Jaeth’s Eye by K.S. Villoso
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jaeth’s Eye is about a bunch of people in a turbulent world with some supernatural/magical things that are threatening to undo everyone.
Let me try that again.
This book is about Kefier as he struggles to reconcile his past and find his way in life. Or it’s about Sume’s struggle to care for her family and the sacrifices she makes to achieve that goal. Or maybe it’s about Ylir, a man with something to prove to his master and everyone else he’s so desperate to manipulate.
The thing is, there’s no clear hero in this story. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind this, but there were so many jumps, and the point of view character wasn’t always readily apparent – sometimes you just had to guess based on the info. Which got a bit irritating.
The other problem I had with the story was all the cliffhangers and missing information. I’m still not certain how Kefier’s partner, Oji, died. I have some idea, but it’s not entirely clear. Which may be because there’s more story to tell. But by about halfway through the book and the numerous cliffhangers with no idea where the book was going or how it would get there, I got frustrated.
Those nits aside, the world the author created is phenomenal. It’s so well thought-out, it could be another planet or an alternate history. There are people and their different gods and customs and speech and rivalries. And the story – what of it I could gather – was rather entrancing. I bled for those characters, so broken, each with their own misery to tell and their own paths to forge.
And some of the reveals were out of this world. The story is so drip-fed, that I didn’t make many of the connections that the end pointed out.
I was actually pretty surprised by what I found when I read this book. The author who was raving about it on her page tends to write sweet, clean, romantic pieces. I expected a fun, romantic fantasy, but what I got was a bit more complex, and not nearly as sweet. Not complaining, it just was a bit of a shock, that’s all.
So if you like experimental narratives, fully formed worlds that will transport you, and a steady stream of cliff-hangers (or some might call it intrigue), then pick up Jaeth’s Eye.
**Note: This book has some very adult circumstances and language. While most of the expletives are fun things like “Akku knows” and “by Agartes’ balls”, there are some f-bombs. And while the sex is not incredibly detailed, it is there, and I think the random public instances are perhaps the most shocking (in one scene the narrator notices a woman pretending to sit on a man’s lap at the bar, but obviously there’s a much more intimate connection going on).