Quaking Soul: Hidden Mythics (Book One),
by Jennifer. M. Zeiger
Hey guys, how have you been keeping this week?
Have you found any new favourite books? Incidentally, I have.
Today, such a favourite comes in the form of Quaking Soul: Hidden Mythics, a fantasy novel by author Jennifer. M. Zeiger, which I’m excited to be reviewing. So, without further delay, let’s dive in.
Quaking Soul is a fantasy novel set in the modern United States of America. From the start, we learn that humans have been destroying trees and capturing Mythics. Why? No-one knows. But Na’rina, Dryad Ambassador (filling in for her mother) intends to find out. Partnering up with a Wer-im, a supposed enemy of her people seems like the worst move possible, however, Na’rina has little choice. Together, the pair must forge a plan, to find Na’rina’s mother and figure out who is attacking their kind and more importantly, why. The continued survival of the Mythics rests on their shoulders.
Na’rina, a Dryad and daughter to the Mother Drydanda immediately came across as a responsible young woman, who took her duties seriously. She was determined to do whatever she could to find her mother and learn more about the human’s interference with the Mythics. One particularly fascinating thing about her was her ability to see Zoi-aima (a living thing’s life energy) and manipulate it to her own ends. Although Na’rina carried a heavy burden throughout her journey, acting as a leader in her mother’s stead, she eventually managed to overcome her personal doubts and rose to the occasion spectacularly. Because of this, she has become one of my favourite fictional characters.
The Wer-im which shares Na’rina’s perilous journey, known as Icarus, provided a nice contrast to her character. He was mysterious and protective, taking bold and cunning moves toward their goal, where Na’rina was more cautious. He seemed to be a creature of action, never one for backing down. Over the course of the story, his bond with Na’rina, despite their status as potential enemies, only served to grow stronger, and had me heavily invested in their friendship.
Although there were numerous other characters mentioned, the only other who really stood out was Silas, Icarus’ mentor and former Wer-im leader. From the moment I met him, he appeared curious, asking far too many questions about Na’rina’s mother and hinting at future surprises in the story. His friendship with Icarus was somewhat strained, shifting back and forth between moments of fighting and disagreement, and a sense of casual comararderie.
Overall, the characters were well crafted, each with their own worries and desires, which played out against each-other.
Quaking Soul was a fascinating story of mythical creatures, humanity, and the fight for survival against all odds. There was much to like about it and as usual, I’ve included a bulleted list below:
- The culture of the various Mythic races was intriguing, especially that of the Dryads. The way they touch trees in greeting especially stood out to me as I often do this when walking my dog through a nearby forest. I don’t know why I do it: it’s just a peculiar compulsion to see if I can feel their energy. Therefore, seeing this reflected back at me in a book was surprising and oddly familiar.
- The history of the Dryads and the banishment of the Wer-im was gradually expanded upon as the story continued and helped to provide additional context to the main plot, as well as the race’s various biases.
- The third-person, close narration allowed me to experience things through Na’rina’s eyes, providing a great level of insight into a range of problems, both individual and historical.
- The growing friendship between Na’rina and Icarus was very moving, providing a softer emotional touch to a more action-packed tale.
Six main quotes stood out to me over the course of this novel.
- ‘Some lessons are harder to learn than others.’
- ‘Because they acted first doesn’t mean violence was the correct way to respond.’
- ‘She’d found her knowledge to be skewed, deceiving even, about these creatures. What’s true and what’s created by bitter resentment from a bloody war?’
- ‘When the world spins beyond control, reconnect with who you are.’
- ‘There’s always a way to forgive.’
- ‘We all carry scars. You are not in this alone.
These various quotes dealt with themes of vengeance, life lessons, painful pasts, and forgiveness. As such, each had me pausing, mid-read, to absorb the wisdom they were trying to impart.
Overall, Quaking Soul: Hidden Mythics was a fabulous story exploring old rivalries and the power of uniting, in order to survive.
My Rating: 5 stars.
Recommended to: lovers of urban fantasy, mythical beings, and conflicts between such beings and humanity.
A true tale of survival, secrets, and forgiveness.
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Wishing you a wonderful week,