For my first review for my little home on the web, I had the pleasure of reading the first book of A.R.K. Horton’s The Telverin Trilogy, Struggling With the Current. Set in the world of Telverin, Struggling With the Current tells the globe-trotting story of Princess Eya as she traverses the world, from her home in the small country of Hicares, to Serenchea, Pescel and Kandum.
Part coming of age story, part fantasy adventure, when Hicares finds itself at war, Eya escapes the relative safety afforded to the princess by the Hicarean palace. Discovering that Teverim is more dangerous than she had ever known, Eya encounters some new friends, as well as some new foes eager to profit from the princess in their midst…or worse.
At 316 pages on the Kindle version (314, if you read this in paperback), I binged my way through Struggling With the Current in three sittings. Despite the page count, it is a fairly quick read, thanks largely due to the nature of the author’s writing and choice of language to guide the reader through. Between these sittings, sometimes days apart, I found myself thinking about Eya and her adventures, keen to see where her travels would take her next.
The author navigates you through Eya’s struggles expertly in a tightly interwoven tale that introduces a disparate cast of characters that just so happen to be scattered across the world. No character is wasted; they each have their place in the world created by the author, and they each have their impact on the story. The cast is colourful, and I found myself drawn in by each and every one of them.
As Struggling With the Current is the first part of a trilogy, you should not read this book expecting a done-in-one adventure. That said, the novel does still have a firm beginning, middle and end and, despite being the first part of a larger narrative, it is still a solid read that feels complete (despite the epilogue building to part two of the trilogy, Flirting With the Tempest, which I will be reviewing around release).
Following a great introduction about the god Pecu, the novel introduces its elements carefully, beginning with Eya’s life in wartorn Hicares, building the world as the protagonist explores it, to slowly introducing the fantasy elements. Through this, the author builds mystery and tension, slowly revealing more about Eya and the destiny that lies before her. When these revelations do occur, they are more than satisfying.
Through this adventure, the author tells a story that is as much about loss, love, family and friendship as it is about a princess discovering her true nature and destiny. Struggling With the Current is A.R.K. Horton’s debut novel and I genuinely look forward to seeing what other tales she crafts over the years to come.
Cefa rolled her eyes but said nothing. Humans were so silly about sex. She’d been there the day her sister created it. Nakta temporarily became the most popular goddess among the entire pantheon for that. It was meant to feel good. Procreation was a byproduct.
Struggling With the Current was provided by the author for the purposes of an honest review.
Struggling With the Current is available in both physical and eBook forms from book retailers (including—but not limited to—Amazon). Signed copies are available from the author’s website.
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