The Breath of the Sun

Rachel Fellman. Aqueduct, $19 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-61976-138-4
Fellman’s riveting debut melds prophecy, postcolonial politics, and mountaineering in a nuanced secondary-world fantasy. Scarred from a calamitous expedition she’d rather bury, Lamat Paed, indigenous mountain guide and climbing memoirist, is finally telling the true story of her last, traumatic climb: leading the charismatic and manipulative Mother Disaine, member of a religious order of academians, to climb the mountain that Lamat’s Holoh people consider the body of God. Interlacing the expedition with Lamat’s marriage-destroying first climb, prophecies, and manuscript footnotes from Lamat’s lover, Otile, Fellman ably executes an ambitious structure and delivers an atmospheric, poetic, and occasionally wry and brutal story that moves with the gentle but unstoppable momentum of an iceberg. This is a compassionate and finely observed debut from an author to watch. Agent: Lydia Moed, Rights Factory. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/30/2018
Release date: 08/01/2018
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