Series: The Wayfarer Redemption #1
Genre: Adult, High Fantasy
Published by Tor (9.17.2001)
Paperback, 629 pages
Source: I own it
A millennia-old prophecy was given when the Forbidden Ones were driven from Achar. And now, the Acharites witness its manifestation: Achar is under attack by an evil lord from the North, Gorgreal-his ice demons strike from the sky and kill hundreds of brave warriors in the blink of an eye.
All Acharites believe the end is near.
One young woman, Faraday, betrothed of Duke Borneheld, learns that all she has been told about her people's history is untrue. While fleeing to safety from the dangerous land, Faraday, rides with Axis, legendary leader of the Axe-Wielders-and hated half-brother of Borneheld-and a man Faraday secretly loves although it would be death to admit it. She embarks on a journey, which will change her life forever, in search of the true nature of her people.
This grand and heroic story tells the tale of one woman's plight to learn the truth of her people and change their hearts and their minds forever. She fights against oppressive forces to share this reality and will not desist until everyone knows. . . . . The truth of the Star Gate.
Before the gushing starts, let’s first have a serious moment. Words cannot express how much this book means to me. It is very special, because it was my first for a lot of things. It was my first long series, as well as my first favorite series, my first favorite author, my first Adult book, the first book I read with sexual content (even though there’s not much), and more importantly, the first book I remember reading for pleasure alone and not because I had to for school. When I first read this book, I was still in high school and I was 16 or 17 years old. (I can’t remember whether I started it in my Junior or Senior year.) It has been 10 years since I read it, and even still, I remember almost everything. There is no other series that I can say that about. This series has stuck with me like no other book I’ve ever read. It holds a certain sense of nostalgia that gives me warm fuzzies whenever I think about the world and the characters. (Two of my furbabies are named after characters in this series, just so you know *winks*)
For weeks I have been obsessing over this series, wanting to do a re-read but fretting over how much time it would take. (There are six books in this series, and every last one of them is at least 600 pages long!) I was dying to re-read so badly that it was all I could think about! I actually sat awake at night, unable to sleep for thinking about it. I’ve never had that problem before! Thus, here I am.
I love this world, you guys! I love it so much! It felt so amazing to dive back in. Reading this book again was like visiting a long lost friend! Although, I wish I could wipe this series from my mind so that I could read it for the first time all over again. There are so many secrets, so many hidden gems! Knowing all of the twists and shadows of this series, though, is like sharing a delicious secret with a dear friend. I found myself smiling knowingly at many parts, and often gasping and exclaiming because I remembered who the unrevealed character (or secret) was.
Reading this book the second time, I’m amazed at the significant differences in the characters. I never realized how innocent and naive Faraday was in the beginning! The character arcs are incredible!
Sara Douglass’s world building never ceases to amaze me. It’s so intricate, with many plot lines and character arcs! Every character has their own backstory, and you can tell that she put a lot of thought into the world’s history. The world is so vivid and alive in my mind that Sara almost has me convinced that it’s a real place. (I wish it was!)
There are things in this book that may have bugged me if I’d read it for the first time in present day, with as critical as I am. The relationship between Faraday and Axis is pretty much instalove – they had only interacted a few times before they were mooning over each other and talking about love. But, still, it didn’t bother me. Not even the second time around. Their relationship is so heartbreaking! View Spoiler »It kills me that Faraday had to pretend not to love Axis and marry Borneheld to save him. Reading this book again is like watching a train wreck – you know it’s going to end in heartbreak and tragedy, but you just can’t stop staring! I know that this series is not always a happy one, and that many of the characters make great sacrifices. Seeing the beginning of those paths that they had to take was very difficult to observe :( « Hide Spoiler I also might have been bothered by the fact that Yr is kind of….ah, saucy, and that SunSoars marry their own cousins. Yes, that last bit sounds scary. But – for some reason, it works. They are nothing like humans, and the fact that they have strange (and appalling) customs makes it believable. To them, it’s not strange or appalling.
Writing Style: 5/5
World building: 5+/5
Overall rating: 5+/5