122 Rules by Deek Rhew

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book Review of The Outlanders by Erin Rhew

The Outlanders by Erin Rhew

I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced reader copy of this book and sailed through its pages in record time. The Prophecy, the first book in the series ends on a cliffhanger, and The Outlanders picks up right where the other left off. I love it when an author hits the gas from page one, and in this case we are thrown right back into the scene. Even in the ensuing chaos, Ms. Rhew brings the reader up to speed subtly, reminding them of what was happening--in case it had been a while since they read her previous novel. Only it didn’t feel like a recap--something only a truly brilliant author is capable.

This book has nuances and layer-upon-layer of brilliant intricacies woven throughout the tale. There is the love triangle, only it isn’t your typical angst-ridden mamby-pamby fantasy princess torn between two lovers. Our lady, Layla, is tough and fierce, and has had her feelings manipulated and twisted through spells cast by her enemies such that she doesn’t know what is real and what isn’t. The gents she’s torn between are noble and strong, loyal and driven, yet about as opposite as people can be. The ladies who have read Ms. Rhew’s books generally—and passionately—fall into one of two camps: Team Wil or Team Nash.

After having read and loved The Prophecy, I have to say I think The Outlanders is a step up. Ms. Rhew seems to have really hit her literary stride and the story gets even stronger. Our understanding and knowledge of the characters becomes more intimate. We feel even more immersed in a fantastic world created by the power of her imagination. Though it leaves us with a cliffhanger that rivals the first book, the story’s 20th chapter left me emotionally spent and angry. The villain introduced in this book makes the one in the previous book look like Gandhi. This chapter gives you a glimpse into the depravity and depth of this person’s evil. I want to say more, to prattle on and on about the abuse one of my favorite characters was succumbed to at the hand of this antagonist, but I don’t wish spoil it.

Only the most talented of authors can run me through the emotional obstacle course this book does. Happiness, anger, sadness, frustration, anguish, intrigue are all part of the Erin Rhew novel journey.

NOTE: If you have not read The Prophecy, do NOT read this next paragraph. Please skip to the last one.

So, to summarize how things stand at in the first chapter: Wil is dying and a battle is raging all around him. Mia, a woman claiming to be the Fulfillment at the very end of The Prophecy, is manipulating those around her. Her motives are unknown, but what is clear, is that she isn’t who she claims to be. Nash is attempting to run Etherea in his brother’s stead. Vespa has been mentally incapacitated by her father—perhaps permanently. A war between Etherea and Vanguard is ensuing because a rough boy-king, Vance, has assumed the throne. And Layla has no idea which feelings for Nash and Wil are real and which have been manipulated into existence by the evil Elder Werrick. Seems like enough, right? Well, for the average writer perhaps, but for Ms. Rhew it’s not.

In the Outlands a new villain raises its head and overshadows all other problems. This nemesis is evil in a way Elder Werrick can only dream of being. So there is that on top of everything else.

Many answers are revealed, but new questions are created. The twists and turns will have you guessing until the end. Oh, the end…did I mention that this book also ends in a cliffhanger? Sigh.

So, bottom line: READ. THIS. BOOK.

The Outlanders is now available on Amazon. Get it here!

If you haven't yet read The Prophecy, get it here!

Until later, carry on!

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