A boy has lived his whole life trapped within a vast library, older than empires and larger than cities.
A girl has spent hers in a tiny settlement out on the Dust where nightmares stalk and no one goes.
The world has never even noticed them. That’s about to change.
Their stories spiral around each other, across worlds and time. This is a tale of truth and lies and hearts, and the blurring of one into another. A journey on which knowledge erodes certainty, and on which, though the pen may be mightier than the sword, blood will be spilled and cities burned.
This is not the book for the faint, nor is it for the ones who relish in the might of power, of holding knowledge away from the masses. This is the start of new knowledge, waiting to be uncovered. An origin story that if taken time, can reveal layers of lore and mythos that one would take some time to get involved in. It is a story of a Library, a civilization, and Evar and Liviria itself. But of course, the Libary is the source of knowledge. The characters are immersive, have many, and have a solid cast. They are respectively different, able to distinguish each other. It is a solid one.
It hides many things and is a mystery within itself. Portals and corridors are bound to each other, each revealing hidden shelves of even more stories to be discovered. Each quote from a distinguished historian, academic, or scholar within each chapter provides important lessons, reminding me of Star Trek’s philosophy. Plenty of inspiration from the Tower of Babel and the Story of Adam and Eve is reminiscent here. The gift of language itself, and the gift of speech are very important. Without it, humans are nothing.
It is a slow-paced story, providing many detailed descriptions of the immense worldbuilding that has been put here. Sometimes, that heavy worldbuilding can become the detractor, sending some parts of the story in different directions, when it doesn’t need to in my opinion. Other parts sometimes added great amounts of story, while others went into a little bit of tedious detail that could have been shortened. The battle scenes are engaging, and the differentiation between Monsters and illustrating them, even describing them gave me Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. There are stuffy teachers, stubborn teachers, and arrogant ones! All in the name of civilization and progress. For how much knowledge can one really bear at the end of the day?
In the end, it shares a certain audience that will appreciate the complexities of civilization, for in one sense, it gives me a mix of sci-fi and fantasy. A story filled with ancient myth and legend, bound to captivate its reader into its grip. It is a story that will not let you down, and it is a story that is worth engaging in. An 8.9/10 from me. Excellent prose, immense worldbuilding, and stunning description. Quite frankly, dear reader, you must discover this story for yourself.
The door is open to you, quite literally. It’s only for you to open the page, and start your journey within the Libary itself