Besieged (Book one of the Outcast Chronicles) – Rowena Cory Daniels (Solaris)
Sorne, the estranged son of a King on the verge of madness, is being raised as a weapon to wield against the mystical Wyrds. Half a continent away, his father is planning to lay siege to the Celestial City, the home of the T En, whose wyrd blood the mundane population have come to despise. Within the City, Imoshen, the only mystic to be raised by men, is desperately trying to hold her people together. A generations long feud between the men of the Brotherhoods and the women of the sacred Sisterhoods is about to come to a head. With war without and war within, can an entire race survive the hatred of a nation? Rowena Cory Daniells, the creator of the bestselling Chronicles of King Rolen s Kin, brings you a stunning new fantasy epic, steeped in magic and forged in war.
Without a doubt one of the best opening instalments of a trilogy I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. The backdrop is absolutely beautiful, Daniels has created a brilliantly described world that’s incredibly easy to get lost in, superb races, Mieren referred to as True Men, T’en a race of silver haired six fingered and toed gift empowered humanoids, feared and hated by the hugely more populated Mieren and the Malajune, a copper haired half blood sub-species subservient to the T’en , also hated by Meiren.
The politics and hierarchy within all of the races is complex and very deeply set, and the history that fuelled the political system is explained throughout, without confusion or distracting the reader from the tale being told. The real beauty of this novel though, lies in the authors skill and ability when it comes to balancing everything from the ruthless, power hungry King Charald of the Mieren race to the innocent, compassionate Imoshen of the T’en race trciling down to characters only used very briefly, subtle hints leading me to believe that they’ll assume a much larger role in the coming novels, through to events and the growth of individual characters and the influence of their environments and described upbringings. Everything you could ever ask for in a fantasy novel is here in abundance.
My only two pieces of advice would be to firstly, take note at the beginning of some chapters when the year is mentioned as at some points, Daniels skips years, this does help the pace of the novel greatly instead of bogging it down with unnecessary description that’s of no importance, and secondly, clear a large chunk of time to read ‘Besieged’ because once you turn that first page you really won’t be able to put it down… Gav.