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Island of Exiles

Island of Exiles

4.7 7
by Erica Cameron

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In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle.

On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.

But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya's home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is


In Khya’s world, every breath is a battle.

On the isolated desert island of Shiara, dying young is inevitable. The clan comes before self, and protecting her home means Khya is a warrior above all else.

But when following the clan and obeying their leaders could cost her brother his life, Khya's home becomes a deadly trap. The only person who can help is Tessen, her lifelong rival and the boy who challenges her at every turn. The council she hoped to join has betrayed her, and their secrets, hundreds of years deep, reach around a world she's never seen.

To save her brother’s life and her island home, her only choice is to trust Tessen, turn against her clan, and go on the run—a betrayal and a death sentence.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Cameron expertly blends worldbuilding and intriguing characters with page-turning action scenes and a story that builds in tension and complexity. The novel's commitment to diversity adds new dimensions to thestory, as the cast is entirely nonwhite, and the clan recognizes nonbinary gender identities and complex sexual orientations. This is a rare gem of abook.... [and a] fresh, original series starter." ~ Starred Kirkus Review

"Erica Cameron's ISLAND OF EXILES is a remarkable achievement: a fantasy world so richly imagined, so finely detailed, and so strikingly original, even the most incredible elements feel totally real. The energy of the desosa will tingle along your skin as you race through this amazing book, and at journey's end, you'll long for the sequel so you can immerse yourself once more in the mysteries of Itagami! -Joshua David Bellin, author of the Survival Colony series

"Island of Exiles is imaginative, bold, and as electrifying as a Shiara storm."-Lori Lee, author of Gates of Thread and Stone and The Infinite.

A beautifully wrought fantasy filled with magic, rebellion, and romance, plus a strong, butt-kicking heroine to root for!"-Lea Nolan, USA Today Bestselling author of Conjure, Allure, and Illusion

"I was consumed by the savage mysteries of Cameron's harsh and haunting fantasy world. A story of love and loss as searing as the desert heat."-Diana Peterfreund, author of For Darkness Shows the Stars

"Harrowing and heartfelt. The intricately-realized world of ISLAND OF EXILES crackles with harsh magic and gripping suspense."-A.R. Kahler, author of The Immortal Circus series

"ISLAND OF EXILES has everything I've been looking for in a fantasy--powerful characters, magical powers that make me itch with envy, and a spoken language that is as intrinsic to the story as it is beautiful."-Amber Lough, author of The Fire Wish and The Blind Wish

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2017-01-20
Cameron (Assassins: Nemesis, 2017, etc.) tells a YA fantasy tale about a "nyshin"—a warrior, mage, and hunter—on a desert island rife with danger. Khya is no stranger to hardship. Life on the island of Shiara is inhospitable at best, and as a nyshin, burdens fall especially heavily on her. Nevertheless, she's always been able to depend on her clan and the fact that everyone in it works for the good of the many. But everything changes when they threaten to take from her the one thing she can't give up: her brother, Yorri. Her worries are understandable as her sibling approaches a rite of passage that will determine the course of his life, but the greatest dangers facing her are ones that she can't even imagine. As storms rage across the island and enemies probe the clan's borders, a conspiracy begins to unfold that will test everything Khya has ever known. Not knowing whom to trust, she must rely on strange bedfellows: Sanii, a member of the servant class and the love of Yorri's life; and Tessen, Khya's sometime-friend, sometime-archrival, and possibly something more. But most of all, she must depend on herself, casting aside faith, duty, and honor for the strength of love and family. Readers won't be able to put this book down, as the excitement begins from the first page and only grows from there. Cameron expertly blends worldbuilding and intriguing characters with page-turning action scenes and a story that builds in tension and complexity. The novel's commitment to diversity adds new dimensions to the story, as the cast is entirely nonwhite, and the clan recognizes nonbinary gender identities and complex sexual orientations. The lexicon of unique terms and concepts may be intimidating to some readers, but the vocabulary adds fantastic texture to the world without distracting from the plot. This rare gem of a book has a lot to offer readers, including magic, action, and intrigue on the edge of a knife. A fresh, original series starter bolstered by a dynamic protagonist and a welcome sense of depth.

Product Details

Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
Ryogan Chronicles Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.45(w) x 8.09(h) x 1.13(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Erica is many things, but most notably a writer, reader, choreographer, movie and musical theater-nut, sucker for romance, and quasi-recluse. After graduating with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State, she began pursuing her career as an author. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passions for Salvador Dali, Venetian Carnival masks, unique jewelry, and dreams of traveling the world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.

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Island of Exiles 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
RebeccaEnzor 5 days ago
I've been really burnt out on YA recently, but I couldn't put ISLAND OF EXILES down once I got into it. I loved the relationship between Khya and Yorri, loved everything about Tessen, and simply adored the world building and magic system
booktreasuresau 5 days ago
At first I want to thank the team of Entangled Teen - a special thanks goes to Melissa - to give me the chance of reading 'Island Of Exiles' by providing an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion from my side! The first impression, when I see a book is always the cover. Am I tending to read books with amazing covers? Yes, most definitely! And that's exactly how I feel about this cover. It's amazing and I love it! Erica Cameron's writing style is addictive. The wording isn't always the easiest, as it's not the typical standard language but I absolutely enjoyed it. In my opinion it's refreshing to read something what challenges my mind every here and there and that's the way it was while I've been reading this book. I couldn't find any boring scenes at all. This thrilling story is full of action and kept my mind occupied all the time. Thanks to the author's amazing writing style it came so naturally to imagine every scene, place, character and even the smells in this story that I literally inhaled this book. You will also meet some really great characters in 'Island Of Exiles'. There is Khya, the protagonist of this book. She is absolutely loyal, caring, well respected, strong, has courage and some badass fighting skills, as well as some very impressive magical skills. But most important? She has a big, loving heart and fights until the end for the ones she loves. Then you will meet Yorri. He is Khya's little brother. Yorri too has an amazing personality. He is caring and loving, thinks outside the box and loves to discover new things but there is way more to him than you could imagine in the first place. After a little while you will stumble across Tessen. In the beginning I couldn't quite tell, if I do like him or not but soon he started to earn a place in my heart. He seemed like an arrogant guy, who doesn't need to do anything to have success in his life. After a few chapters though? He has shown his true, amazing self bit by bit. Tessen showed, that he doesn't care if he gets in trouble for helping the people he cares for. Even, if that would mean to die trying. But you won't just find good, loving characters. No. You will find many enemies in this fast-paced story, whose actions will let the hair on the back of your neck rise. 'Island Of Exiles' is most definitely already one of my reading highlights in 2017! I can recommend this book to everyone, who enjoys a thrilling story with heaps of action, great characters and a touch of a teasing love story between the lines. I can't wait to join Khya and all the other characters on the next part of their journey in book #2 in the 'The Ryogan Chronicles'.
AlexandraOtt 7 days ago
I love Island of Exiles! It's such a gripping story that I couldn't put it down. The world is absolutely fascinating. This is a truly unique and stunning book, and I can't wait for the rest of the series!
CarolineA 12 days ago
Island of Exiles fits in well with the popular YA titles of current times, but at the same time, it is unique enough to set it apart. If you look at my reading progress comments on Goodreads you can see that up until halfway through the book I was confused and struggling, but by around 50% I was completely sucked in. This book is worth the struggle in the beginning. What I had the most trouble with was all of the new vocabulary words in this world that Khya lives in. They have an entire caste system (mostly based on magic) that is easily confusing, plus a few other words that are substitutes for what we would say and honestly, I don’t see the point in the author changing them. For the longest time while I liked Khya, I didn’t really care about her. I blame this on the above vocabulary issue. It took me a while to really engage. Once I really committed, I discovered I did like her. She is a strong female character and her personal growth throughout the story was wonderful. I loved where her character ended up by the end and I look forward to seeing how she continues to grow and change throughout the series. I give the author credit for this unique desert world she’s created, as well as the Miriseh people. All very cool, especially once I let go of trying to keep track of the ranks and titles and what it all meant. A cool thing bout this particular community is that they’re part militia-part hippie commune. Parents don’t raise their kids, they’re all put together and raised together. Blood siblings are rare, and Khya is fortunate enough to have one. Sexuality is also very open and free, everyone is allowed to love whomever they want. Khya has has multiple relationships with her peers, both male and female. In this world, that’s the norm. There are no boundaries on love. Tessen is my favorite in this book. His undying loyalty to Khya, even when she doesn’t entirely deserve it, is wonderful. I don’t even remember how he was described in the book, but in my head he’s pretty dreamy. Definitely book boyfriend material! SHOULD YOU READ IT? Readers who enjoy unique fantasy worlds that are somewhat similar to our own will probably enjoy this book. The new vocab can be a bit intense, so my advice is to let it all go and just enjoy the story being told, don’t even worry about trying to keep track of the ranks. Special thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the chance to read and review this book.
TheThoughtSpot 12 days ago
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review Island of Exiles by Erica Cameron! The story begins with a group of desert dwellers racing home to beat the storm that is heading their way. Once home, the main character, Khya, is worrying about her sixteen year old brother, Yorri, who will be facing the Herynshi ritual that will decide whether he has magic or not. So far, Yorri hasn't shown any signs of magic. The dusty, wind blown world that the author creates with her picturesque words feels real while reading the story. I could almost hear the wind and see the long tunics blowing around the characters' forms. Tessen keeps trying to get Khya to dance with him and she keeps ignoring him because she's annoyed at how nonchalant he acts about his skills and strength, but I see Tessen as being humble about them. Yorri finally shows magical skills and is honored, but soon afterward he dies. There is a mystery surrounding his death and it takes a group of trustworthy friends to help solve it. My favorite line in the book, which Khya says to Tessen, "Your determination to get into trouble with me is odd." Made me chuckle! The group finds so much more waiting for them outside of their community than they could have ever dreamed. My rating - 4 stars for this fantasy fiction set in a dangerous desert and full of charismatic characters!
Anonymous 12 days ago
It is rare for me to know I am going to love a book just from the first page. This was one of those books. Erica Cameron's writing is breathtaking and I couldn't put Island of Exiles down. I'll admit there were times I got hung up by unfamiliar words, and because the setting is in a tribal-like village, there were a lot of them. Also, from what I could tell, there were three genders in the tribe, instead of two. This wasn't explained and since Erica was using a third set of unfamiliar pronouns, it took me a bit to realize it wasn't a type-o. And then I still stumbled over them. To be fair, Erica provides a comprehensive glossary of all of the terms used. But it is in the back of the book and I didn't discover this until after finishing the novel. All that being said though, I LOVED this book. I read it before going to bed, and then as soon as I woke up. If you are worried that it is another 'government conspiracy, the people have to fight back' kind of book, then let me ease your mind. It is different than anything I've read and you'd be crazy not to pick it up. Erica's world-building is perfect, and she has a way of making you care about every one of the characters from the beginning. I definitely have to give Island of Exiles 5 out of 5 Stars.
Candace-LoveyDoveyBooks 12 days ago
Erica Cameron proves herself to be a master storyteller in this fantastic new series. Island of Exiles is the first of The Ryogan Chronicles and it blew me away. From the detail of the world building to the courageous heroine, I found this story to be original and utterly fantastic! Khya is a powerful fykina with the ability to shield against magic. She wants nothing more than for her brother to become a warrior just like her. When he makes it through the herynshi, and is placed on a top ranking team, she believes they'll finally have more time together. Then Tessen, another Nyshin warrior, tells Khya that Yorri is gone and the very reason she breathes is lost. The story picks up here as Khya joins forces with a yonin who believes that Yorri is alive and being held for a secret purpose. She's pitted against the Miriseh, the clan leaders, and discovers their dark history. Understanding Shiara and the layered world that Cameron created is part of the experience. Her attention to detail and style is remarkable. She paints a vivid picture of a girl who would do anything to save her brother, yet still cares about the welfare of the people who rally around her. I appreciate the depth of this story, because sometimes authors write as though they associate YA with a level of comprehension. Island of Exiles is written with an open mind; anyone can enjoy it. Cameron took a story we've heard before and weaved it into a fantasy world with twists and turns. The story isn't too simple, or so complex that reading is a chore, but it's balanced. Island of Exiles was so much more than I was expecting and I can't wait until the next installment. It only gets better from here! *eARC provided in exchange for an honest review*