As the second child of the Aridan imperial family, nineteen-year-old Guerline knows exactly what is expected of her: be unobtrusive, be compliant, and do not fall in love with her low-born companion, Eva. She has succeeded at only two of those.
But before her feelings for Eva can become a point of contention for the royal house, Guerline's calm and narrow life is ripped away from her-in the course of a single night-and she is abruptly cast in the role of empress.
Faced with a council that aggressively fears the four witch clans charged with protecting Arido and believes they are, in fact, waging war against the humans, Guerline struggles to maintain order. As her control over the land crumbles, she learns that the war is rooted in a conflict much older than she realized-one centuries in the making, which is now crawling from under the mountain and into the light. With the fate of Arido hanging in the balance, Guerline must decide who to trust when even her closest councilors seem to have an agenda.
Darkly cinematic, From Under the Mountain pairs the sweeping landscape of epic fantasy with the personal journey of finding one's voice in the world, posing the question: how do you define evil, when everything society tells you is a lie?
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.09(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I read this book about two weeks ago after having received an advanced review copy from the publisher and I have been procrastinating writing a review because I really love it and I want to do it right. From the beginning, you have a very clear hierarchy of the main characters. The parents-emperor and empress-, the brother -heir- and Guerline. Though Guerline is part of the royal family she isn’t really visible and it is very clear that she will never get a claim on the throne, and she likes it. Well, that is the moment when everything changes, she suddenly has to lead the country, and for someone who has never even dreamed about, let alone been trained for that, it is a very surreal and hard thing to do. But she doesn’t have a choice. Don’t worry I am not going to reveal the story line any further I just wanted to give you a little impression. I think Guerline is a very well written and realistic character in this dark fantasy novel. She has insecurities and struggles with feelings she cannot show to others, she is the Empress after all and she has to be strong for Arido. All of the characters in this story are very inspired and well written, but of course, some extra special attention is given to the main character herself. I really like the world Cait Spivey has created. It is filled with magic, dragons, witch clans and evil. And it is a multi-POV story which makes it really interesting when you already know some things the main characters don’t. Cait Spivey is an amazing young author who really knows what she’s doing and has a very lively way of writing. She has given the story a lot of unexpected turns and twists which make it a really interesting and exciting book to read. Though she is asexual she has also tried to write some intimate scenes from the point of view from a sexual person and I really admire that because I don’t know if I could do that. She is also the first to admit that those kind of scenes in her book are useless and could have easily been taken out, I admire her for that. I would recommend this book to anyone, not just people who usually like fantasy but really anyone. Though it is a fantasy novel, the characters a very realistic and have real problems and struggles. I am really looking forward to the sequel, I can’t wait to hear more from this great author.
A great fantasy world! Magic, witches, shape-shifters, dragons, and a dark force! Oh my! I loved following Guerline on her journey from uncertain, scared girl to Empress. The romance was touching and real, but didn't take over the story...the fight to save the world, the struggle to be heard. The witches were fantastic! Four sisters, four clans all having their own magic and place in the world. But for me? I love a deliciously evil character. Ianthe gave me chills. So many scenes will stay tucked in my heart forever...the barrier, the fountain, the final battle. A fun new fantasy.
There is so much to love about this novel that I almost don’t know where to start. But first, let me say that although Amazon and other retailers seem to be primarily classing this as f/f romance, it is not. There is romance, yes, and it does feature a beautifully rendered f/f love story, but this book is, in fact, a brilliant example of dark fantasy done well. Spivey establishes her prowess in the genre right from the first page, where we’re introduced to protagonist Guerline standing over the decaying, yet alive, bodies of her parents. This horrifying, slightly gruesome scene is merely a harbinger for what’s to come though, as Spivey proceeds to kill off the entire Imperial family — with the exception of Guerline, of course — by the end of the first chapter. Suddenly thrust into a role she never expected to fill, the young empress has to navigate not only the intricacies of unraveling her own identity from what others expect her to be but the nuances of running a country poised on the brink of war. Humanity is turning against the witch-lords who have guarded the empire’s borders for centuries, and Guerline finds herself dealing with radical opinions on both sides. But the rift between human and witch, magic and politics is only the beginning of Guerline’s problems, as a creature that has been sealed away from the world for a millennium is finally about to get its revenge. Spivey’s writing sings off the page with a cinematic flair that evoked the feel of a Studio Ghibli film, but the rotating, more traditional approach to the POV and fact that no one is as safe as they seem brought up visions of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. And I have to say that the blending of those two is nothing less than stunning. But the thing that has always resonated most for me in Spivey’s work is her ability to create a fully realized cast of diverse characters and a world so richly textured it makes you want to live there indefinitely. Arido’s plight may encompass the standard sprawling map of high fantasy, but every detail is painstakingly accounted for, and the repercussions of what seem like small acts are felt throughout in an impressive example of the butterfly effect. All in all, this is a gorgeous debut by an author who has clearly only begun her to literary stardom, and I cannot recommend it enough. If you’re a fan of high fantasy rife with political intrigue and the classic good vs evil scenario, if you enjoy dark fantasy with a fantastically creepy edge, or if you simply wish to escape into a world that treats everyone — regardless of gender or race or sexual orientation — with respect, then this is the book for you. Seriously, go read it. It’s amazing. **Disclaimer: I was the acquiring editor for this title, however all opinions stated are my own and were not influenced by bias or compensation.**
From Under the Mountain is a refreshing fantasy story featuring many diverse characters and a very unique storyline. There is at least a little bit of something in here for everyone, whether you like science, politics, or even just magic. The characters are all relatable, despite their many different roles and personalities, and it was very easy to find myself emotionally invested and desperate to read another page. This novel is very fast-paced and suspenseful with amazingly well-done plot twists. It is definitely not for those who dislike violence and gory descriptions; Spivey provides very detailed descriptions, whether the subject is grotesque or glorious. Overall, From Under the Mountain features stellar writing and a plot to die for.