Embark upon the fantasy story of enlightenment through these seven surreal worlds.
Test your bravery to pass the land of fear and pain.
Resist temptations to pass the land of pleasure.
Clear your mind to pass the land of illusion.
Trust your heart to pass the land of love and loss.
Keep your word to pass the land of truth and lies.
Know yourself to pass the land of identity.
Forsake the world to pass the land of attachments.
All the while pursuing a desperate course to the center of the Earth where a primordial force awaits its freedom with the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy.
An epic and insightful adventure filled with magic, monsters, dragons, betrayal, and transcendence!
Before I begin, let me clarify things just a bit. This review is for the entire series, but the books can be read individually. That being said, I may end up with a few mild spoilers even though I try not to include them in my reviews.
Our main character Farris is quite the unlikely hero. The only reason that she is drawn into this quest is because she wants to save her brother Tom, who has become a victim of the ‘chosen one’ trope. I will admit, it was quite interesting to see a book from the perspective of someone who disbelieves everything in the beginning, only to be forced on the adventure later. Most of the time, people just blindly except crazy things, so I liked that her main motivation was her brother, rather than saving the world.
Farris must work her way through six different ‘layers’ of the earth, each containing a species that has long left the surface of the world after a great battle between man and serpent. The two were locked in mortal combat and sealed away, and now Tom has been selected to open it and see who has won after many years.
The series is mostly from Farris’ point of view, though we do get a few chapters with Tom, Sasha (Farris’ love interest) and with one of their companions on the trip. Farris is also certainly not perfect by any means, and may even seem crazy at times. There’s something endearing about a flawed character that makes the story even better.
Also, while there is romance (Farris has been crushing on Sasha for a while at the beginning of the book), her price for beginning the journey is all her memories of him, so that complicates things a bit. The romance is also such a side plot that it doesn’t distract at all, which is a very nice change from other YA.
All in all, great series. Loved how it contrasted with the majority of the books and themes I’ve read recently. Definitely a bit philosophical and hard to decipher at times if, like me, you’ve had a long day and you’re brain dead. But, still worth the read, and highly recommended 🙂
I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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