DAUGHTER OF THE SUN
SERIES: Tales of Inthya #2
REPRESENTATION: Pansexual sapphic relationship, multiple queer supporting characters
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: Fantasy
Orsina of Melidrie is a paladin of the Order of the Sun, sworn to drive out corruption and chaos wherever she finds it. She has been ordered to leave her home and travel around Vesolda in search of a great evil she is supposedly destined to destroy. But after two years of fighting monsters and demons and evil gods, she does not seem to be any closer to her goal—or ever returning home.
Aelia is the Goddess of Caprice, the personification of poor decision-making. The Order of the Sun has classified her as a chaos goddess, meaning that her worship has been outlawed. During a run-in with Orsina, she is trapped in a mortal body, rendering her unable to leave Inthya.
Aelia is found by Orsina again, but this time Orsina does not recognize her in her new body. So Aelia pretends to be a mortal woman who is fleeing an abusive family. Aelia plans to use Orsina as protection as she hunts down the magical relic that will free her from her mortal body.
As Aelia and Orsina grow closer to one another, Aelia wrestles with her own desire to tell Orsina the truth about who she is, and her fear that Orsina will turn on her if she does. But the decision might not be hers after all, because their actions have not gone unnoticed by Aelia’s siblings.
A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.
I picked Daughter of the Sun out as my choice for the #FFFebruaryReads bingo prompt “An Anticipated 5-star Read”, but to be honest, it was more like a “Really Hoped it Would be a 5-star Read”.
I’ve had the ARC on my Kindle for ages, and I’m ridiculously annoyed with myself for waiting so long! It was amazing! I really, really enjoyed the first Tales of Inthya book, The Queen of Ieflaria, but I was a little put off when I picked this one up. The characters are completed different (so it works as a standalone) and it’s about 400 pages where The Queen of Ieflaria was less than 200. I wasn’t sure if the story would work at over twice the length, but I should never have doubted Effie Calvin, she knew what she was doing.
I love the world-building in this series. I really liked what we saw in The Queen of Ieflaria, but Daughter of the Sun really kicks it up a notch. The pantheon of gods, the various towns and countries, their subtly woven customs and traditions and the unabashed diversity of this world are all completely magical. It felt deep, believable and wonderfully designed.
The characters are all completely new this time around but they feel like old friends. With just a few chapters I had completely fallen in love with both Aelia and Orsina and their slightly odd-couple dynamic. Orsina is the dedicate, no-nonsense warrior we often get in this type of story, but she’s got such a wonderful, kind heart that you’re just waiting for her to unwind a little. Aelia is a joy to watch as she gleefully stubbles around a world full of entirely new experiences. Something about her just reminded of Rapunzel in Tangled and the sense of wonder as she explored was totally infectious.
The length of the novel actually wasn’t a problem in any way. In fact, as I was reading without tracking the percentage on my Kindle, I was shocked at how quickly I flew through the 400 pages. It’s a classic quest/ journey type adventure and Calvin makes sure to keep things moving and introducing new challenges to let the characters develop.
I really want to read the next one as soon as it comes out now! I should have picked up Daughter of the Sun a long time ago. Don’t make my mistake, read it now.
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