"It frightens me, knowing the One has called up two such strong individuals. It means that there are troubled times in our future, and you must prepare yourselves."
The Temple at Illian is the crown jewel of life in the Northern Territory. There, pledges are paired with feli, the giant sacred cats of the One god, and are instructed to serve the One's four capricious deities. Yet Sulis, a young woman from the Southern Desert, has a different perspective—one that just might be considered heresy, but that is catching on rather quickly …
Sulis's twin, Kadar, meanwhile, is part of a different sort of revolution. When Kadar falls in love with a woman from a Forsaken caste, he finds he's willing to risk anything to get these people to freedom. But with Sulis drawing a dangerous level of attention from the deities, and war about to break out on two fronts, change may not come as easily as either twin had hoped.
An astonishing debut, Kelley Grant's Desert Rising brings to life a powerful new epic fantasy tale of determination and self-discovery.
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About the Author
Kelley Grant grew up in the hills of Ohio’s Amish country. Her best friends were the books she read, stories she created and the forest and fields that inspired her. She and her husband live on a wooded hilltop and are owned by five cats, a dog and numerous uninvited critters. Besides writing, Kelley teaches yoga and meditation, sings kirtan with her husband, and designs brochures and media.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I’m an absolute sucker for fantasies set in desert cultures, even more so for stories that explore religion and deity-focused magic, and Desert Rising did not disappoint. Grant creates such a vibrant culture and a diverse cast of characters. The story is told from the perspective of twins Sulis, bound to a life serving the One from the Temple at Illian, and Kadar, a dashing young merchant who would rather travel the world that sit trapped in the city. Between these two main characters, we get to explore the life of the temple pledges as Sulis tries to elicit change from within the Temple that cast out her own mother, and with Kadar, the underground movement to free the Forsaken from slavery. Both characters have their own struggles and victories, and their stories weave around each other to create an engaging tale of love, magic, and friendship in the face of a corrupted society, rife with danger and tragedy for those who dare to fight against it. I loved the different aspects of magic in the story—the channeling of the deities’ powers through their Voices and their chosen servants, the bonding with the feli, and the use of mind-magic through the geas. The magic is at times subtle, and other times, a grandiose display, and it’s woven into the characters’ lives and the story with such elegance, without being an ultimate force that solves everyone’s problems. While the gods may be pulling the strings and bestowing their power as they see fit, the characters are the ones who act, inciting change in a world steeped in tradition and superstition, perhaps even in the gods themselves. I look forward to the next novel in Grant’s Desert Rising series and hope to see more of the characters I came to love in the first book. I would recommend the novel to anyone who likes explorations of fantastic religions, fantasies with a Middle Eastern vibe, and engaging character-centric plots. It was a highly entertaining read that kept me up way past my bedtime.
Engaging characters and plot. I cannot wait to read the second book!
A very good read with absorbing characters, a tight plot, and a well realized world. One of the best books I've read recently. Highly recommend.
This novel is amazing! I was drawn in immediately. The world-building is excellent, and the characters lovely to meet and begin to understand. I just purchased the second novel to continue the story. Highly recommended!
Really enjoyed this novel. Fun enjoyable characters that I want to keep cheering on. Hihgjly recommended
Compelling story and characters