Top critical review
A Little too complicated for me
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 12, 2017
This is a very complicated story. A little too complicated for me, actually. But if you get into it and want to see where it ends, it is good to have the complete set of all three books at once; otherwise, you are left hanging halfway down the levels of the world without much understanding.
The writing is good, unencumbered by typos or grammatical errors.
Farris Malhalion undertakes a journey through the seven layers of her world to save her brother Tom who has been kidnapped by creatures from one of the other layers. On her way, she must learn the lessons of life to be able to pass through the various levels.
Farris and Tom’s grandmother has told them tales of ancient days all their lives. There is a story of Javel of Omar, the First Man, who walked this journey to begin with and became a god. His transcendence cracked the sky and the earth and left a power void among the seven kingdoms who had inhabited the surface of the earth before, igniting a war to see who would take over his throne. To stop the war the three Wyrd sisters get the several rulers to agree to call the sky serpent down to restore order, but something goes wrong, and the serpent threatens to destroy all life. The rulers can’t or won’t face him, but Javel’s bastard son, Lolaran Malhalion, who had been a guard of one of the other rulers, volunteered to fight the serpent and led him into the crack in the earth that had been opened when Javel transcended. There they were locked into a chamber deep in the earth to fight until one of them won, meanwhile leaving everybody else in peace.
The people of the other kingdoms were settled into the various layers of the world, with a layer of stone between each group to separate them and keep them from fighting. And a prophecy was set that the heir of Lolaran Malhalion would eventually journey to the chamber where he and Nidhoggdrasil, the serpent were fighting, open the door, and let the winner out.
An earthquake signals that the contest has ended. As it takes place on Tom’s naming day, grandmother declares that he is the chosen one and bestows the key to Lolaran’s prison on him. Farris is deeply resentful that Tom is declared the heir rather than her, as she is the oldest. But when the Paral-Zakdul, a race of brass-armored people, kidnap Tom and run off to the center of the world with him, Farris resolves to pursue them until she gets her brother back.
There are several layers of betrayals and illusions that must be overcome before things can be settled, and nothing is quite what it seems or what you expect.