We are a week out from Ariah’s release! Not that I’m counting the days or anything. Not that I have a series of posts labeled “Countdown” or anything.
We’re just a single week out from the release and I thought I’d try and get you as excited as I am about Ariah by sharing with you some early reviews:
Amanda Smith on Goodreads writes:
The action is driven by relationships, by love, and the ties that bind friends, lovers, and families together.
Ariah’s journey uses a carefully crafted fantasy world to explore the influence of deeply entrenched and often narrow social rules, expectations, and traditions and how those rules end up shaping our lives if we allow them to.
Hunter on Goodreads writes:
Sanders writes compelling personal struggles in a detailed, fantastic setting. The themes of queerness, family, and belonging will speak to a lot of people.
And last but not least, a Publisher’s Weekly review of the ABNA 2013 manuscript of Ariah said:
Set in a beautifully crafted fantasy world where races of elves uneasily coexist, and most are under the dominant hand of the brutal Qin, this poetic coming-of-age saga is focused on relationships and how “all of us exist in a web of other people, tethered to them and pulled by them this way and that.” The elf Ariah is apprenticed in a strange country to teach him control of his two magical gifts: perfect mimicry and the ability to read and shape the emotions of others. He trains with Dirva for several years and is groomed to be a linguist like his teacher.
But what could have been a mundane life of good-enough takes a turn toward the extraordinary when Dirva is called back to his home country and Ariah accompanies him. That’s when Ariah’s real journey begins, as his training ends abruptly and he develops the relationships that will become critically important in his life. Moving from obedient and docile to reckless, self-sabotaging and disastrously unformed, Ariah is a marvelous protagonist whose mixed blood sets him apart even in the elvish ghetto. There are bandits and pirates and elven queens and magic; treks across the desert, brutal slavery and racial discrimination. The author’s skill at blending classic elements makes the story fresh and exciting. Splendid prose and an absorbing story are built on realistically complicated, well-developed characters and relationships, and the explorations of pride, vanity, humility, love, philosophy, and sexuality make this vivid tale of Ariah’s journey towards maturity a must-read.