★★★★★ @JCareyAuthor #ThrowbackReview
Coming fresh off of Kushiel's trilogy, I immediately picked up this book from Ms. Carey back in 2004. Thinking back to this book, I'm still impressed with its unique perspective. From then till now, I have read another 5535 books (according to GoodReads) and have not encountered another book as innovative in this manner. Warning alert. This duology is from the perspective of the losing side, even though they are the Good, not the Evil. This appeals so much to my Chinese heritage I had to read it.
Ms. Carey writes a poignant story about a leader who realizes that his brethren has become unhinged. He decides to do something about it, not exactly anticipating the extreme fallout. This is the anti-hero who ... fails. Amongst this struggle to right what is wrong, this story is told in a beautiful fashion. It is rich with metaphors as well as detailed descriptions to depict a wartorn world.
I like how depending on the perspective, the person who is doing what is right, comes across as the bad guy. The world is not so black and white. It begs to question how many other events in life are similar to this story and specifically the struggle? As the saying goes, "to the victors, history is written". I like how we see the other side, the losing side. I'm with the losing side where I can't fathom how people are hookwinked. Do they not see the logic? Can they not see the facts as it is laid out before them? How are they so brainwashed? I couldn't fathom a world that could be this way. Then the years 2020 and 2021 occurred. Now, I can see all too easily how this can happen. I find it apropos to write this throwback review for a book like this, in 2021.
When it comes to creativity with incredible richness in plot, character, and word choice, Ms. Carey is a master at it. I loved this book and the follow-up one after it. If you are looking for happily ever afters that re-affirm your worldview, this is not the book for you. This book is highly recommended to readers who love philosophical what-if scenarios played out in high definition.