Netherlight, by Shaun Paul Stevens
Hey guys, how has your week been so far?
Christmas is steadily inching its way closer and I can’t wait to spend more time with family.
Book-wise, I have a real treat for you today, in the form of Netherlight, a fantasy novel that explores the misuse of magic and power, alongside the prejudice and mistreatment of different peoples.
The author, Shaun Paul Stevens, has outdone himself with this one.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into today’s review.
Guyen and his family have migrated to Sendal, to be away from a perilous war. However, Krellens are deemed less than because of their different race and as such, are treated poorly at every turn.
When Guyen is discovered to be a purebound, he is inducted into the devotions, where he learns he has the ability to manipulate faze energy. Meanwhile, the maddenings (people becoming unbound and crazed) are growing in number, threatening the stability of Sendal.
Guyen was a fascinating character. Understandably bitter given the way he is treated by the Sendali people, intelligent and somewhat rebellious, he had a fire within him that urged him to keep going, no matter what happened to him.
Emeldra (Mist to friends) made for a great sidekick type. She was stealthy, resourceful, direct, and above all, fearless.
Ariana, a high born, provided a nice contrast to Guyen and Emeldra. She was smart, independent and, unlike other high borns, she was concerned about the fate of the people and showed great compassion toward them, no matter their race.
Rossi, a Sendali guard of some renown came across as pampered, rude, and very prejudiced. However, as the story progressed and he was forced to spend more time with Guyen, his initial harshness and cruelty seemed to soften.
Although there were other characters present, these four took centre stage and captured my interest the moment they were introduced. Each played an integral part in the story, adding their skills to the mix, to help find a solution to the problems at hand.
There was a lot to like about Netherlight. From the close third person narration, which flowed well, to the organically developed world building that pulled you deeper into the story’s surroundings and culture.
The Sendali cultural aspects explored painted a vivid picture of a place heavily prejudiced against Krellen, a place which even oppressed its own people, as long as the high borns benefited.
The inclusion of The Layer or ‘Otherwhere,’ a sort of other realm between the realm of life and death, was beautiful explored. Known as the place ‘where meaning is created,’ it added a nice touch to the story overall.
Two quotes struck me hard when reading Netherlight, both of which have heavy relevance to modern day concerns.
1) ‘Some people are happier living in ignorance.’
2) ‘It always makes a difference. You should stand up for what you believe in.’
Why not take a moment to think upon these quotes.
.How have you experienced the ignorance of others in life?
.Is there something you believe in that you would fight tooth and nail for?
Overall, Netherlight was a mesmerizing fantasy novel that explored the mistreatment and prejudice of the Krellen race, alongside the maddenings, where a secret plot lay buried in the heart of Sendali culture.
My Rating: 5 stars.
A truly magical tale that I would recommend to all fantasy lovers, especially those seeking themes that resonate with modern day social concerns.
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Take Care This Week
As always, thank you for joining me for today’s review.
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Wishing you a wonderful week,