers would have come up with a substitute for apples and tree grown produce?
And yes, that other ending left me unsatisfied because I still had so many unanswered questions to begin with and now had more. It wasn’t until I looked at the title on Goodreads that I understood that this was to be a part of a series. Still….
Magnificent creation. And I definitely need more. So I can handle a little frustration if I finally get the answers I’m looking for…in book 2. Hang in there with me and check it it.
Cover art: Natasha Snow. Perfect cover. Just love it.
Published June 13th 2018 by Less Than Three Press (first published June 11th 2018)
SeriesWizard Wars #1