Published by Musa Publishing on July 13th 2012
It has been thousands of years since the fall of the great nations and the tribes that remain in the ashes of the fallen must fight to survive in the shadows. In this desperate landscape, Ailive has spent her entire life fighting for the honor of her tribe and she has grown weary of war. When Ailive sees a chance to escape her fate, she flees into a chaotic landscape where death and darkness lurk behind every friendly face until she finds refuge in the peaceful city at the center of her world. In this city, Ailive finds everything she’s ever dreamt of, but news of a strange prophet from the South brings whispers of war to Ailive’s peaceful home. Now Ailive alone can stop the genocide of an entire tribe of people. Ailive alone holds the key to bringing peace to the world and destroying the monstrous man whom she once loved, if she can only gain the courage to pick up her sword again and make herself fulfill the destiny she’s fought her entire life.
There are a few funny things about this book that I just have to share before I actually get into my review. First of all although this is Dystopian my mind kept wanting to put these people back in like cavemen times. No clue why but every time a car was mentioned or a computer I had to jerk back into the premise of the book, future dystopian I reminded myself, again and again! This didn’t take away from the book at all, just gave me a little jolt every once in a while. Also, I think it is because Twilight Saint reminded me so much of Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel. That has been my favorite story since I was like twelve or something. So I think that’s why I kept wanting to place this in cavemen times, although it is way NOT. But then ironically we have a young character named Aeila. I’m so hoping that it is pronounced the same as my favorite Ayla! But the funniest thing of ALL is that Ailive reminds me of a future Ayla. She is by far amazing, heroic, intelligent, strong and empathetic!
And I guess that brings me to why I love this book. Ailive is the main character and heroine of the story. She is simply amazing. I love her! Enough to have her remind me of my wonderful reading when I was a teenager! She brings the world a light like none other in this Dystopian world. A light that is brought on through bloodshed.
This woman’s life is not easy. You don’t learn why until about half way through but Ailive walks the way of the storm, or the way of a warrior. She has so much rage and hatred towards life and people that she can’t help but want to strike out at the closest person. Even though this is set as future women are not thought of as warriors, so not only does she have to fight the stigma of being a woman warrior but also the fact that she is petite, but she uses both of these to her advantage. Her lessons in life are truly deep and I found myself a few times needing to grab a tissue, it’s just so intense. Her life is by no means easy even when she wishes it were.
And then we have her brother, Xander. He is such a wonderful and loving person. I think Ailive needed that in her life to help ground her and remind her that life was worth living! As well as the loving Mia. When Ailive feels alone Mia is always there to help her.
Ailive is my favorite character but I really also liked the intensity of Cahir. He was so interesting! You also wonder where his motives lie but his character was so well put together, so fierce! He helped create the monster that Ailive became and as fearful as that is, it’s also awesome.
It is Hotem that I was a bit confused by. I’m not sure if I like that guy! I understand his reactions to Ailive but still… He just makes me want to punch him. Or at least have Ailive punch him. It’s the few supporting characters that help make this book dynamic though. They are all wonderful and Jessica Penot describes each so well that I felt like I was watching this world instead of reading it. Very three dimensional and each had her or his own voice!
This book is quite honestly something else! It leaves you curious about their future. I wanted more for them. Kind of like Clan of the Cave Bear. A five book series about Ailive’s life and her decisions! She is ultimately wonderful, as is this story. Brilliantly written. The only downside is the learning portion and that can’t really be helped, especially in a world so far in the future. We need to know where we are and Jessica Penot does a great job with showing us. A truly lovely, interesting story about people and what they will do to survive. Fabulous!
I walk the way of the storm. It is all I have ever known. In the haze of early childhood memories, there exists brief moments before the storm, but now it has consumed everything. Every piece of me has been lost and all I can remember is fire and smoke and the remains of old dreams singed by death. Even as I sat high above the city, looking down on the magnificent beauty of my tribe, the smell of death lingered. Our tribe’s city was alive, vibrant, and prosperous, but to me it was nothing.
I sat perched on top of the highest tower of the karash, looking down on what most people in our tribe would call the real world. I was a Xenderian. I was part of the most powerful tribe of its time. I was more than part of it, I was the sword that cut the path to its glory. I was a karake. I was born to fight for the glory of my people, but as I looked through the icy air, I felt dead inside. My scars were long and my nightmares haunted my every moment.
I am a therapist and writer who lives in Alabama with my three corgis, children, husband, and other strange creatures. My short stories have been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies including CSM, Summer Gothic, Bound By Blood, and Outer Darkness. I have ghost story columns in theValley Planet and White Cat Magazine where I share my love for ghost stories that send shivers down your spine and keep you up at night. I also share my passion for all things ghostly and haunted at my blog, ghost stories and haunted places.
I am currently working on my next Haunted America Book for History Press, Haunted South Alabama. Follow me at my blog to learn about the ghost stories I am chasing and collecting for this fascinating addition to Haunted America. I’m also workng on the next book in my Circe series. The demon is awake and waiting for my new heroine in the swamps of Southern Alabama. Click Here to Follow My Blog!
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