Tracy M. Joyace
Released: 6th June, 2014
Age: Young Adult
“Look at her – she’s Hill Clan. Even the Matyrani don’t like them …”
Isaura – little is known about her race, but much is whispered. Born to refugees, she grows up enduring racism and superstition within a community that fears her. She has few friends, and those she treasures. Trapped, she longs for escape to a different life.
Escape is only the beginning of her troubles. Having fled an invading army with her friends, Isaura is faced with heinous choices in order to survive. Secrets from her past emerge to torment her and threaten to destroy all she holds dear. Her struggles forge a bond with an ancient power – a power which may transform or consume her. Old hatreds and superstitions are renewed and at her most vulnerable she learns the true nature of those around her.
Her only hope lies in a foreign land – a land rich in tradition; ruled by three powerful clans. A land with a history marked by warfare; where magic as we know it does not exist. Instead what is here, in abundance, is a more primal power.
Survival carries a high price.
Welcome to Altaica.
What I like: I really enjoyed the idea of this book from the summary. Plus the cover was really pretty and covers are one of the things that drag me in to look at a book. I really liked how the fact that Isaura is different and not really accepted as a part of the village even though they are the people she grew up with all because of her being one of the “Hill Clan” people. I liked that we get to see the different points of views from different people in the book, and we find out more about what certain people really think when their perspective is used. I like how the mystical elements that were added in were done in a way that made them make sense, and how they used herbs and such for healings. The journey and how the people were affected by it also made a lot of sense to me, and I felt it was portrayed rather realistically. The worldbuilding for the story was rather strong, and the tid bits of information we learned about Altaica scattered through the story were well placed, nothing being told before it was necessary or in extent that would make it boring. There were always fresh reminders, little things, about certain things in the book when they were necessary. Each of the characters in the cast has a personality and we get glimpses of that throughout the story.
What I didn’t like: The abrupt change in point of views originally was unsettling, but as mentioned above it was a good thing to add in as the book went on. We also didn’t really learn much about these Hill Clan people, and I was disappointed about that. They were mentioned very briefly and then I didn’t really get a sense as to why they weren’t liked by the villagers. There was also a lack of history about Altaica and the three clans besides small pieces here and there that really didn’t give one much of a foundation for it to sink in about the land. Sometimes the motives of a character, especially the “villainous” ones, were obscure and I didn’t really get them.
Overall review: Altaica was a very well thought out book, and did some rather good world building. Despite its shortcomings I feel like it is a very worthwhile read and has plenty of potential for the future. With the way it ends, the second book may not start like this one did but with something entirely different but it will more than likely drag you in from page one. I also feel like the characters will continue to grow in the second book, hopefully more so than in this one.
Recommend?: I definitely would! It’s a very well done fantasy book. The second book Asena Blessed comes out in 2015, and I’ll definitely be trying to get my hands on it to read!
My Rating: 4.8/5
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the series!
Asena Blessed (The Chronicles of Altaica #2)
Tracy M. Joyce
Age: Young Adult
Review by Bri