Saturday, March 7, 2015

REVIEW: Storm Bride

Storm Bride

Author: J.S. Bangs
Genre: Fantasy, Coming of Age
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Publication date: 12.30.2014
Pages: 264

Recommended by: Red Adept Publishing, Read 2 Review
Date read: 3.6.2015

This was a truly interesting story.  It is a fantasy world, but not what you would typically expect.  In fact, it reminded me of a pre-modern United States, where settlers and tribes were just trying to survive.  

Uye lives with her people in a peaceful city, filled with fishermen and traders.  One day, while out collecting mussels, Uye sees orca drop Saotse (a blind girl) off at Six Pine Rock, and a rescue party is quickly sent to save her.  Uye quickly feels a kinship to Saotse and, even though they do not speak the same language, Uye adopts her as her sister.  As time goes by, they become quite close and things are going well.  Everything changes when a group of traders leave home, and get attacked and killed before reaching their destination.  One person, Uye's husband, is left alive, kept as a slave of the Yakhat war bands.  When they learn of his home, they attack the peaceful city, killing almost everyone, and kidnapping the now pregnant Uye.  And that's where the real adventure begins.

I really like the way that the author writes - he does a great job introducing us to the characters, made even better by the fact that he switches point of views with each chapter, sometimes with the "good" guys and sometimes with the "bad," allowing us to understand what both sides are going through.  His writing is beautiful and eloquent.  The way he describes the war and the surroundings kept me captivated, and I had a hard time putting the book down, wanting to know what would happen next.

My favorite characters were Saotse and Uye, but I have to say that, even though he was a "bad" guy, I liked Keshlik, too.  There was just something about him.

The only thing that bothered me about the story is that a significant amount of time passes between the end of chapter one and the beginning of the chapter two, which makes things rather confusing.  I had to go back and re-read a couple of parts, just to make sure I wasn't missing something.  

About the book:
When Saotse rode across the treacherous ocean on an orca at the bidding or Oarsa, Power of the Sea, the blind maiden believed she had been chosen for a great destiny.  But she hasn't heard Oarsa's voice in decades.  Aged now, she has found her place among a peaceful, long-lived people, though her adoptive sister, Uya, still blossoms with youth.  Then, pregnant Uye is kidnapped, and the rest of her family is slaughtered when an army of mounted warriors strikes the defenseless capital, leaving Saotse grief stricken and alone.  
            After Saotse finds refuge with strangers in a distant village, a new Power makes contact.  Saotse embraces the opportunity to bury her bloodthirsty enemies in vengeance, but wielding the Power's bitter magic could cost her everything she is.
            As war escalates and allies flock to her side, Saotse believes she finally understands Oarsa's purpose for her.  But the Powers may have set events in motion that even they cannot control, and the fates of gods and men alike hang in the balance.

About the author:
J.S. Bangs lives in the American Midwest with his family of four.  When not writing, he works as a computer programmer, and he can occasionally be found gardening, biking, or playing Magic: the Gathering.
            His short fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, and other venues.


JS Bangs said...

Thanks for the review, Meghan! I'm glad you liked it. (And though I saw the guest post on the day that it went up, I somehow missed the review until today. Sorry about that!)

Meghan H said...

You're welcome!! And it's quite okay - it's a blog tour and I know they get busy :)