By: Therin Knite
302 pages (Trade Paperback)
“Welcome to Arcadian Heights, where the world’s brightest minds go in…and don’t come out.”
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Therin Knite’s books are fast paced and super easy to read, not to mention that the printed versions have such lovely print I didn’t really need my glasses! They make for great breaks in between those super long, epic, fantasy novels. In this case though, I was suffering from a bit of a book hangover from The Wise Man’s Fear, so I had a little trouble adjusting to this one.
Othella is a little bit dark since it takes place at a point in time, frighteningly not far from now, where the world is on the verge of apocalypse. The impending doom creates for a tense and interesting tale, but a more serious one.
There are no heroes in this story. Each of the three main characters’ actions are done for selfish reasons like revenge, fame, or survival. As a result, I didn’t feel for them quite as much as I could have. This is more about watching the chaos unfold and wondering what will happen when everything falls apart. I did like how we got to follow the perspective of the one character who most closely resembled a villain. Watching him do bad things in the name of ensuring a future for the human race, and then watching him live with the consequences was fascinating. There were times I felt bad for him, and then felt that I shouldn’t be feeling bad for him because of the things he’d done. There is the question of who has the moral high ground, how far is too far to go to try and save the human race?
I was a lot more invested in the story by the end. When stories move quickly and are split up across three characters like this, it takes a little time to get to know them well enough. Since this is shaping up to be a trilogy it makes perfect sense. I’ve noticed this pattern before in books that were the first of a series.
This was a solidly good book, and I would certainly recommend it. If I gave Therin’s first book, Echoes five stars, I’d give this one four, but only because I liked the subject matter of Echoes a little bit more. I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the series. Often, whenever I finish reading one of my favorite books, anything I read afterward seems terrible, whether it is or not. I have to say, this one held up well against a serious book hangover and that’s saying something. Until next time…