My Book Choice of the Month:
Race to the Sword of Siera (The Last of the Fahlians Book 1) by KZ Riman
A beating heart, choosing nothing for its life but death . . .
In the country of Athkandia in the year 2020, Katanya’s life’s mission has become to protect her blood from spilling so as to keep a demon sealed inside her body. Yet as she fails in her mission when she meets the handsome and vigorous Han, she is brought centuries back into the past, where she learns everything has been nothing but a lie. There never was a mission for her. In fact, she was the mission.
In order to draw the Flame Fah Li—her elemental clan’s power—out of her body, the two brothers born with her on the same birthing must race to the Sword of Siera, hidden deep in the Kouhan Mountains and use it to take her very life. This has left Katanya, Princess of the Flame Clan, in the middle, choosing between her demigod lover and her mortal lover, and then choosing for herself the best way to die.
My Rating: ★★★★★
KZ Riman created a whole new world called Athkandia in her first fantasy novel, Race to the Sword of Siera. In this story, we meet Serafina, as she tells her daughter Katanya not to let anyone wound her or cut her so deep to avoid bleeding. Else, a beast or monster would be unleashed from her heart once she bleeds. And then her mother tells her about the legend of the Three Siblings of Fire, which, unbeknown to Katanya, was actually about how she and her brothers came to be.
Fast forward to year 2020, Katanya only has Corinne as her companion, eversince her mother Serafina and her father disappeared. Now a fully grown woman, young and spirited Anya, soon finds herself getting stalked in the locker area of a stadium she frequented at. Her stalker has come for her, hoping to wound her at all costs. Anya isn’t deterred nor afraid though, because all through her life, she has been training and preparing for this encounter. She actually kisses Han, her stalker, therefore managing to evade the man’s blade and attend a party that her best friend Amirah has thrown for her. Little did she know that she will encounter her stalker again, this time successful in making her bleed. Soon, the time barrier is broken and she is taken to Athkandia of centuries past.
Not long after, Katanya was joined by a motley crew of protectors, princes & pincesses who are also masters of Fah Li, nymphs and a blacksmith named Han, (who happened to be her stalker from the future,). She soon learned that the attempts to spill her blood were actually attempts to shatter the time barrier and to lead her back to ancient Athkandia. And soon, Katanya learned the whole truth about herself. That she was the daughter of the forbidden union of the Lord of the Flames, Koran, and heir to the lands of blacksmiths, Serafina. That she was born with twin brothers, Keegan and Kaigah, one of which was destined to be the bearer of his clan’s Fah Li. That she had the power to heal and emit purple flames, thus she was chosen to be the Ofeli’aa or bride of their demigod ancestor, Horris. That she was to join forces with him & be one with him and his powers, and later on, was condemned to die in the hands of her own brothers but was sent back to another time and realm to escape death and conceal the vile creature living inside her.
Anya’s life was in the hands of Horris, and her clan believed that when she awakens and learns the truth about her, the demigod would devour her, claim her clan’s powerful Fah Li & kill her in the end. It was either that or one of her brothers would slay her using the Sword of Siera to reclaim the Fah Li of the entire Flame clan.
Would Anya’s life be spared, or was she fated to face her doom? Would Horris the demigod devour her or keep her in paradise? iWould her brothers ever reconcile or would their differences keep them apart? WIll the Sword of Siera bring forth the flame of Fah Li in the end?
Obviously, this book is a delightful blend of fantasy and adventure. KZ Riman was able to transport us to another realm where princes & princesses, nymphs & goblins, sorcerers & demons, saber tooth & dragons exist. Unlike other fantasy stories, one thing that sets this book apart is the fluidity of the plot, the complexity and aggressiveness of the characters and the vast imagination of the author herself. While I was reading this tale, I couldn’t help but imagine the writer as the female version of JRR Tolkien and Hans Christian Anderson. Every page is an exciting adventure, every chapter, a promise of new escapade and exploration. If I were to rate this fantastic tale from 1-10, I’d give it a resounding ten!