Echoes of Understorey
First of all, let me thank Netgalley and Tor for the chance to read and review this book: Echoes of Understorey pre-release. As always, these thoughts are my own. This review is spoiler-free and no main plot points are revealed.
I give this story 4 stars.
Return to the mythical rainforest ruled by reincarnated gods in the quest fantasy Echoes of Understorey, the heart-pounding sequel to Thoraiya Dyer’s Crossroads of Canopy.
Great deeds are expected of Imeris.
Raised by accomplished warriors and skilled healers, and being the sister to a goddess, Imeris always felt pressured to be the best fighter in Understorey. Yet during a mission to capture the body-snatching sorceress Kirrik, Imeris fails disastrously. With death on her conscience and in hiding from her peers, Imeris climbs up to the sun-kissed world of Canopy to learn new ways to defeat Kirrik. What she doesn’t expect is to be recruited in a Hunt for the Ages, against a terrifying divine monster that will take all of her skills to stop.
The synopsis that I read from Netgalley either did not say ‘return’, or I totally missed it because I did not know this was the second book in a series. I was fully under the impression that it was a standalone book or at least the first book in a series. Because of that, I was pretty confused most of the story. So, for your sanity, please go read the first book first! Its title is Crossroads of Canopy. I fully realize that my review is skewed because of my failure to read book one.
The story of Imerissiremi is a story of revenge, struggle, and forgiveness. It’s deep, complex, and fascinating.
Ms. Dyer’s storytelling is unique, refreshing, and fully immersive. Her voice is so different from most other authors I’ve read. It’s perhaps a little complex for the casual reader, so if you’re not totally committed, this book is going to be difficult. Goodreads says the story is 384 pages but it feels a lot more like 784. There’s a LOT that happens, a lot of characters, and a lot of times I felt totally lost. But then again, had I read book one, I doubt it would have been so difficult.
“I am majorly impressed. A unique, gorgeous, and dangerous world!”–Tamora Pierce
Imerissiremi is the main character. I liked how every bit of the story was from her perspective; there was no head hopping or perspective changes. She’s intelligent and interesting enough that she works fine as the main character. I didn’t understand her motivations, but she’s believable and the culture is so different that I wasn’t bothered by not being able to fully connect with her.
Echoes of Understorey contains one of the deepest and most fully realized fantasy worlds I’ve read in a long time. The culture seems real and solid, hints of language seep through, and the religion is obviously a very complex concept. If you’re looking for a deep, satisfying fantasy world, then this is it.
This book will be released to the public on February 13th, 2018, so in the interim two days, snatch up book one and read it, because I plan to!
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