Obsidian: Awakening (Book one of Obsidian Series)
About this deal
This time, he ends up with the choice to be killed by the Shaksis or to become Djari’s sworn sword and blood, per the suggestion of Nazir, Djari’s brother. It’s not that Obsidian: Awakening is a bad book (it’s a phenomenal novel), but I think it would have been a clear 5.
Even for those with wealth, power and influence - in some ways, more so - survival is the most people can hope for. Despite the white and black of its deserts setting, it is all about shades of grey and the perspectives of different cultures. Oh, yes, and then he decides to marry her as a punishment (and kill a prisoner everytime she disobeys). In the introduction to Obsidian: Awakening, Sienna says that the book was inspired by her time spent with the Bedouin of Jordan and Egypt, Mongolian nomads, as well as time spent travelling the Gobi Desert, in Petra, Wadi Rum, and the White Desert of Egypt.As the first book in an intended series, it explores the world of two warring cultures and, at its heart, is a story about people who find resilience and love in the absence of hope and kindness. It’s hard to describe the exact plot, largely because it’s mostly setting up the multiple character arcs for future books. It’s visceral and unflinching in its brutality, and that beautifully sets the tone for the rest of the story.
There are a lot of characters here and the author likes to showcase that there are no really "good" or "bad" ones, no main protagonist or antagonist, everyone is a little bit of both. Now, as this is the first instalment in an epic fantasy series, I do have to say that there is a lot of slow set-up, and especially the first half of the book requires a lot of trust and patience from the reader.Lots of maneuvering and politics, making you wonder what will happen next or what is really going on and what everyone's motivations really are. There are some various regions where our story is taking place but more importantly some reach cultures within this world. I have mused for decades upon the boundaries of my empire, the design of my obsidian tower, but never upon you… my love. No words, no descriptions for emotions describe that moment when Muradi learns of what Jarem is doing behind his back. How much you've learned about the world, the politics and the characters without feeling like you at the time.
But I never really understood how living in a desert - vs - living in a city gave the people of the White Desert and Rashawri such similar martial cultures and outlooks.Each of them is powerful and ambitious, yet most of them don’t have complete agency over their actions. Her previous works have been fan-translated into seven languages and shared around the world under a different pen name.