Tchaikovsky (the Shadows of the Apt series) opens a new epic fantasy series, Echoes of the Fall, with this brilliantly conceived and executed shape-changer Bronze Age saga featuring a heartbreaking heroine. Maniye is torn between her Wolf heritage from her uncaring father, Akrit, chieftain of the Winter Runner Wolf clan, and the inner Tiger she inherited from her mother, who was killed (perhaps by the fearsome warrior Broken Axe) on Akrit’s orders immediately after Maniye’s birth. With absorbing realism, Tchaikovsky spins out Maniye’s painful maturation. At first she transforms from a small, friendless child into an undersized wolf to escape her father’s plans to marry her to Broken Axe. Then Maniye finds herself drawn into the rumblings of a major conflict to come, learning that her father’s Wolves may play a major role in supporting one claimant for dominance in the civilized South, inhabited by Lizards, Crocodiles, and Dragons. Over the course of many strange adventures, Maniye begins to develop an accommodation between her warring Wolf and Tiger natures. At each perilous juncture, she is reminded that appearances and first impressions can deceive, and she learns that wisdom always demands an enormously heavy price. Maniye’s story and her frightening world are exquisitely drawn with sharp attention to the psychological truth of human and animal behavior. Readers will be captivated by the well-realized characters, splendid action, and a satisfying conclusion that promises more wonders to come. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/21/2016 Release date: 01/01/2017 Genre: Fiction
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