Some things are deadly when broken…
Sold for the price of a pig, trained into the most expensive male escort in the peninsula, Hasheem, the Silver Sparrow of Azalea, finds himself running from his hard-earned life of privilege when a woman decides to die in his room.
Forced to escape through hostile territories belonging to desert warriors, Hasheem runs into Djari, the immovable daughter of a tribal chieftain who offers him protection in exchange for a lifetime of servitude. Prophesied by her oracle brother as the one born to end the centuries-long war between her people and an empire, Djari’s precarious destiny plunges them both into the blood sport of power, politics, and warfare that exacts heartbreaking sacrifices in exchange for peace.
On the other side of the war, the stability of the empire hangs on the decisions of a captive wife from the desert, the ruthless conqueror who ripped apart her homeland, and their half blood son who must choose which side of the war he belongs.
A brutal tale of humanity that must survive its own flaws in the unforgiving trials of Fate, love, life, and honour, in one of the most hostile habitats on earth.
Obsidian: Awakening is simply breathtaking.
I was enthralled from the very beginning by this brutal dark fantasy epic. The first chapter alone is worthy of a review of its own; a prologue, but not a prologue, it serves up an opening unlike anything else I’ve experienced in recent memory.
The entire plot is compelling, with all the political manoeuvring, warmongering, and intense relationships that would make the most avid GRRM fan question their loyalties.
The world-building is intricately woven throughout the story, providing a rich history and depth to the world that you would expect from a much larger book or series. The middle eastern inspired, desert setting is vividly described along with the people that inhabit it.
There are two standouts for me from my experience with this book. The first being the characters. The multiple POVs are handled superbly throughout, and never felt overwhelming. But what I loved the most about the characters is their complexity. Each character has a purpose, a life, motivations, decisions. They are multi-faceted, and no one is clearly good or evil. I found myself rooting for one character over another, and then switching sides because of a decision the other takes. Just like in real life, the characters are not perfect – they make mistakes, they love, they hate, they feel.
The relationship between Hasheem and Djari is wonderful. The intensity and tension at times is captivating. Then we have the relationship between the conquering prince and his captive wife. This is by far the most intriguing and beguiling relationship for me.
The second standout for me is the prose. The writing is beautiful. The story flows with ease, in a style I enjoyed immensely.
It should also be noted that there are some scenes in this book that some readers may find difficult to read. However, none of these scenes are included purely for shock value; everything has a purpose, that is pivotal to the characters and their story.
Obsidian: Awakening is a powerful tale, thoughtfully told. It has deep themes to explore through wonderfully complex and morally grey characters. It is a human tale of survival, an exploration of control of both the self and others. How far will people go to stay true to their duty and beliefs? How much can a person take before they break and become the monster they are fighting? These are some of the fascinating aspects explored in this truly mesmerizing tale. I cannot wait for the next book in this series.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review.