Categories: Fantasy, Literary Fiction, Seal of Excellence Recipients
Tags: Alternate History, Alternate World, Literary Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Traditional Fantasy
Publisher: Evolved Publishing LLC
Author: David Litwack
After centuries of religiously motivated war, the world has been split in two. Now the Blessed Lands are ruled by pure faith, while in the Republic, reason is the guiding light-two different realms, kept apart and at peace by a treaty and an ocean. Children of the Republic, Helena and Jason were inseparable in their youth, until fate sent them down different paths. Grief and duty sidetracked Helena’s plans, and Jason came to detest the hollowness of his ambitions. These two damaged souls are reunited when a tiny boat from the Blessed Lands crashes onto the rocks near Helena’s home after an impossible journey across the forbidden ocean. On board is a single passenger, a nine-year-old girl named Kailani, who calls herself The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky. A new and perilous purpose binds Jason and Helena together again, as they vow to protect the lost innocent from the wrath of the authorities, no matter the risk to their future and freedom. But is the mysterious child simply a troubled little girl longing to return home? Or is she a powerful prophet sent to unravel the fabric of a godless Republic, as the outlaw leader of an illegal religious sect would have them believe? Whatever the answer, it will change them all forever… and perhaps their world as well.
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Reviewed by Tahlia Newland
June 16, 2014
A tiny wooden boat crashes onto the rocks and is smashed into splinters by the waves. A lone young girl is rescued by Helena and Jason, who attempt to protect her from the authorities of the Land of Reason. They advise young Kailani to request asylum, in an effort to keep her from incarceration. For this innocent child is from the Blessed Lands—ruled by pure faith, and she has illegally entered the Republic—ruled by reason alone. Her sudden and inexplicable appearance changes everyone’s lives, and most especially Jason’s and Helena’s. Can the two lands cooperate, or will more war ensue?
The story opens dynamically and holds the reader’s attention throughout. The character development is excellent, and I found myself identifying readily with each of the main characters. The plot and pacing are sound, and the editing and proofreading are done to a high standard. I thoroughly enjoyed this read, and feel that any reader who enjoys Literary Fiction, Sagas, and Religion-versus-State dramas, would enjoy the book.
At around 280 pages this is a medium length read, and I read it in a couple of days. The premise of the story is a variation on the dystopian theme, and I felt that the author dealt with an issue pertinent to our culture (religion or reason?) without preaching. Right up until the end I had no idea how things were going to work out. I give a strong 5 out of 5 stars to ‘The Daughter of The Sea and The Sky’.