“The brutally powerful story of a daring warrior traveling a path that might bring salvation to her people…or lead her to ruin. For fans of Mark Lawrence, Andrzej Sapkowski, and Joe Abercrombie.
The Circle – a thousand miles of perilous forests and warring clans. No one has ever tamed such treacherous territory before, but ex-soldier Teyr Amondsen, veteran of a hundred battles, is determined to try.
With a merchant caravan protected by a crew of skilled mercenaries, Teyr embarks on a dangerous mission to forge a road across the untamed wilderness that was once her home. But a warlord has risen in the wilds of the Circle, uniting its clans and terrorizing its people. Teyr’s battles are far from over . . .”
Wow! This dark fantasy is an intense read and definitely not for the faint of heart. It is brutally violent at times, and savage, wrought with much suffering and misery for the MC, Teyr. Selby’s writing style is evocative and the word building is phenomenal. There is such depth to this narrative, you become immersed in the story from almost the very beginning. The story is engrossing at the very least and can be attributed to the author’s skillful writing talent. This is a woeful tale, seemingly contrived to transport readers into a dark and penetrating world that sucks you in and takes you through a whirlwind of emotions. I cannot speak highly enough to the author’s ability to wrench your heart through the spell cast upon readers of this book!
Told from differing timelines ( then, now, and after), you are almost immediately dropped into a realm where violence rules and the action keeps going, propelling the story and the characters forward. The pace of this book is so captivating that you can NOT put it down. It moves fast enough to keep your interest while providing relief at just the right moments. It is in these moments that we get glimpses into the characters’ vulnerabilities and you can truly become endeared to them.
The plot and characters do drive the story forward, both being intertwined such that the characters themselves ARE the story. I don’t think this story would work without these characters. Teyr, the female protagonist, has got to be one of the strongest and most ferocious warriors I have ever read about. She is my newest favorite heroine. She is beleaguered with suffering but still has the softness of heart to be able to love just as fiercely as she fights. It makes her more believable and you just WANT her to win. The warlord,Khiese’s character is so vividly written, I actually DESPISE this guy. I became viscerally reactive to his tyrannical ways. The supporting characters are just as important to the plot as the MCs, and all are written very well too.
I don’t want to give any spoilers but let me tell you that if you like a strong female lead and a truly evil nemesis- this is definitely a book for you. I can’t say that this was an easy or enjoyable read. It wasn’t. It was gut wrenching and unrestrained. It will suck you in and take you to the brink- you will feel anger, resentment, pity, and eventually sorrow. This novel is AMAZING!
I have tried to review this in such a way that I don’t give any real clues or spoilers, but I hope this can relay how extreme this book is and how tumultuous a journey the reader takes when reading it. 10/5- can I do that?!?!? It is fantastic and a MUST read!
I was given this book by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.