Monday, January 8, 2018

Monday #Review - The Nine by Tracy Townsend #Fantasy @prometheusbks

Series: Thieves of Fate # 1
Format: E-Book, 367 pages
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Publisher: Prometheus Books/PYR
Source: Edelweiss
Genre:  Fantasy / Dark Fantasy

In the dark streets of Corma exists a book that writes itself, a book that some would kill for...
Black market courier Rowena Downshire is just trying to pay her mother’s freedom from debtor's prison when an urgent and unexpected delivery leads her face to face with a creature out of nightmares. Rowena escapes with her life, but the strange book she was ordered to deliver is stolen.
The Alchemist knows things few men have lived to tell about, and when Rowena shows up on his doorstep, frightened and empty-handed, he knows better than to turn her away. What he discovers leads him to ask for help from the last man he wants to see—the former mercenary, Anselm Meteron.
Across town, Reverend Phillip Chalmers awakes in a cell, bloodied and bruised, facing a creature twice his size. Translating the stolen book may be his only hope for survival; however, he soon realizes the book may be a fabled text written by the Creator Himself, tracking the nine human subjects of His Grand Experiment. In the wrong hands, it could mean the end of humanity.
Rowena and her companions become the target of conspirators who seek to use the book for their own ends. But how can this unlikely team be sure who the enemy is when they can barely trust each other? And what will happen when the book reveals a secret no human was meant to know? 

The Nine is the first installment in author Tracy Townsend's Thieves of Fate series. In a world where three sentient races exist in a precarious peace, nine people are the unknowing subjects of a Great Experiment by the Creator. These 9 unknown subjects are tracked in a book that writes itself. Now, factions of all three races are fighting to obtain the book and alter the course of history. One of the unsuspecting members of the Nine is 13-year old Rowena Downshire.

Rowena has been a black market courier for 7 years. She's trying hard to pay off a substantial debt owed by her mother. After being sent off on a errand by her employer to deliver a package to a man known simply as the Alchemist, Rowena encounters trouble in the form of a monstrous creature known as an Aigamuxa. Aigamuxa have eyes on the soles of their feet and are one of the three sentient races who are after the book supposedly created by the Creator himself. 

After losing her package to the creature, Rowena does the only thing she can do. Attempt to locate the Alchemist and explain her situation, and hope that she doesn't pay a harsh penalty for failing to deliver the package to the Alchemist as directed. But, Rowena's story is far from over. She has absolutely no clue how very special she really is. Rowena is one of the Nine beings whom God has chosen at random and whom he observes as they deal with life’s inevitable struggles; their actions can possibly determine the final fate of all of humanity.

Rowena becomes entangled even more in the plot when she and the Alchemist team up with a villain in his own right, Anselem Meteron, who agrees to help uncover the plot. This leads them to Reverend Doctor Phillip Chalmers who has major issues of his own. Chalmers is an important character in that he comes closest to understanding the book and identifying one of the nine who is living in Corma. Between the four characters, I don't think the author is quite finished with uncovering other players who may have been involved in the search for the nine.

I think one of the more interesting aspects of this story is Theosophy, or the mixture of science and religion together, and the disavowment of any of the older religions that are no longer practiced. This is a story filled with many different characters both on the side of so called good, and the conspirators themselves. One of the secondary characters who most stands out is Rare Juells. She is connected to both Anselem and the Alchemist. 

As I mentioned before, there are three main races interested in the book itself. Humans, Aigamuxa, and walking tree like characters called Lanyani. We don't know a whole lot about the Lanyani, but they end up playing a pretty interesting role when all is said and done. This is a very trying time for all three races, with humans trying to maintain the status quo, while the remain two races attempt to insert their freedoms into the equation. I would dare say that Rowena is the key protagonist of this story, but don't ignore the efforts of Chalmers, Anselem, nor the Alchemist in uncovering a conspiracy that hints at all levels of the so called Ecclesiastical Commission. 

I don't think this story fits nicely into any one genre. You can pretty much include science fiction, dark fantasy, perhaps a bit of steampunk as well. I am perfectly fine with the authors hodge podge mixture of the various genre's in order to tell her story. 

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