Book Review – The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams

TheNinthRainRRKReadsReview

Namo Namaha friends. In this post I’ll be reviewing the first book I completed in January 2021. I am ecstatic that my very first read of the first calendar month of the year, has been a 5 ⭐s read. 🤩.

The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams is incidentally a book that’s part of both the challenges I have taken up this year. The 21 books in 2021 challenge as well as the Quarterly priority series challenge.

Though I had expected to like this book as it came highly recommended by one of my favorite booktubers Elliot Brooks, I didn’t expect to like it so much. I am still trying to wrap my head around the story. Not that it was complicated, it just covered lots of ground in the very first book. (I’ll be giving a spoilery book summary soon, so do keep an eye out for that post if you are so inclined.)

To say this series is under-rated will be an understatement. Except for Elliot, I haven’t heard anybody else talk about this wonderful novel! Why? Why aren’t more people reading this fantastical book?
Whatever the reasons are, I think fantasy nerds must definitely give this book a try. Now let’s get on with the review, shall we?

Book Name – The Ninth Rain

Type – Series/Trilogy

Series Name – The Winnowing Flame trilogy

Book Number in the Series – Book One

Author – Jen Williams

Genre – Fiction

Category – Adult Fantasy

Year of publication – 2017

Goodreads rating – 4.09

Representation – LGBT (Implied)

Synopsis

An ancient race, the Eborans, are facing extinction due to the death of their life-giving tree god during the eight rain war centuries ago. According to history, the tree-god, in his death, managed to put an end to their traditional enemies, an alien species named Jurelia. But did he?

The fear of the mighty Eborans dying out and the fear of Jurelia attacking and wiping out the Humans, motivates three unlikely companions to begin an adventure of finding out the truth behind all the mysteries. Who are the Jurelia? What happened during the Eight Rain? How did the Tree God die? and so on.

👍 Favorable points

This book had everything I expect from a solid fantasy novel. Action, heart, reverence, fantastical elements, and good storytelling.

We follow three main characters and a few other sub-characters throughout the story. Their stories are interspersed in such an unobvious and unpredictable way that instead of feeling frustrated with the constant shift in gears, I felt enthused throughout the novel.

1. Characters

When I say we get solid characters I don’t mean it in a way of commenting on how they are fleshed out but on how they made me feel. I felt connected to them. I felt invested in what happens to them. For the first time, I couldn’t care less about their character growth or any of the other parameters that are usually ticked off in gauging a fictional character. 

Vintage, a wine connoisseur, an adventurer, a middle-aged lesbian?bi-sexual? (Am not clear about that, as her sexual preference is not mentioned explicitly) woman enrolls the help of an Eboran man Tor, who’s one of the last few Eborans alive, to seek out the truth about the Jurelians. 

Along the way, they pick up a runaway witch named Noon, who eventually becomes a critical part of their team. There are other minor characters such as Hestillion, Aldasair, the Winnowry mother, mother fast, and so on, who I assume will play bigger roles in the next books of the series. 

I am not a big fan of adventure stories but this one kept me interested throughout. The slow unraveling of the mystery was satisfying and entertaining. 

2. Story and the world it is set in

This is a story that needs some marination time. You need to soak up the story slowly. I am not sure if I want to re-read this book or if I want to continue with the series? I only know that I am on an edge with this story and that I want to know more. I expect loads of action from the next books.

There are multiple facets of the story:

  • The Jurelia, the alien species, and their Queen
  • The Winnowry a fanatical cult and its sisters, they sure do sound quite sinister!
  • Vintage and her team.
  • The Eborans, their tree god and their magical war beasts
  • Humans and their various clans

👎 Pain points

Now, this is the hardest part of this review. I honestly don’t have a single complaint about this book!

Ok, allow me to explain that. I think sometimes a book can be compared to our very own humble Idli. Idli? Yes, Idli, the fluffy, jasmine textured ones? Ever had that? It’s one of the most blissful, comforting experiences to savor the taste of a well-made Idli.

Now, this book gave me those feels! It gave me no scope for nitpicking. Reading this book was an experience and it was a good one. Will it be replicated? probably not. But, it was worth it while it lasted just like that oh! so soft and yummy idlis.

I can comment, rant on a bad idli. That it isn’t fluffy enough, it’s not steamed well enough, and so on, but how do I explain a good idli? Not very easy isn’t it? Eat one and know it yourself. Similarly, give this book a try and if you enjoy it thank me later and if you don’t, well sometimes, we do get bad idlis on our plate 😋

Review, Recommendation, and Rating

Invest Grade Book – Book worth buying and adding to your book collection

My overall sentiment on this book is: I was supremely entertained by it and I am very invested in knowing how it proceeds from here. 

Invest Grade book – Book worth investing in and adding to your collection. 

So those were my thoughts on The Ninth Rain. How about you? Have you read it? If yes, what did you think about it? Or are you planning to read it? Do let me know your thoughts on my SM channels @twitter, @instagram, or @goodreads

You can even join me at my book club in discord or @ bookclubz, and buddy read some books with me. Let’s keep the bookish conversation going. 

Till then, stay safe and blessed. Om Shanti. 🙏

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