By: Adesina Brown
Published by: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: December 2021
Reviewed By: Amy Lignor
Looking at the cover of this fast-paced fantasy tale, you wouldn’t be able to imagine the scope of the characters and amazing plotlines that lie within. Don’t get me wrong, the cover is lovely and makes you want to pull it down off the shelf at your local bookstore – which is basically the job of the cover artist. However, when you hit page one and meet a three-year-old child with golden brown skin who is given a “hand” that helps her up and takes care of her in a world where she is the only creature called “Human,” that is when you find yourself whisked away on an adventure of mammoth proportions.
Her name is Tair, and she is the classic outsider looking in when it comes to her friends and adopted family. Living in the green hills of a location called Mirte, she has no memory of her parents or her original home. Mirte is the last valley that is under the sole control of the Elves. The beings closest to Tair include Shianna, who is a Dwarf living in the valley of the Elves that Tair has always looked up to as both a guardian and then a sibling as she grew older. Silaa is a prankster who looks at Tair as fragile, because she’s a Human. Silaa is one of the first Elves Tair met when she arrived as a child. Alyn is a Fel, which is made when an Elf and a Fairy mate, and also cooks food for Tair and the others, and does his best to keep everyone safe. Although he’s the only one who is the same height and build as a Human, his pointed ears and white eyebrows, among other features, sets him apart from the rest.
One evening, the usually rambunctious house becomes extremely silent during dinner and Tair knows something’s going on. When she asks, Alyn tells her that the very next day they will leave the valley before the Red Sun rises. He explains that they have known for the last fourteen years that tomorrow would be the day Tair would have to leave the only home she’s ever known. The three creatures are, in fact, her protectors, and they must take her to a new place, while all the time keeping her safe from the other Humans out there who have wanted Tair dead for a long time because they know what she represents and how, exactly, Tair can derail their own treacherous plans.
The journey they take will lead to Doman; this is the current home to the Dwarves, yet once upon a time it was the home to all kinds. Unfortunately, it was also the scene of the Doman War where horrific Human behavior took place, making the Dwarves’ legendary magic and wisdom gifts that they’ve had to keep secret. When Tair arrives, she meets new people and those that will help her progress. As her life moves forward, and her three protectors continue to shield her as best as they can, Tair is placed on a path that will lead to her having to choose between the homeland and beings who took care of her and the Human life that she’s supposed to live.
There is so much action, so much well-thought-out wisdom that hits upon present-day matters within this fantasy, that this is one debut every reader will agree deserves a huge round of applause. The author was able to create creatures with backgrounds, worlds that could very well be real because they “feel” real when you’re walking through them, and even made up a variety of languages, and a way to help all of those in the world who feel “different” or “alone” find a place that fits them just right.
Not wanting to give away any nuggets of information that could spoil the story, the upside is that there are no downsides to this book. For a first-time author, it is more than difficult to get a 5-star rating, but this is one that should receive 10-stars if it was at all possible.
Quill says: It’s the token “thankful” season now, and I must say the best part about this read is, thankfully, a Book 2 that will eventually allow us to continue on this fantastic adventure!