I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Wrack by John Bierce
Published by Independently Published on April 24, 2020
Genres: Fantasy, epic fantasy
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Plague has come to the continent of Teringia.As the Wrack makes its slow, relentless march southwards, it will humble kings and healers, seers and merchants, priests and warriors. Behind, it leaves only screams and suffering, and before it, spreads only fear.Lothain, the birthplace of the Wrack, desperately tries to hold itself together as the plague burns across it and its neighbors circle like vultures. The Moonsworn healers would fight the Wrack, but must navigate distrust and violence from the peoples of Teringia. Proud Galicanta readies itself for war, as the Sunsworn Empire watches and waits for the Wrack to bring its rival low.And the Wrack advances, utterly unconcerned with the plans of men.
The Wrack gives us the topical insight of a plague that wreaks havoc throughout a fantasy world. I’m a bit of a freak in a way that I have enjoyed reading about plagues/pandemics whilst living through one. The format that it was told in was refreshing and thought provoking. Multiple POV’s that give us a snapshot of lives, some are cut short and some last several chapters. The plague pays no attention to stature, race or social class. It takes no prisoners, but it will cause insurmountable amount of pain and will take your last breath if your guard is down.
The Wrack gave me something that I didn’t realise I was looking for during this given time. A fantasy novel that is rooted in its epidemiological plight. So far, my reading career hasn’t had its path crossed with something quite as intricate and just plain fascinating as this story. This is a narrative that won’t grant you rest and relaxation. It keeps your brain ticking over, questioning aspects of the disease and the ultimate end game for many of the characters. It’s a fast-paced journey that resonates during our darkest days.
The only thing I did find slightly frustrating was the lack of follow up. Often, I felt like the lack of information and clarification of what happened to characters just left me wanting more. My brain was conjuring up scenarios and outcomes and I just greedily needed that conclusion. Although I found this frustrating it absolutely doesn’t take away my love for the story and just how Bierce masterfully brings each character to life in such a condensed format. I loved the uniqueness and it felt like swimming against the current – it was inevitable and as sure as the sun rising.
There is one thing that The Wrack does incredibly well – emotion. It is bursting at the seams with emotion. We get differing aspects and thoughts on how the The Wrack affects each character, the pain and anguish. It felt like a lot of little stories in amongst the bigger picture. Many of the chapters were memorable for me and brought another layer to the overall story. It was so incredibly written from a characterisation standpoint that I went from moments of joy, sadness to laughter. It had a well-developed magic system that had my love for fantasy kept at a constant level.
Thanks to Storytellers on Tour for my spot on the blog tour.
ABOUT JOHN BIERCE
John Bierce is a history buff, fantasy and science fiction lover, and fan of talking about himself in the third person. He also has a background in the earth sciences, and has been caught licking rocks before. For science.
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