I hope you are all keeping well! I’ve another book review for you. This time it is SPFBO 8 contender, A Touch of Light by Thiago Abdalla.
So first of all – Thiago Abdalla paints a wonderful story. The prose was elegant and engaging and pulled me into an intriguing world.
And the story…
It’s very unique. I haven’t read a book that explores death like this before – indeed the whole religious system in this world is built around how people view death. One kingdom views it as a weakness. Those who are ‘blessed’ live very long lives. Those who die cannot be spoke of again.
Another kingdom sees death as a natural part of the life cycle. However, they also seem a little too eager to sacrifice their people to keep this cycle moving. These differing views bring issues to the people within both kingdoms and it’s interesting to see that while the views are very different, the societal structures offer similar problems. Inevitably, those of a lower social standing take the brunt of them.
In ways, A Touch of Light is quite philosophical – and also very unique. This isn’t a rehash of Lord of the Rings or Wheel of Time – and I absolutely loved that. This is innovative fantasy. It’s is also grown up fantasy. There is no spoon feeding and the three POV characters are not overtly linked. Again, while it took a few chapters to get used to this, but I ended up loving this too.
However, the plot itself is not vague. The main thread that links the characters together is that of a strange disease that has taken hold of the land. At first it appears to turn people mad, but as the story progresses we realise that some of those with the Madness are able to hide it – and are actively plotting against the powers that be.
My favourite character was Lynn. She was the heart of the story for me, and the inner voices she has in her head, made for an interesting character. She is the one who understands the Madness the most, but has already suffered greatly at its hands.
I’m trying to keep this spoiler free as possible so won’t delve any further into the story, but I will say that I’m very intrigued to see where this story goes and how the three POV characters will tackle the Madness.
Needless to say, I have high hopes for this SPFBO entry!