As some of you have likely guessed, I am a big fan of the fantasy genre. If you look at my family's library, you will see a large selection of fantasy and sci-fi books, some of them from well known authors, and others by little independent publishers. To me, nothing is important than a good story, leaving me constantly looking for new, innovative authors. While browsing on Tomoson back in June, I found a book that caught my interest – a fantasy series that mixed an 18th century world with magic. Having never heard of anything like it, I immediately reached out to the author, who was happy to have me review the first book in the Talan Revolt series – Raingun.
Raingun is the story of Rick Rivoire, a man who we see in the beginning of the book try to find his place in life. Through various flashbacks, we see him move from scared child who watched his father hang, to a respected raingun (a special regiment of magic wielding cavalry). As the story progresses, the country he swore to protect begins to change, starting to persecute different religions, as well as holding more tightly to its views of slavery. This leads to a divide in the country, and eventually a rebellion. Even though he agrees with the rebels' views, he is caught between both worlds, unsure if he should join the rebellion or stay with the aristocrats who have grown to respect him. With both sides leading to consequences that could drastically change his world, he must decide between the world of his beloved mentor and one that could very well lead to him hanging like his father! One thing is for certain, in this first book of the Talan Revolt, you will be kept on the edge of your seat!
I won't lie, Raingun isn't one of those books you can easily jump into and does take a bit of thoughtful patience. You are immediately thrown into the story, and left initially puzzling through the magic of the world. I almost put the book down a few times, just because I felt so lost in the beginning. Throw in flashbacks and you could easily be left very confused reader. Luckily, things get sorted out and start to be better explained by the end of chapter 3. At the start of chapter 3, you have a clear enough picture of Rick that the chaos of the first three chapters comes together and makes a larger picture that makes sense. From this point forward, the writer has a very clear, concise style that leaves you wanting to know more about the world, as well as what is going to happen to Rick and his raingun friends.
What makes Raingun so interesting, however, is the unique world. When I first started thinking of the world, I was amused when I realized it was like the American Revolution with magic. Even better, it was a military world where you have more than one life. While guns and magic have always had a place in the fantasy genre, you rarely see residents of a world given more than one life. Every person in this world has give 'gifts', opportunities to be resurrected at a local temple. While some people value their gifts, others burn through them quickly. In a way, it gives a very interesting perspective on the value of life. While the magic system does have quite a few confusing bumps, they eventually do sort themselves out, allowing you to see a very interesting world with various religions and how the people of the religions interact with one another in such a complicated world.
Raingun: My Thoughts
While Raingun had a rocky start, I do think it was a pretty good book. I don't regret reading it and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel. I really want to see how this world develops and what long term impact Rick makes in this fascinating world. Based on the innovative plot, world, and story, I am happy to give Raingun an overall B+.
Raingun: Where to Purchase
Want to add Raingun to your reading list? You can find this fun, action packed book on Amazon.com. While I read the paperback version of this book, it is also available for the Kindle for $3.99. As someone who loves unique fantasy, I don't think you will be disappointed by this book!
Disclosure: Mew Review did not receive compensation for this review but did receive free product for review purposes via Tomoson.com. All opinions on this product are my own and may differ from our readers' opinions.
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