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The Sundered (Among the Mythos Book 4) Kindle Edition
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Keep working, you have a gift.
Harry Iskinder is a scavenger, criss-crossing the globe in a paddle boat along with his followers, known as travelers, collecting what they can to sell at the major cities. He is also searching for the Hope of Humanity, a secret object he believes will turn the Earth back to how it used to be and save mankind. Humans claim their Sundered Ones by telekinesis, and when Harry ensnares a first-tier Sundered it becomes the start of a journey that will lead him once more around the globe, this time in a life-and-death dash to discover the Hope first, and save the human race.
A review of this book, The Sundered, by Ruthanne Reid, would probably need to be about a thousand words long to do the book justice. There's just so much in this novel, so much back-story and such a detailed world that a short review would be far from sufficient. I normally don't enjoy reading full-length novels written in first person but this one (told entirely from Harry's POV) was a delight to read. It was humorous, serious, and compelling. Harry claims two Sundered in the book, Aakesh (who is first-tier) and Gorish (who is fifth-tier), and Harry's interactions with these two beings make for excellent reading. The connection between them, especially the mind struggles between Harry and Aakesh, are extremely entertaining.
Just for the record, first-tier Sundered are awesome with incredible skills and powers, whereas the fifth-tier beings are lightweight and vulnerable, and usually die quickly (using a Sundered too much wastes them and eventually kills them).
The book's pacing is spot-on, the plot easy to follow, and the dramatic twist at the end totally unexpected and brilliantly delivered. The characters are engaging, particularly Harry with whom the reader obviously spends all their time. Aakesh reminded me occasionally of one of those blue dudes from Avatar (although Aakesh is ebony-skinned), and Gorish reminded me of Gollum. The bit-part characters, mostly Harry's companions, offer lots too, and provide a vital sub-plot as the story progresses.
There's a load to say about this book, and all of it positive. There were one or two small errors, but these are easily overlooked. There aren't many books that pull me away from what I'm doing just so I can continue reading them--The Sundered was one of them.
With lives that literally revolve around water, black water that kills is a terrifying prospect to humans. Water that can take you at a moments notice, a single slip or misstep and you are gone beneath it's dark, impenetrable surface. Water with a power of its own that humans can't understand. And with that, the Sundered. Creatures of vastly varying appearance and talents, that are the only things that stand between humans and extinction, as they build, produce food and, most importantly, interact with the water without being harmed.
The entire concept is horrifying to me and the heightened sense of constantly living on a knife's edge is expertly handled in this book. The main characters life has been a conflagration of some cruel twists of fate and unenviable decisions. So, it is no wonder he is not a happy man. Rather than be a flawless hero that takes everything in his stride, Harry has faults and failings and you experience the mental and physical stress of all of this with him.
The characters of the two main Sundered that he encounters are both harsh and charming. They are brilliantly envisioned to give the reader a stark look at their lives, what it is to be claimed and how this effects their behaviour etc, but it's not as simple as master and slave and the Sundered existence is far more complex and enigmatic.
Altogether, this is a fascinating read that I couldn't put down, I literally read it in one sitting, it was so good. It has brought so many fresh ideas and perspectives to the fantasy genre that I will be very keen to dive into her other works!
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