Ester’s family was torn apart when a manticore killed her mother and baby brother, leaving her with nothing but her father’s painful silence and a single, overwhelming need to kill the monsters that took her family.
Ester’s path leads her to the King’s Royal Mews, where the giant rocs of legend are flown to hunt manticores by their brave and dedicated ruhkers. Paired with a fledgling roc named Zahra, Ester finds purpose and acclaim by devoting herself to a calling that demands absolute sacrifice and a creature that will never return her love. The terrifying partnership between woman and roc leads Ester not only on the empire’s most dangerous manticore hunt, but on a journey of perseverance and acceptance.
Untethered Sky is a masterful work of art that has me in tears after I finished reading it in one sitting. Fonda Lee is a genius story teller who has captured a beautiful, action filled, and heart wrenching story all in a short one hundred and sixty pages. Magical.
When I saw Untethered Sky appear on Netgalley I knew I had to give it a read. I have yet to read the Green Bone Saga but had heard enough about Fonda Lee’s literary prowess that I figured this short intro into her work would be a great place to test the waters. Yet, as anyone who goes too deep in the ocean on their first swim would know, when I started reading I just couldn’t put it down and found myself mentally and emotionally tossed around like a toy boat in a stormy sea.
This longer novella is a rollercoaster of a story. Don’t worry. I won’t be sharing any spoilers. But I would like to share why I believe you should give this a read. I’ll try and make this a novella sized review for you as well. Because I would rather you go pick this story up instead of reading my ramblings. That to say, here are three noteworthy reasons why you should read this book.
First, Fonda Lee’s writing is just masterful. There is no other word I can think of to better describe it. Jumping into this story it just has this radiating energy. It almost felt to me like I was actually there with Ester. Living her story and feeling her emotions. There is an almost constant sense of dread or possibly longing of some kind that pulls at your heart strings in every chapter. This partially has to do with the tragedies Ester goes through and the danger she constantly has to endure, but the words are so well crafted that you can’t help but get lost in it.
Second, this is a powerful story. The plot and idea is so simple yet so well done that I desperately wish this was not just a novella. To this day, weeks after I’ve read it, I want more! This story deals with the mortality of humanity by standing it in front of monsters of all shapes and sizes. And I don’t just mean giant man hunting manticores or the top alpha hunters of the sky, the rocs! Following Esters story and seeing her conquer all odds was just a joy to read and I know you’ll love it as much as I did.
Finally, you should add this to your tbr IMMEDIATELY because frankly, I believe this book will be talked about for a long long time and you don’t want to miss it. As of posting this review there is still a month before it releases but I have a feeling this will take off like a wildfire and you’ll want to be a part of this conversation while it’s hot.
If you couldn’t tell I really enjoyed Untethered Sky. This is not my standard format for reviews but I felt like I would be doing a disservice to you if I didn’t just straight up tell you why you should read it instead of losing you with all my opinions and drawn out explanations. So give it a shot! I can guarantee you’ll soar right through it!
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