Jevick, the pepper merchant's son, has been raised on stories of Olondria, a distant land where books are as common as they are rare in his home. When his father dies and Jevick takes his place on the yearly selling trip to Olondria, Jevick's life is as close to perfect as he can imagine. But just as he revels in Olondria's Rabelaisian Feast of Birds, he is pulled drastically off course and becomes haunted by the ghost of an illiterate young girl.
In desperation, Jevick seeks the aid of Olondrian priests and quickly becomes a pawn in the struggle between the empire's two most powerful cults. Yet even as the country shimmers on the cusp of war, he must face his ghost and learn her story before he has any chance of becoming free by setting her free: an ordeal that challenges his understanding of art and life, home and exile, and the limits of that seductive necromancy, reading.
A Stranger in Olondria is a skillful and immersive debut fantasy novel that pulls the reader in deeper and deeper with twists and turns reminiscent of George R. R. Martin and Joe Hill.
|Publisher:||Small Beer Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||503 KB|
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**I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads** I really enjoyed this book; there were times where I was a little confused about what was happening (mainly when Avalei was involved, like the Feast Of The Birds and when Jevick visited the High Priestess of Avalei), but then there were moments (such as the last two paragraphs in chapter 19) that more than made up for my confusion. There were passages in this book that were so deep and spoke such universal truths; I had to share those two paragraphs at the end of chapter 19 with my friend because it touched me so much, more than any other single passage in a book has ever done. That was my favorite part of the entire book, despite the sadness that surrounded it. When I realized that there were ghosts involved, I was a little bit worried (I am the world's biggest scaredy cat), but not once was I afraid while reading this book. Yes, Jissavet got angry at times towards Jevick, but even then you could feel her pain and sympathize with her. It broke my heart when she was sent on from the world of the living and Jevick had to say goodbye to her; I was not sure how he would ever get through that pain. The ending really touched me, that Jevick took the written language he created to write Jissavet's vallon and taught the people of his land to read. He allowed Jissavet to live on even more so than her vallon did. It was his show of love towards her. I cannot wait to read it a second time to pick up anything that I missed in this first reading of it. For now though, I will savor my memories of Jevick, Jissavet, Lunre, etc.