Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Reavers of the Tempest by JMD Reid (#fantasy)

JMD Reid launched his Storm Below saga last year with Above the Storm, a tale of high fantasy with a coming-of-age romance, action-packed aerial warfare, pirates, soldiers, magic, and mythology. Reavers of the Tempest picks up that story, carrying on the themes and storyline with even more action and tension.

The love triangle between Ary, Chaylene, and Vel does not dominate the story - this is a fantasy, not a romance - but it does underlay much of the action. It is a dark, anxious element of the story, with readers constantly aware of Vel's sinister motives. We see the betrayal coming, and are constantly wondering if 'this' will finally be the moment that he follows through on his plans.

It is no spoiler to reveal that what he thinks is merely a poison is really the choking plague - it's in the cover blurb - but how that infects the whole story, who is behind it, and the true purpose of the would-be assassin is far more significant than some lover's quarrel. Reid deepens the overall mythology nicely in this second volume, exploring more about the Church of Riasruo, its censorship of Nzuuth’s heretical poems, and its persecution of the Stormtouched - those with Theisseg's blessing/curse. To that end, Wriavia of its Order of Adjudication is one of the most interesting characters in the story - far from likeable, but certainly intriguing.

This continues to be Ary's story, however, with his interactions with Theisseg some of the most exciting aspects of the book. I came to crave the dreams and the void, anxious to find out more about the war beneath the battles. As for those battles, familiarity does nothing to rob them of their wonder. No matter how many times you read about sailing ships of the air, horses racing on the wind, and bolts of lightning being fired across the bow, it still gets your heart racing. The ending is absolutely fantastic, from the massive battle, to the declaration of war, to the surprise surrounding a simple egg, leaving the reader breathless for the third chapter.
JMD Reid has been a long-time fan of Fantasy ever since he read The Hobbit way back in the fourth grade. His head has always been filled with fantastical tales, and he is eager to share the worlds dwelling in his dreams with you.


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