“I said it wasn’t your father who attacked you. He was possessed by an ifrit.”
– Rise: A Blood Inheritance Novel (Page 55)
From Amazon: When Amanda Garrett stumbles across a strange artifact in the woods, she has no idea of the dangerous secret it holds. The teen soon discovers that she has unwittingly released Erol, an imprisoned jinni, and whether she likes it or not, they are bound together until death.
Amanda’s life soon begins to spiral out of control and she finds herself orphaned, kidnapped, and thrust into a terrifying reality. Her captor is convinced that Erol knows the whereabouts of a powerful relic which has been hidden from him and he wants the pair to retrieve it. Still reeling from her loss, and hoping to be spared further pain, Amanda agrees.
As the pair set off on their journey and Amanda learns more about the existence of the realms and the magical beings which reside within them, the clearer it becomes that nothing is quite as it seems.
After Amanda discovers the power of the relic that her captor seeks, the only thing she knows for certain is that her true suffering has only just begun, because no matter how great the sacrifice, she can never allow the relic to fall into her captor’s hands.
Rise is a fast-paced introductory novel to an alternate world where mundane humans are oblivious to the existence of the realms that separate them from other magical races.
When she feels, the darkness closing in around her, Amanda is not sure if she can hold onto a single speck of light, and soon she comes to understand that some secrets are better left buried.
I enjoyed the ease of the narrative, as the story just seemed to flow off the pages. The pacing of the plot was very steady and engaging. Considering that this is a teen/young adult fantasy novel, I found the language and style very appropriate for the target age group, while not dumbed down. I don’t think I saw any grammatical errors, and the book was very well edited.
This third person narrative follows Amanda and her struggles. The reader sees most of the story through her eyes, and the descriptive language makes it very easy to create the different worlds and realms that Amanda sees and experiences, come to life. The narrative was a little choppy at times, but this can be fixed. The choppiness was largely related to emotional and personal feelings. The world was wonderfully fleshed out but I think that the characters needed a little more… character, at times. Amanda has a great framework to her, as does Erol, but considering the events that happen to Amanda, in rather quick succession, I expected more depth of feeling from the character. Amanda is a strong, practical, level-headed 16/17 year old but the death of a loved one will affect anyone. It will especially affect a young woman who has just lost her last blood relative. These sorts of emotional minefields were too glossed over for my liking.
“She slid back to sitting position, propping herself against the hard stone wall, and placed her pack between her legs. Breathe, just breathe, this is no time to freak out, breathe. She took slow calming breaths, like her father had taught her to do when she would wake in a panic after a bad dream.” (Page 9)
“Touching her hand was a small blue wispy ball. She jerked her hand back, pulling it the rest of the way through the creature. The tingling stopped, and the ball rose upward toward the ceiling. Following it with her eyes, she could see them hovering there, dozens of fist-sized balls of blue light.” (Page 64)
“Slowly, the sound of the waterfall returned to Amanda’s ears. She hugged herself against the chill as she acclimated to the coolness of the castle. Stacks of books were piled around the desk where she sat. She tried to shake off the confusion of being thrust into the vision.” (Page 126)
I enjoyed this book, and I think that Ms Ainihi has a wonderful, compelling story to tell. The plan is for this to be a tetralogy, and I hope that the forthcoming books are as engaging and easy to negotiate. I especially enjoyed the way in which the author introduced aspects, traditions and beings from other, non-Christian, cultures into the narrative. This didn’t feel shoehorned, but rather a very organic part of the story.
The strength of this novel is the pace of the narrative and the mystery surrounding the characters. I found that I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen but I was entirely engaged, and desperately kept reading to see what would happen next and where the story would take me. I would definitely recommend this to young people who are interested in fantasy but not wanting to bombarded by “high fantasy”, people who are starting out in the genre and who want a good dose of escapism.
My rating: 4/5
Rise: A Blood Inheritance Novel is available from Amazon.
This review was requested by the author.