Scarlet Odyssey

C.T. Rwizi. 47North, $24.95 (622p) ISBN 978-1-542023-82-5
Dazzling technomagical worldbuilding buoys Rwizi’s debut fantasy which otherwise flounders as a predictable quest narrative. The Dark Sun, an Umadi warlord, gathers power and expands his territory across the tribal regions of the Redlands. When bookish outcast Salo, a boy from the Yerezi tribe, reveals that he is skilled in technosorcery, a craft only women are supposed to be able to access, the Yerezi queen sends him on a diplomatic mission to the city of Yonte Saire in hopes of defeating the Dark Sun. Salo’s trek follows a traditional hero’s journey beat for beat as the Dark Sun’s forces try to stop him and his companions from reaching the city. Rwizi continuously introduces new characters from other tribes, slowing the pace as the narrative jumps from one subplot to another. Readers excited by the high concept magic system, which functions like a programming language; vivid descriptions of the Redlands; and nuanced exploration of gender roles will be disappointed that they’re used to bolster an overly familiar plot. Though Rwizi’s writing shows promise, this first offering falls flat. Agent: Julie Crisp, Julie Crisp Literary. (Jul.)
Reviewed on : 02/25/2020
Release date: 07/01/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Paperback - 978-1-5420-2058-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-79975-564-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-79975-563-0
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