The Aniw people live in the North sheltered from the horrors of the known world until one day southerners arrive and they carry guns. Sjenn is a young spiritwalker of her tribe with a huge responsibility on her shoulders to protect her people. When her family is threatened, Sjenn is overcome with rage and releases The Dog within spilling blood. The clash of two cultures, war, politics, and magic are at the crux of this story and you have better buckle your seatbelt for a wild adventure.
Jarrett is a captain in the Ciracusan army under the leadership of his father the General. When news of a northern expedition has gone wrong resulting in the death of a beloved priest, the whole fort is seekeing answers. Taken prisoner in the raid is Sjenn and her spirit animal, but this not seen as a nidernce but an opportunity for Jarrett and the General. Sjenn with be returned back to her people once she teaches the ways of the Middle Light to Jarett and thus begins our journey of discovery, history, and pain. The Middle Light is the plain where people encounter the spiritwalkers and there inner beast. Many surpirses to be seen here. From the artic north to the Gaslight streets of Ciracusa, this wild tale has one just begun.
First thing that immediatly jumps off the page to me is Karen Lowachee’s writting style. Writting a style reminescent of the 1800’s and not being the simple breezy descriptions of today. The words are dense but never confusing and always pushing forward in a fluid manner. The story is told through the eyes of Sjenn and Jarrett but this is very much a story of discovery. Sjenn learning about the Middle Light and the secrets of her dead father and Jarrett the secrets of his inner self and what his father has been keeping hidden from him. Politics, religion, and power will show there true colors by the end and I can’t wait to read what comes next.
With that being sad, I need to shed show light on a few things. The middle section of this book can feel quite slow and it may seem like not much is happening. I never completley got this feeling myself, but just keep this in mind. Also, although this is the first book in a planned trilogy, the second book in the series is not yet availible. Although this story I classify as grimdark, there aren’t too many dark scenes and it more a story of cultures and secrets. I hope this review will bring more attention to the great author Karen is and I look forward to starting here Science Fiction book very soon. Until then, stay safe my friends.