Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Review of Unwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson

Unwrapped SkyUnwrapped Sky by Rjurik Davidson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Writing 5/5
Imagination 5/5
Plot 5/5
Setting 5/5
Characters 5/5

My Overall Enjoyment 5/5

This is an ARC from Netgalley. This book comes out April 15.

Goodreads description-
Caeli-Amur: an ancient city perched on white cliffs overlooking the sea; a city ruled by three Houses, fighting internecine wars; a city which harbours ancient technology and hidden mysteries. But things are changing in Caeli-Amur. Ancient minotaurs arrive for the traditional Festival of the Sun. The slightly built New-Men bring their technology from their homeland. Wastelanders stream into the city hideously changed by the chemical streams to the north. Strikes break out in the factory district. 
In a hideout beneath the city, a small group of seditionists debate ways to overthrow the Houses. How can they rouse the citizens of the city? Should they begin a campaign of terror? Is there a way to uncover the thaumaturgical knowledge that the Houses guard so jealously? As the Houses scramble to maintain their rule, it becomes clear that things will change forever in Caeli-Amur.
Stunningly beautiful and original, a mix of steampunk and ancient mythology with a blend of action and suspense, this is a readers book. The descriptions of the city Caeli-Amur and its technology were astounding; it was so easy to imagine the trains, steamers, machines, moving about this world. The opening scene at the Festival of the Bull, which introduces the Minotaurs and the main character Kata, a philosopher-assassin (a concept I love), is one of the best I have read, so good I had to stop reading it several times to absorb and savor it.

A few other things I loved; the cover was the first thing that lead me to this book as it's gorgeous; the story-line of the goddess Aya, although not big, it was mysterious and added another layer of depth and wonder; the magic system, known as thaumaturgy, was so fun to learn about and fit in perfectly with this world; the character Max's quest to find the Great Library in the Sunken City, Caeli-Enas was my favorite story-line; all the references to books that make the world so real and the lore so deep; the philosophical discussions Kata has with the Minotaur; and lastly, the astounding writing, among the best I have read, Rjurik Davidson gives a masterclass in prose writing with this book. Not since I read Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence have I been this enthralled and enamored with a writers style.

Highest possible recommendation for all fantasy readers. If you love to read refreshing and unique fantasy this is a must read. If you enjoy fantasy filled with mythology and lore this is an excellent book. If you love books with great magic systems, this has one. If you love steampunk elements, this book is full of them. If you love books about books, this has that. If you love quests for knowledge, this has one. If you love beautiful wring, it doesn't get any better. If you love political intrigue, this is full. There is nothing about this book I didn't love. Nothing. I can't wait to buy a hard copy for my library.

View all my reviews


Nathan (@reviewbarn) said...

I have high hopes for this one. To many books have hit at once, but I should be able to get it in before release. Nice to see a good early review, keeps me excited.

philip witvliet said...

I'm finally getting caught up with my books for review but the beginning of March looks to get me behind again. But this book is a must-try!

Hanna W. said...

Sounds like an awesome book, I look forward to reading it.
Thanks for the great review!

philip witvliet said...

I truly is; one of a kind, very unique and wonderful.

shadeslayer said...

It seems to have everything I love in a fantasy book!
Now I can hardly wait for it!

philip witvliet said...

Great Shadeslayer! I hope you enjoy it!

Michael Gonzalez said...

Without giving away any spoilers, could someone who hates magic but loves when tech is so advanced that it *looks like* magic ebjoy this book? Or is there genuine magic?

philip witvliet said...

Michael, I think you would enjoy it. It's hard to say I read this about five months ago. I remember well the steampunk and technological elements but the system of magic, if I remember, is pretty subtle. I know buying a book you aren't sure about is a risk so I don't want to steer you wrong. There are numerous other reviews on Goodreads maybe they talk more about the magic. I loved the book though and I don't care for (right now anyway) a lot of magic as in epic high fantasy. But I certainly don't hate magic!