Series: Titan’s Forest #1
Published by: Tor Books
ISBN 13: 9780765385925
Published: January 2017
Format reviewed: Paperback from author
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Unar is a brave young woman, in that she leaves her parents (who wanted to sell her for food) and offers herself instead to the Gods, where, with her surprising amount of talent, becomes a Gardener in service to the God Audblayin. In this world where a God is female, they have male bodyguards and vice versa, and Unar hopes that her God will finally change genders (as she’s been female for so very long), so that she may earn the chance to rise to the position of bodyguard.
However, through helping those she shouldn’t through her jealous yet kind heart, she finds herself low in talent on the day the Gardeners are selected to rise through the ranks, and she’s left behind as her closest friends are chosen instead. From here, Unar focuses on other things instead – following her deepest instincts to do what’s right, and we get to see so much more of the small garden that’s been her home for the last few years of her life.
This is an excellent book because of Unar herself, who is a complex and believable character because her flaws are evident, and tries to do her best even when it goes against the laws of her land or otherwise, as long as it’s what she believes has to be done for her own conscience. Though sometimes, yes, she does act selfishly. Her friends also manage to follow the rules and try to lead Unar correctly, but they also find themselves motivated by their friendships instead at times, which is more believable than in other books how you see them suddenly changing utterly for their job.
This is a character driven story, and it’s beautiful in its landscape and the creatures that fill the backdrop. The characters surprise you at times, but a deep love and/or responsibility drive them also, and it’s this that you’re left with at the end. The action keeps you guessing and it all clashes together at the end in a huge tumult of emotion, how unfair yet just life can be, and so many other things. I am now desperate for book two to see where Unar finds herself next, and what will become of a character she meets right at the very end – which seemed the cruelest yet enticing barb of all. Many claps for Dyer for pulling that off!
This is first in a series, to be released at the start of 2017. Highly recommended – I must admit, I’ve been left in a bit of a daze after finishing it. It’s been a long time since I’ve been basically drunk off finishing a book – I think I need a lie down!