SYNOPSIS AND SPOILER-FREE REVIEW:
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Accused of murder, Caleb flees with his son Warren to begin a new life far from Earth. But when his ship crashes on an unknown world, Warren is injured, condemning the boy to a slow death before his twentieth birthday.
Telai is the first of her sword-wielding race to meet these strangers from the sky. Loyalty to her people demands caution, but she cannot ignore the longing in Warren’s eyes. A connection takes hold, a bond not even her clairvoyant powers can explain.
Caleb vows to protect her people and honor their ancient traditions. But a secret lies beneath those traditions, one that will force him to choose between his growing love for Telai and a desperate gamble to save his son.
In this book we witness the journey of a man settling in a different planet, fighting off his past demons and crimes that led him to flee Earth, and chasing a possible cure for his only child, Warren.
I, being a mostly contemporary reader, did enjoy this novel, but I must admit I had a few issues with it. As I am not used to that kind of books set in completely different and made up settings, it took me a while to start to understand how Ada (the planet Caleb ends up in) worked. I still have not completely figured it out, but I am getting there and I am sure the next couple of books will solve some of my doubts.
Moreover, Rite of Exile uses some really original yet difficult words and concepts. It is brilliant, since it makes it clear that the author was determined to create his own space no one else had written about before, but I felt extremely lost. Good news is that at the end of the book there is a magnific guide with every single made up word and name, making it a lot easier for readers to understand who is where and why.
I found it to be a little slow at some points due to the amount of information shared between characters (again, Ada is a made up planet with completely insane names and history), but I can say that the first thing I noticed, around five pages into the story, is how good the writing style is. It makes it perfectly clear that the author worked hard to get the pages standing by themselves.
Ada is a huge place, and being thrown into it with no warning made me feel small and hopeless, which in a way made me understand Caleb in the very beginning. The world building is seriously complicated yet well done and interesting.
Aside from fantasy, in this first part of the Ada Chronicles, we find a sprinkle of love. I happened to enjoy the romantic scenes very much, so having just a few of them clearly bothered me. I want to read more about the forming couple, and I hope I will get to in the second book in the chronicles, Hope Betrayed.
Rite of Exile is a good fantasy novel with crazy planet building and good enough characterisation. A bit slow sometimes, yes, but also well explained to make the new planet seem more real.
I want to thank the author for sending me a review copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.