Title: Scarlet Odyssey (Scarlet Odyssey #1)
Author: C.T. Rwizi
Publication Date: July 1, 2020
Genre: Science Fiction and Fantasy
Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter.
Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.
Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.
On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption.
Why This Book
Scarlet Odyssey is mostly about Salo, a young man with a talent for magic despite his tribe demanding that men are the warriors and women are the ones who use magic. But it also has two women I adored. One is Ilapara. Like Salo, she comes from a tribe with strict gender roles, one where women are not allowed to be warriors. But Ilapara is a warrior, and she ends up leaving home to pursue her dream and what she loves. She’s an incredibly strong and courageous woman, not just for leaving home and learning to deal with the world and making it bend to accept her, but also for joining Salo on a mission that, on the surface, seems simple enough, but, underneath, is fraught with danger. The other woman is the princess Isa. She’s lived a lovely, spoiled royal life, but, when her family is massacred, she’s left to fight for her throne and her life. I loved how strong she was, how sharp and cunning, especially in the next book. Sadly, her story ended up cut short, but she’s a fascinating woman that felt like she could cut. And these are just two of the delightfully strong, brilliant, and cunning women this book has to offer.
My review: “Events happened because of what the characters did and who they were. It made the entire story make sense, almost was though I were reading the adventures of actual people”
Quirky Cat’s Fat Stacks gave this a 4.5, saying “Scarlet Odyssey is a brilliant, intense, and beautiful tale. This group of misfits are set to change the world – and the best part is that they don’t even know it”
Fantasy Book Critic said “Rwizi’s characters feel complex and multi-faceted. They face convincing dilemmas, make mistakes, and learn along the way”
Musings of the Monster Librarian said ” it’s a fine beginning to what looks to be an ambitious piece of African speculative fiction. Rwizi is a strong writer who does a good job establishing setting, developing characters, and creating some truly disturbing action scenes”
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Check out all the other books featured this month on The Curated Bookshelf.
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