Last year I read and reviewed Ariadnis, a fantastically unique chosen one fantasy novel with a twist. This fantastically diverse novel completely blew me away with its distinctive magic system, delightful world building, and unexpected plot twists. Now I am lucky enough to be a part of the blog tour celebrating the series and the release of the sequel, Anassa!
Joomia and Aula are Chosen. They will never be normal. They can never be free.
On the last island on Erthe, Chosen Ones are destined to enter Ariadnis on the day they turn eighteen. There, they must undertake a mysterious and deadly challenge. For Joomia and Aula, this means competing against each other, to end the war that has seethed between their cities for nine generations.
As the day draws nearer, all thoughts are on the trial ahead. There’s no space for friendship. No time for love. However much the girls might crave them.
But how you prepare for a task you know nothing certain about? Nothing, except that you must win, at whatever cost, or lose everything.
I have a full, spoiler free review for Ariadnis here if you’re interested in more of my thoughts and opinions on this amazing book. (Spoiler alert, I loved it!)
Also, I’m thrilled to be able to share with you an extract from Ariadnis, to give you a little taste of the first book in this incredible series.
We are the ones who came after the comet.
We are the ones who survived the Great Wave.
We were Chosen Ones, once, and we had many voices.
But the people we were have bled into one another, like water droplets gathering on a leaf.
So we no longer remember . . .
Who . . .
But we remain; we are here, waiting. We are in-between, in the home of the Wise One: Ariadnis – carved inside the cliff shelf that stretches out between the last two cities on the last island.
It is an improbable setup: the rock should not be able to reach so far without crumbling. The metal city above should collapse onto the city beneath, the city of trees. But it doesn’t. It should not be possible, but it is.
There is but a single path that joins the cities and it begins there on that topmost ladder rung through the trapdoor in the owlery. It spirals down the tallest pillar of Athenas and continues into the cliff. It winds past the entrance of Ariadnis and descends to that hollow passage accessible from the topmost branches of Metis.
The path is like a nerve: a feeling, a promise of unity, however reluctant, and that feeling has never been stronger than now.
We know the moment that the newest Chosen Ones come into the passage because the nerve is, all of a sudden, ablaze.
Anassa follows on from Ariadnis, with a small time jump, dealing with the consequences and the aftermath of the events in the first book. Beware of potential spoilers for Ariadnis in the summary and review below.
Less than a year since their cities were joined, Athenas and Metis are still arguing. When the island is invaded by Vulcan, whose resource-ravaged, overpopulated island wants to claim Chloris as its own, Etain’s leadership is compromised. The only way she can restore her people’s confidence is to take up Vulcan’s quest to retrieve a magical item from a volcano. Alongside her brother Taurus, Aula and Joomia, Etain sets sail for the volcano. But they soon discover there is more to the quest than they realised.
It’s up to Etain to be the leader she is destined to be. Should she fight, or should she try to unite?
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Anassa was simply more of everything that I loved about Ariadnis. The was even more world building, more characters to love, and we get to learn even more about how the magic system works.
I loved the characters in this book, they are all so real, vibrant and diverse. Each character has a distinct voice, and personality. They practically jump off the page. It’s impossible for me to name a favourite, they are all so wonderful! One of the things that I love about Josh Martin’s writing is that he allows his characters to be hurt, and to process and gradually recover and grow. There’s this fantastic character development constantly happening, and it’s seamlessly woven into the story, adding a rich depth to the reading experience.
Most of the main characters are people of colour, many of them are queer, and have grown up in a society that is accepting of that. Anassa sees the introduction of a trans character, and discussions surrounding gender. There is some transphobia, specifically from the antagonist of the story, but that is treated as unacceptable and vile by the other characters.
Not only are we treated to amazing characters, there is also some incredible world building that doesn’t stop now we’ve reached the second book. I loved learning more about the history of this world, and the cultures that developed post catastrophe.
On top of all that, the magic system is expanded upon in Anassa. We finally get to learn more about the magic system in this world, how it works, where it comes from and the different types. I love a good magic system, and I found the way that was explored in this book really satisfying.
In case you couldn’t already tell, I adored Anassa, devouring much of the book in a single sitting. I found it easy to become invested in the characters, and enjoyed the fast pace of the story. I love all the different aspects of the world building, and the interesting themes explored, it’s truly like nothing else and I can’t recommend it enough!
This was the third day of the Ariadnis/Anassa blog tour! Be sure to stop by and check out all the other amazing people taking part, I’ve added links below to make it super easy! And don’t forget, Ariadnis is out now, and Anassa is out February 8th 2018, so it’s the perfect time to dive in to this enchanting world!
- 5th Feb – The YA Nightstand
- 6th Feb – Kate Ormand
- 7th Feb – Me!!!
- 8th Feb – Jenniely
- 9th Feb – Ashleigh Online
Want to chat, about books or anything else, here are some other places you can find me: