Saturday, September 26, 2015

Book Review: The Ninth Wind by Moses Siregar III

The three children of Jurg and Aesa watched as the Rezzians massacred their people, poisoned their father, and killed their mother. All this to weaken them so they wouldn't be able to fight back while the Rezzians warred with Pawelon. Now, grown up, Skye, Dag, and Idonea are determined to get their vengeance on Queen Lucia or Rezzia. The believe the Rezzians will return in the spring. Idonea will do anything, even study the feared magic of the volwa, to see her people safe. Will her brothers accept her secret? Will they help?

More importantly, will she be able to kill Queen Lucia and turn her ten gods' eyes away from Andars once and for all?

That's my summary. Here's the one I pulled from Amazon

The Ancestors whisper of rebellion, their breath a cold blue wind in the forests and hills of Andars. The Rezzian occupation lingers, dragging the folk of the hills through bitterness and despair.

Three siblings stand ready to challenge the Kingdom of Rezzia. Their fates have long been seen by the primordial Orns: one by Angst, one by Fidelity, one by Wrath.

Idonea searches the dark wood to master the magic of the three sacred trees. Skye pursues omens to lead his shield-brothers to victory over Rezzia's legions. As armies battle for control of the Andaran hills, Dag calls out so that he may become as impenetrable as Altrea, allowing nothing to bend him, or turn him, or break him, so that he may stand and defend his kin. The ten gods of Rezzia and their lions stand in his way.
The Ninth Wind takes place over the course of some years as the children of Jurg grow up, but the bulk of the real action takes place about four years after the prequel to this trilogy (The Black God's War- check out my review here). Events that happened in that book are referenced here, but are not needed to fully understand this novel. It's keenly done, actually. A reader could pick up The Black God's War first and then follow with this, or could read The Ninth Wind first and then pick up the other, and I can't say which would be the better experience. I deeply want to go bakc and read The Black God's War (or at least part of it), just to fully take in one of the most important connective tissues between these two books.

You can check out my style section for Moses Siregar in my review of The Black God's War here.

My Thoughts
I formed a love/hate relationship with The Ninth Wind pretty early on. I adore Siregar's world from my reading of The Black God's War. It's so refreshingly different from the bulk of fantasy that I've read, but there are still hints of cultures from our world that I enjoy finding. Some of the characters from TBGW are in this book, although in secondary or even tertiary roles, and they're still themselves, although changed by the events of the previous books. My favorite character from TBGW is still my favorite here, though he's rarely seen. None of the new characters eclipsed him. It made me wish I saw more of him, but that's a wish denied.
The "hate" part of this relationship came in that failed attachment to the newer characters, particularly Idonea. I couldn't connect with her. I had a hard time with Skye and Dag, too, with my best relationship being with Dag. But even that wasn't friend so much as acquaintance. This isn't meant as a failing of Siregar's writing or characterization. He writes well. I just didn't connect personally with the main characters. I'm much more intrigued by Pawelon myself. It happens. People are different. There are many readers who, I think, will connect strongly with Idonea, Skye, and Dag. I just didn't.
Yes, I do plan to read more of the series as it releases. Yes, I hope to see more of Pawelon and its people. Do I hate the Andars? No. Do I dread another book featuring them (if that happens)? Not really. The epilogue brought on a level on intrigue I didn't see coming that did have me clamoring for more.

Would I Recommend This Book? Sure! It wasn't my biggest cup of tea, but I still enjoyed it. It's a tapestry of vibrant colors and intriguing characters, and Siregar does them great service by writing them. It was a bit of a slog for me to get through, but some books are like that. I give The Ninth Wind an ancestral 4 of 5 stars.

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