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EPUB ⚞ The Unspoken Name ⚶ What If You Knew How And When You Will Die Csorwe Does She Will Climb The Mountain, Enter The Shrine Of The Unspoken, And Gain The Most Honored Title SacrificeBut On The Day Of Her Foretold Death, A Powerful Mage Offers Her A New Fate Leave With Him, And Live Turn Away From Her Destiny And Her God To Become A Thief, A Spy, An Assassin The Wizard S Loyal Sword Topple An Empire, And Help Him Reclaim His Seat Of PowerBut Csorwe Will Soon Learn Gods Remember, And If You Live Long Enough, All Debts Come Due I was sent this book as an advance copy by the publisher via NetGalley for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own. Coming up with a way to first introduce The Unspoken Name in a review is, at the very least, complicated This is a novel with many layers and many aspects that cohabit peacefully with one another, and to put focus on one before the others would be to build wrongful expectations for what is the end result.and there I tricked you by giving you what I feel like should be the first thing to keep in mind when going into this novel If you expect it to be fantasy than scifi, or plot than characters, or characters than plot, or relationships than characters, then you ll end up expecting something this novel isn t.Keeping that in mind, now we can move on and talk about the different aspects The first thing I realized I liked about this book was the writing I will admit it does feel like a debut novel but like, in a good way that makes me want to read the author s future books and see how she improves based on what I already know she does well I personally love when authors don t force feed you information about characters intentions and feelings reactions at any given moment but let you understand it from the context and what you already know about them I think this aspect was excellent and it had sometimes hilarious, sometimes powerful effects in moments that would have been spoiled by an overly detailed description I also think each character s voice was very distinct and immediately recognizable Speaking of which, I think characters and relationships are where this book truly shined for me Amidst a lot of plot and action, these characters bleed through the pages and you absorb them slowly, as you would with a real person By the end they all felt real in a way that doesn t always happen with fantasy, and I truly Felt for their relationships.The romantic aspect was really enjoyable but to be honest, not my favorite part It was, I guess, just not as present as I usually like it to be, but I do feel that the sapphic relationship was very naturally built up and cute I was also under the wrong impression I don t remember if because of reviews or why that there would also be a side m m romance but there is not if you ve read it and see a romance in ThatI really don t know what to tell you , and I would like to add thank the Nine Gods I don t think there s anyone here who s allocishet but anyway there are like three confirmed mlm characters at least one of them is bi pan and three wlw ones The plot was intriguing and I was never bored I do think it had some pacing issues, not something that necessarily always bothered me for example, I love when it got a little slower for the sake of showing us certain characters and relationships , but it did make things a little weird in a couple of points If you re someone who cares a lot about plot and pacing, you might notice and care about this than I did.The worldbuilding is so unique and I m not even going to pretend like I ve understood how things work well enough to be able to talk about them but basically it s a fantasy scifi setting in which together with high fantasy elements we also have uhh,, space ships and you can jump between worlds So, would I recommend this Absolutely If you re into adult fantasy and or casually queer sapphic books then this one is for you And I m really looking forward to the next book by the way, this book can be a standalone because it has an arc that s fully resolved by the end, which is even reason to give it a try , hoping it will follow Tal my favorite character tbh.TWs human animal sacrifices, violence, gore, drug use, death, alcohol, self mutilation ARC provided by the publisher Tor UK in exchange for an honest review.4.5 5 stars The Unspoken Name is a terrifically written debut that merged science fiction, space opera, and high fantasy into one inventive book that s incredibly suitable for SFF enthusiast.One look into the striking cover art by Billelis, and I already wanted to speak about this book My urge to read this book increased when both Nicholas Eames the author behind The Band series and Dyrk Ashton the author behind Paternus trilogy recommended the book to me Then I found out that Lindsey Hall, the editor behind two books Kings of the Wyld and the upcoming The Bard s Blade by Brian D Anderson I truly loved edited this book too, suffice to say that The Unspoken Name has attained all the package that made it a necessity for me to read I m glad I didCsorwe had spent a lifetime readying herself to die, not to talk to strangersThe Unspoken Name, the first book in The Serpent s Gate series by A K Larkwood, follows Csorwe an orc priestess destined to become a sacrifice to her god on her fourteenth birthday On the day of her prophesied death, Belthandros Sethennai a powerful wizard offers her a new fate that compels her to escape death by leaving her home, destiny, god, and become Sethennai s personal assassin instead The main plot of The Unspoken Name centers around Csorwe as she s tasked by Sethennai to retrieve the Reliquary of Pentravesse anyone who claims the Reliquary will gain the legacy and knowledge of Pentravesse someone who changed all worlds forever Jumping through multiple worlds with a strong echo of chaos and destruction accompanied by landscapes that are also beautiful, Csorwe has to go through tons of dangers to achieve this task many events happened in less than 500 pages book However, what I found to be very praise worthy about the story was that in the midst of all the mayhem, The Unspoken Name is at its core a book about choices and its importancePeople were like locks All resistance, until you discovered the precise information of teeth that would open them upYou always have a choice, have you ever heard this often repeated phrases advice straight to your face You probably have, and you ll most likely know just how simple it sounds and yet how insanely difficult it can be to execute What if for a period of time, short or long, you re caught in a toxic situation environment that you didn t recognize at first By the time you do, the actual task of breaking the invisible chains can be harder than it sounds Freedom and choices among many other themes such as faith, loyalty, and love were the most relatable themes throughout the book for me Csorwe s journey and character development ignited and gave an impactful meaning to the themes in this book I wouldn t say that I clicked with Csorwe immediately, but once the story reached a quarter mark and eventually she meets Shuthmili, I became captivated thoroughly by Larkwood s storytelling The Unspoken Name doesn t have a large cast of characters relatively, but the dynamic between the five dominating characters Csorwe, Sethennai, Oranna, Tal, and Shuthmili was very compelling Also, I loved reading Csorwe and Shuthmili s endearing and gradual relationship development their relationship progression was believable and easy to root forCsorwe, before I met you, my idea of happiness was, I don t know, going to bed earlyFrom my reading experience, the most impressive thing about Larkwood s prose is her capability to constantly shift her writing style between elegant utterance and bloody scenery it didn t feel like reading a debut effort Also, The Unspoken Name is an imaginative book with a very fascinating world building Seriously, it has multiple worlds to travel, ancient tombs, terrifying giant serpents, spaceships, magic, giants, and intimidating presence of dead gods Gorgeous landscapes described beautifully and efficiently Larkwood never went overboard with her scenery visualizations In a way, this book reminded me a bit of the world building done in Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir telling a high fantasy story in a sci fi space opera setting Heck, comparison wise, it even featured a swordswoman and queer duo as the main charactersThe secret to greatness is to know when you should risk the wrath of godI believe that The Unspoken Name is, ironically, the title of an incredible genre blending debut that should and will be spoken by its readers in the future I highly recommend it to both sci fi and fantasy readers, even so if you re a fan of both genres It s creative, greatly imaginative, not afraid to be different, filled with intense rescue sequences, and it gave a breathtaking lotus scented fresh air to the genre Larkwood tells a compelling tale about choices and braving the first step to pave your own way, and you should choose to read this book as soon as it s available to read.Official release date 20th February 2020 UK and 11th February 2020 US You can pre order the book from UK US Book Depository Free shipping The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
me, screaming I will go down with this friend shipWhere has this queer high fantasy book been all my life Kai is shooketh.I wish I knew where to start There are so many aspects of this book that filled me with pure joy frenemies, world building, characters, twists, diversity No hard feelings Ugh.I m going to start with the one thing that could have been improved the pacing Overall, this is a finely plotted story It spans over 8 to 9 years and I think it wouldn t have hurt to stretch the story , give it a little to breathe for the characters to evolve, grow I felt this especially in the beginning, when we see Csorwe turn from a quiet, nondescript girl into a warrior and spy I see how the time jumps were necessary to let the author tell the story she wanted to tell, but another 50 pages or so might have given it depth.Now that we got the unpleasant things out of the way, hear me gush about all the great stuff I cannot believe how, in a matter of chapters, A.K Larkwood created a fictional universe so rich and original A universe in which thriving and dying worlds lie side by side, connected through a labyrinthine structure called the Maze The universe is populated by all kinds of different people who seems to live peacefully side by side, for the most part They all have their own history, traditions, social and political systems, and beliefs And while they clearly look different and come from various backgrounds, their differences don t lead them to hate and fight each other This is not to say that they all run around holding hands and loving life, but at least their outer appearance and faith don t serve as an excuse to disrespect and exploit each other Overall, the attention to detail and the societies, cities, realms that the author built are utterly fascinating and I m so glad that this isn t a standalone I couldn t live knowing that there remains so much left to discover.The characters were a joy Csorwe reminds me of Harry Potter in the way the she is or less an average person No shade She is balanced, doesn t necessarily lean towards extremes, and therein lies her strength it makes her relatable She is a character with fears, dreams and hopes like anyone else She s also pretty queer, like most if not all characters in the book It s also great to see that no character experiences discrimination because of their sexual orientation It s never once questioned Because in a perfect world, why would anyone think of you as lesser just because you don t care about what gender you fall in love with Something else that I found striking was how there is no main antagonist This is not to say that Csorwe doesn t have enemies She has lots of those But alliances change a lot based on whether people have similar goals and decide to work together even though they might have been on different sides before It s refreshing and creates unexpected turns and entertaining character dynamics.One thing about the characters Usually I live for queer ships But what almost drove me nuts was the friendship hateship between Csorwe and Tal They both work for the same guy and should combine forces, work as a team But they simply despise each other too much At the same time they can t live without the other Tal is a bastard, don t get me wrong, but I love him And I want nothing than for these two idiots to annoy the f ck out of each other until the very end of this series And I also want No hard feelings. to be what History, huhwas for Red, White Royal Blue If you don t know what I m talking about, you better read RWRB quickly because you re missing out.Suffice it to say that this was my high fantasy adventure of the year.Find of my books on Instagram 4.5 STARSUnspoken and Unspeakable One, Knight of Abyss, Overseer of the Eaten Worlds, praise and reverence unto your Chosen Bride May she intercede for us What an exceptional debut The Unspoken Name is difficult to summarize the story is an ambitious blend of epic high fantasy and space opera science fiction, which will tickle the fancy of fans of both tremendously From the very beginning, I got the vibe that this book would be the lovechild of the writing styles and world building of Brandon Sanderson and Ken Follett How an author can take so many aspects of my favorite genres and include a storytelling format in league with the giants in the writing industry is beyond me, but Larkwood has done just that There is a lot of story packed into just shy of 500 pages and it s very dark overall, but there is action and gore galore, while also including a steady balance of thought provoking thematic elements surrounding the choices we make and the outcomes that they produce If you enjoy a new take on a familiar tale, please consider picking this one up I enjoyed it so much that I ll be purchasing a finished hardcover for my personal collectionThis is me, in two weeks time Here I am, walking up to the Shrine This is the end This is how it will feel at the end Thy name shall be forsaken and thou shalt be my bride Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy via NetGalley.