The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco, a review (The Never Tilting World #1)

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco was a duology that was on my radar but I hadn’t thought to dive in. That was changed when Kari sent me both books (thank you!) and I knew that I’d enjoy them if they were recommended by her.

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

Enjoy this I did! This is a fantastic mix of sci-fi and fantasy. We’re in a world that has stopped spinning on its axis, meaning one half is frozen and the other burns under the sun’s heat. To fix this? Magic.

There are multiple POVs through this book, and whether they’re in the dark or the light is signified by a moon or a sun at the chapter start. But there are two characters in each hemisphere and there’s no distinguishing mark between them. That was my one frustration with this book, having to figure that out through context. Other than that, I adored our 4 POVs. They all brought really unique aspects and viewpoints to the story, without having unconvincing miscommunication.

The magic and science within the book were fascinating too. One hemisphere being boiling and one freezing is what would happen to the earth if it stopped spinning on its axis in real life, and I love that this was brought into the novel. But I also really enjoyed the magical aspect and how that was what caused the Earth to stop rotating in the first place (as well as being an aspect of the high born’s daily lives)

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 8, Atmosphere: 8, Writing: 8, Plot: 8, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 8, Enjoyment: 8, with an average of 8 (no surprise) and a 4.5* rating!

Highlight here for content warnings: abuse (mentioned), animal death, death (discussed), gore, harassment (mentioned), PTSD depiction, sexual assault (mentioned), violence, war themes.

This is such a great first book in a trilogy. I think the first two sentences of my original goodreads review sum it up well. “I have passed. I am deceased”.

Pick up this duology! Please!

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko, a review (Raybearer #1)

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko is the first in a YA duology following a young girl named Tarisai who is raised in isolation by her mother, the Lady. When she gets older her mother sends her to the capital of the empire they live within to compete with other children to be chosen for the Prince’s council. If she is, her mother has used magic to compel her to kill him.

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko, UK cover

I listened to this book via audio, narrated by Joniece Abbott-Pratt, and this is a beautiful way to read this book. It was incredibly well done and I enjoyed how Abbott-Pratt altered her voice to match various characters.

One of my only negatives about this book was in the characters representations. For the main characters: Tarisai, the Prince Dayo, her love interest, and her best friend (as well as antagonists such as the Lady and Tarisai’s father) are well developed and fleshed out. With great depths to them and a lot of development through the book. But there are certain people who aren’t. In this world the Prince has a council of 11 who he is mind-linked with, they all know each other inside out and physically become ill if apart from each other. And yet. We barely know anything about the other 8 members of the council. I could tell you the names of the other two friends (but I’m not in case you’d consider it spoilers) but with the rest of the council? No clue. It was the only real negative of the book, because it felt quite unrealistic that these people so intrinsically linked wouldn’t be more prevalent in Tarisai’s mind.

This book is primarily plot based, and I was utterly absorbed by it. There is so much going on within this Empire and so many stories that Tarisai hears of. Ifueko has mentioned that all of these cultures are made up, but the themes are based on religions that she was exposed to throughout her life. With Tarisai’s best friend’s religion (People of the Wing) being based upon a sect of Christianity that believes in covering their hair with prayer shawls. I loved learning about the magic system within this universe as well, and without spoiling events of the end of the book, I am very excited to dive into book two and learn some more about this world!

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 7, Atmosphere: 9, Writing: 9, Plot: 9, Intrigue: 9, Logic: 8, and Enjoyment: 9, giving a score of 8.57 and an average of 4.5*.

Highlight here for trigger warnings: death (including parental), domestic abuse, fire, genocide, gore, memory loss, mental illness, misogyny, murder, parental abuse (emotional), rape (referenced), suicide (referenced), unwanted pregnancy.

This was an absolutely fantastic story and one that I waited far too long to get into! I’m so glad that I’ve finally read it and I really need to finish up this duology sooner rather than later!! (don’t hold me to that 😅)