Namo Namaha friends. I had started the 21 books 21 days challenge as a way of coping during the lockdown. I will update the challenge progress in a separate post. This post is a review of a recently published YA fantasy novel I received as an ARC.
Book Name – The Unblessed Child
Author – R J Kaldanis
Genre – Fantasy fiction
Category – YA Fantasy
Type – The Blessed Chronicles series
Book Number in Series – One
Year of publication – 2020
Goodreads rating – 3.74
Format – ebook received as an ARC
Aardriyah is an unblessed girl in the world of blesseds, which means she is powerless and is considered to be from the least important group on the social ladder of her society. While her brother a powerful blessed is adopted as the heir apparent prince, she has to battle her inferiority complex and the horrible nightmares that plague her. In a heavily biased society, somebody is out to kill her, an unblessed nobody, Why? Will the forced adventure she has to take to escape her hunters give her answers about herself and her strengths? forms the crux of the story.
What appealed to me?
- The story. This story has immense potential. Though I was not impressed with the ending, this story showed promise and this being just the first part in a series, I am guessing the intrigue value of the story will only increase with each installment.
- The Magic system. I liked how society is categorized based on elemental magic i.e. air, water, earth, and fire. This magical system has a lot of potential for action and manipulation. Though this book has not completely leveraged this potential, I am hoping we would see more of it in the next installments of the series.
- Writing. The writing was natural and fluid. It was not too prosaic or poetic. It was just enough to get you into the story and not be distracted by the techniques of plotting and writing.
- Positive sexuality. I liked how natural the LGBT representation in this novel was. There are lesbian and gay characters but it’s so natural that you might even miss it in the story if you would like to. It’s not the in-your-face activism/representation for the sake of representation kind of narration and that was appealing.
What didn’t appeal to me?
Characters. I especially found Aardriyah’s portrayal immensely irritating. Yes, she was treated badly but isn’t there an expiry date for victim cards? How long will somebody carry around the placard of victimhood around them? The way she treated her brother, the way she carried around her jealousy and immaturity as some cloak of honor was supremely unappealing. I wished desperately for somebody (in this case the author) to knock some sense into her.
I liked the dog and Rachida, but the rest of the characters were lukewarm at best.
I cannot say this story was memorable or unique. But, I enjoyed reading it, I was not bored or disinterested and that’s a good enough reason for me to like a book. I am looking forward to reading the next installment of the series.
Review, recommendation, and rating
This is a Borrow-grade book, a book worth borrowing from the library or trading with friends. This might be upgraded to a Buy grade depending on how good the rest of the books in the series are.
So, friends, that’s all from my end on this book. I hope everybody is doing well in these depressing, lockdown times. Stay blessed and Om Shanti.