A land that is out of balance and the journey of those who have the chance to save it, the Keys of the Origin, the first book in this saga by Melissa A. Joy.
The book was a little slow to start, I normally prefer to be gripped by the story almost straight away, but I am very glad I stuck with it. The story is complex, and that coupled with exceptionally detailed and descriptive writing has made for a wonderful start to this series. The descriptive writing enabled me to immerse myself in the story and in some places, like the fair in Almadeira; I could almost hear the music and feel the atmosphere whilst still being sat in my living room. There are lots of twists and turns throughout and jumping between places and characters, but it in this case I felt that it worked really well because you get a well rounded view of the story as it happens. It was very difficult to figure out what was going to happen next, which made it a brilliant page-turner. If you stick with it as I did, you will find yourself unable to put the book down!
The characters are very well thought out, so much so that I found myself cheering on some, while strongly cursing others, and each have many layers to them. I found them very believable and in some cases relatable. They also link in and contrast extremely well, creating brilliant doses of tension and humour throughout the book, that add a little something extra to the story. My favourite character is Melkhar, one of the Kaesan’Drahknyr. A fierce redheaded warrior with a dark past, that everybody fears and admires.
I thought that the maps and glossary included in the book are also a wonderful touch. I could use the map to see where everything actually was during the story, which really helped with picturing the land in my mind, and in doing so, added to the story itself, and the glossary so I could easily look up what was being said when there was not a footnote to translate.
Overall, I would say this is an exceptional book that I would happily recommend to readers young and old that enjoy a good fantasy novel. Very well thought out, brilliantly written, and I eagerly await the next installment!!