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Wings Unseen Paperback – August 22, 2017
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"War, treachery, and star-crossed lovers abound in this high fantasy novel. . . . Farrell’s book is imaginative, filled with detailed worldbuilding, but rarely bogged down in exposition. Each of the protagonists’ stories is engaging in its own way. . . . This inventive epic about two kingdoms soars above its faults."(Kirkus Reviews)
"An expansive, immersive world populated by compelling characters."(James Maxey, author of the Bitterwood Saga and the Dragon Apocalypse Saga Book Endorsement)
"An absorbing, original epic fantasy that's impossible to put down."(Richard Dansky, author of Shadows In Green and Firefly Rain Book Endorsement)
"An intricately woven coming-of-age tale full of magic and intrigue. Wings Unseen presents a vivid world populated with a wonderful collection of characters to love and despise."(Dominica Phetteplace, award-winning author of "Gin Is Stronger Than Witchcraft," "Project Entropy" and others Book Endorsement)
"Wings Unseen is the fantasy I've been waiting to read for a long time. Vibrant, intense, but underscored by a weight that makes the characters jump out at you, this is not a book you will put down."(Jay Requard, Author of The Saga of The Panther and War Pigs Book Endorsement)
"Wings Unseen marries intrigue, unique worldbuilding, and political machination in a fast-paced story that will surely appeal to high fantasy and historical fantasy readers."(Jaym Gates, author of Shattered Queen Book Endorsement)
"With a talon-like hook, Wings Unseen will grab you and not let you go."(Mur Lafferty, award-winning author of The Shambling Guide to New York City Book Endorsement)
"Wings Unseen is an enthralling female-driven fantasy debut. The world, magic system, and terrific characters – with two complex, multi-layered heroines along with the male protagonist – drew me in and kept me rapt. The romantic set-up goes sideways in a delightful way, satisfying me entirely. The characters truly grow and change over the course of their epic quest, including a heroine who begins in a dark place and rises above it. An initially unlikable heroine, Vesperi is deftly handled and won a place as my favorite character. Compelling, entertaining, and enlightening, Wings Unseen is a fantastic read!"(Jeffe Kennedy, award-winning author of The Twelve Kingdoms series Book Endorsement)
“I enjoyed the writing of Farrell. . . . Each action was written to such precision that it felt like a well-directed movie in my head, leaving little for me to fill in. And that’s great! For a high fantasy book, the author’s ability to describe is essential and Farrell excelled at it.”(Book Allure)
“I would place this book on the shelf next to Anne Aguirre, Veronica Roth, Christopher Paolini, and Ally Condie. Being a former middle grades English teacher, Wings Unseen would have been on my recommendation list and if any of those former students come knocking, I would not hesitate to tell them about Wings Unseen.”(JD DeHart Literature & Reading Resources)
About the Author
In all but one career aptitude test Rebecca Gomez Farrell has taken, writer has been the #1 result. But when she tastes the salty air and hears the sea lions bark, she wonders if maybe sea captain was the right choice after all. Currently marooned in Oakland, CA, Becca is an associate member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Her short stories, which run the gamut of speculative fiction genres, have been published by Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Pulp Literature, and Typehouse Literary Magazine among others. Maya’s Vacation, her contemporary romance novella, is available from Clean Reads. Her next short story will appear in the Future Fire this fall, and she is thrilled that her debut novel will be published by Meerkat Press in 2017.
Becca’s food, drink, and travel writing, which has appeared in local media in CA and NC, can primarily be found at her blog, the Gourmez. For a list of all her published work, fiction and nonfiction, check out her author website at RebeccaGomezFarrell.com.
Top customer reviews
The world the author created feels real, far away, and long ago. The Lanserim prince, Janto undergoes a coming of age physical and mental training with a leader who beguiles his charges with his magic. He is a good young man who aspires to live up to his father’s ability to rule. At the same time Janto’s betrothed, Serra, less than willing goes along with training by the Brothers who are determined she help fulfill the prophecy. The reader can well identify with her resistance and puzzlement regarding their designs on her and her struggle with the decision to accept the Brothers’ claim of her destiny. In the end it seems a snap decision made without warning. In fact, I thought she’d been kidnapped.
Vesperi is Medua and deliciously detestable. She eschews good manners and kindness, expecting a real man to treat her roughly. She believes she’s worthy of ruling, but she has a brother born with physical and mental disabilities her father thinks should take the throne. I am surprised Vesperi didn’t arrange for him to meet with an accident as she is capable of cold-blooded killing and detests caring for her brother. She views Lanserim people as fools initially but grows to appreciate their kindness as she works with them to fulfill the prophecy, but not quite enough to become likable.
I don’t see this novel as YA and not because it has sexual references. Vesperi and the men training with Janto make crude comments. I don’t know what limitations are on this genre, but it seems naïve to think young adults haven’t heard or can’t handle sexual references. The reading is not easy as much rich description is folded into an action sentence making it long and harder to parse. Further, there are many invented names for plants, animals, titles for various roles, territories, and sub societies. It is always clear what category a word pertains to. A reader doesn’t need to know what a snevin looks like or eats if it’s on the menu or bites your leg, but deducing the categories slows down the read. It is YA in the sense that the young adult is more likely to be partial to magic and fantasy or at least that is my guess.
I found myself warming to the book as I read. Serra was the most complex character and my favorite. Janto was a clean good man. Vesperi was interesting if not likable. The different threads of the book came together for a satisfying ending.
I would place this book on the shelf next to Anne Aguirre, Veronica Roth, Christopher Paolini, and Ally Condie. Being a former middle grades English teacher, Wings Unseen would have been on my recommendation list and if any of those former students come knocking, I would not hesitate to tell them about Wings Unseen.
What the author does best, from my reading, is bring this book to a swelling apex, and then leave us with just enough to ensure that there can be another entry. This hint at future events does not detract from the book itself in the way that some other titles do. Farrell also proves more than capable of inventing her own place for us to visit and writes in adeptly about these this new place in the way that accomplished science fiction writers can.
If you are looking for something in the avenue of fantasy and young adult literature, with an insatiable readability, I would suggest this book for you.
My review was based on an advance copy.
Janto is the Lanserim Prince, soon to be married to his childhood friend and sweetheart. However, he has to go on his Murat. It's an annual quest with endurance tests.
Serra is an orphan, raised in the Lanserim kingdom from a young age and betrothed to Janto. She is looking forward to her big day, but just after Janto's departure, she is invited to be an initiate in to learn about the religious ways of their goddess.
Vesperi is a Meduan where all women are considered to be good for two things only. Whoring themselves and being in the kitchens. She looks after her younger brother who has physical disabilities. Her biggest desire is to become the heir to her father, highly unlikely! Being a woman and all. She also has a power which she is unable to control.
Unbeknown to them, Janto, Serra and Vesperi are bound by the prophecy. During the Murat, Janto achieves something that's considered to be a myth. He then starts to have visions. He finds those disturbing even though they haunt him. During her initiation, Serra makes her own discovery. She has a gift which might well change their destiny. At the same time, the Guj, leader of the Meduan evil sect wants to manipulate Vespiri by using her gifts.
Vesperi escapes and is captured by the Lanserims. She is surprised at the way women are treated and still expects the worse! She does what she does best. Rebelling at every turn, until she is more or less convinced that things are different here. Serra has second thoughts about her wedding. She makes a judgement call that changes everything. The three of them find that their future is predestined.
Soon they find that they have to work together in order to thwart the evil threatening all their lives. Feelings and relationships change. Resentment and jealousy set in, but these have to be overlooked for the greater of good. One of Vesperi's evil doing comes to light and causes even more upsets! They carry on regardless, and witness deaths and destruction whilst they themselves are in danger. They meet Lorne, a Meduan who is well acquainted to Vespiri. Together, they develop a strategy to defeat the evil, stop the deaths and bring the two sides back together. Do they have what it takes to stop the advers?
The chants that are meant to reinforce the prophecy are too repetitive and become a little tedious. The roles of the characters are well defined but, I would have liked to have learnt a bit more about their personalities in order to connect with them. Although the end is satisfactory, there are some gaps in relation to two of the main characters. It's an interesting concept, but the story isn't fluid even though the prospects are good.
I was kindly issued with an eARC and the views expressed are my personal opinion.
Most recent customer reviews
Wings Unseen got off to a slow start with a first chapter that almost made me put the book down.Read more