The Ninth Wind (Splendor and Ruin #1) by Moses Siregar III #SPFBO

TheNinthWindThe Ninth Wind is my final book review for the SPFBO and my chosen book from batch 6. I had 30 books which I split into 6 batches of 5 with the aim of reading 1 batch per month for the first six months of the challenge:

This is a book that is a bit difficult to pin down.  There’s a  lot going on here, a weaving of mythology and philosophy and a lot of ‘thinking’ material in terms of Gods, conflict and magic.

At the start of the story we make the introduction of three siblings:Skye, Dag and Idonea.  Their home is occupied by the neighbouring Rezzians and the opening chapters leaves the three siblings’ lives in ruins.  Following these opening chapters the three of them  pull together, they rely heavily on each other and their strong family connection helps them to move forward.  The Andarans have found a new purpose, their men train to be warriors, they are determined to be ready for any new threats to their way of life.  The country of Andara is a place filled with magic.  The trees seem to be conduits and the souls of Andaran ancestors seem to whisper in the wind.  Idonea seeks the knowledge of a volwa.  Pushed on by her dead ancestors she yearns to know the ways of magic and finally gains the aid of a wise woman who lives within the forest.  Her brother Dag, a warrior, knows of Idonea’s secret and is partly in tune with the magic of the forest himself although the pair of them keep their findings a secret – Volwa’s are not exactly acceptable being thought of as witches.  Skye, also a warrior, is desperate to hear the voice of his father and ancestors to help lead him in his quest and the failure to hear these voices seems, for him, to give testimony to his lack of ability as a leader.  The three of them are about to embark on a journey to try and prevent further war in their lands.

The plot starts off as a journey across land with a number of encounters and mishaps along the way.  From there we travel to the land of Rezzia and then onwards again.  Basically this is a search, by Idonea, Dag and Skye,  for their father, or at least knowledge of whether he still lives or dies, they also hope to petition for peace.  Finally we have a very unexpected and action packed grande finale.

I think for me the winning element of this story is the world building and attention to detail.  Clearly the author has given this a lot of thought and that much is evident as you read.  Much like our own world there are different religions and beliefs and also, much as in our world, there is fear and scorn of the unknown.  This is the sort of read that makes you stop and consider things from a different perspective and I liked that about the story.  More than that it takes a look at the way people treat each other – sometimes right and wrong is just merely a matter of perspective!

In terms of characters.  Well, I liked and disliked them.  Idonea starts out as a very intriguing character. She has the ability to be something very powerful even though she has a journey to travel before she will do so and I had high expectations for her.  But, she’s a conundrum.  She’s undoubtedly flawed and makes mistakes along the way but rather than making me feel more sympathetic towards her, which is normally how this would make me feel as it lends a character a certain realness, I found myself being slightly annoyed with her.  I never really felt any regret from her and in a way this made her come across as arrogant and a little bit harsh. Skye is another matter completely.  He’s filled with anger and passion and just plain old fear about his own inadequacies – which of course comes out as a lot of bravado and hair bristling.  Then we have Dag – who is definitely the most likeable and easy to understand character of the three.  I don’t know why he was my favourite – he just reads very naturally I suppose

In terms of criticisms.  To be honest, although this is well written and thought provoking it needs editing to sharpen it up.  It’s simply too long in terms of what is actually taking place – which is why I said it’s a ‘thinking’ piece.  Yes, there is lots to think about and definitely this will provoke plenty of food for thought but I think it was a bit wieldy.

Overall, a good read.  I enjoyed the world that the author has created here and found the different systems of belief intriguing.  I guess if I was going to be totally honest I enjoyed the first half of the story more than the latter half but even so an intriguing book.




13 Responses to “The Ninth Wind (Splendor and Ruin #1) by Moses Siregar III #SPFBO”

  1. sjhigbee

    It sounds like it needs several stages of beta-reading for the author to be able to sharpen it up…

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I think there’s plenty of food for thought here but it does feel at parts as though there’s too much that doesn’t actually forward the plot at all.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Oh, this looks sweet too. I like your choice of overall winner, but I wouldn’t mind checking this out if I want a deeper, thoughtful book though.

    • @lynnsbooks

      It has some really winning elements – although it could certainly lose some sharpening I think. It becomes a bit wieldy in parts and there is a little bit of food for thought that becomes repetitive but it feels like the author has poured his heart and soul into the world creation – definitely a labour of love.
      Lynn 😀

  3. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Flawed characters always draw me like magnets, so this might be a winning point for this book in my opinion. On the other hand, a narrative not pared down to essentials might be a problem… Still, the story sounds intriguing enough. Thanks for sharing!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, a little bit too dense in parts – a bit of paring down could have made this a lot more punchy although I do enjoy a bit of philosophising I think this was just a bit overdone.
      Lynn D:

  4. October: My month in review | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] The Ninth Wind by Moses Siregar III […]

  5. Bryan

    Also I’m curious on your thoughts on prequel to this serious?

    • @lynnsbooks

      Hi Bryan
      I’ve not actually read the prequel, I read this one as part of a competition and this was the book that was submitted. Have you read the prequel?

      • Bryan

        Yes in fact i read it first. The prequel deals with similar themes but it’s more contained but doesn’t have as much worldbuilding (most of the book takes place in one canyon). You don’t have to read the prequel to read this one but it does shed some light on some of the minor characters in this book who played major characters in that one. Speak of the minor characters you didn’t talk about any of the minor characters from the other countries I’m curious what you thought on them?

      • @lynnsbooks

        To be honest I don’t recall the minor characters really catching my attention although I liked the Queen and thought she played an interesting role and I was interested in her back story (she had a young child from an Andaran partner I recall and also I liked her bodyguard and their interaction). It’s interesting actually because I quite often find that the minor characters in a book do draw my attention but for this story my favourite character was Dag and I found myself much more captivated by the first half of the story where he and Idonea were finding out about their own capabilities and then their journey to Rezzia and the adventures they encountered.
        Lynn 😀

      • Bryan

        Yeah Dag was my favorite of the new character not included in the prequel ( the black God’s War). Idonea was good too, but I didn’t much care for Skye. He just seemed like an emotional wreck the entire time.

        Queen Lucia and Rao we’re definitely my favorite character. But that’s probably because I already knew them from Black god’so war .

        While the characters are good in my opinion this book excels in philosophy and worldbuilding.

        I particularly like the magic in mythology which nation the author manages to keep each of them very distinct but includes parallels if you look closely enough. You get the feeling that the magic systems and mythologies which nations are separate things but part of a much larger system.

        The plot twist at the end leaves me most inpatient for the next book.

        If you ever want to check out the prequel the first 15 chapters are free at Amazon Kindle Store.

      • @lynnsbooks

        Funnily enough I started out really liking Idonea but then switched to Skye. i liked that he was a bit emotional – he put himself under a lot of pressure and I thought the author brought that across well. Idonea started out as a favourite but I felt like she became too ‘hard’ somehow. Thanks for the heads up about the prequel.
        Lynn 😀

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