I decided to join the Read Along for Jenn Williams’ ‘The Ninth Rain’, which is the first part of her trilogy ‘The Winnowing Flame’.
The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the realm of his storied ancestors falls to pieces – talk about a guilt trip. Better to be amongst the living, where there are taverns full of women and wine. When eccentric explorer, Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ de Grazon, offers him employment, he sees an easy way out. Even when they are joined by a fugitive witch with a tendency to set things on fire, the prospect of facing down monsters and retrieving ancient artefacts is preferable to the abomination he left behind. But not everyone is willing to let the Eboran empire collapse, and the adventurers are quickly drawn into a tangled conspiracy of magic and war. For the Jure’lia are coming, and the Ninth Rain must fall…
Can I just say first, that I’m SO glad I joined in? I’m absolutely loving the shit out of this book!! It is SO cool! The characters are awesome, the world is great, the giant bats are everything and the writing is fantastic! I already know that I will read more by Jen Williams 🙂
Let’s look at the prompts from the goodreads group, or this will just be too incoherent. Thanks for the prompts btw!
1. ‘You travel with an Eboran, and you explore the Wild, and you’re looking for things that might kill you. None of it makes sense.’ – What are your first impressions of Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ de Grazon?
This lady is one badass mofo! First of all, I am quite happy to read about an older character. Vintage is in her 40s and has spent her life growing grapes & making wine but now she goes on a quest to find out more about the dangerous parasite spirits that threaten her people. They are leftovers from another time. She’s an adventurer & explorer and pretty unafraid. She’s seen it all and she’s not easily surprised!
I could do without her calling everyone ‘my dear’ or ‘darling’. Even someone who is about 400 years old. I guess he doesn’t behave like it, but still.. Just turn it down a notch please!
She’s a lot of fun to read about & I love her dry humour! For now she seems to be quite positive and optimistic. But we get glimpses of her past and a loss she experienced. I hope we learn more about her mysterious Eboran lady 🙂
2. Not your traditional Elves, eh: how do you feel about Ebora and the Eborans?
I am not a huge fan of the traditional Elves. But those ones I don’t mind so much! They are more like vampire elves though and I love the fact that they are not too perfect, but pretty arrogant & even naive. Due to their tree god dying, and them not having access to its magical sap anymore, they turned to human blood which has kinda similar effects. (Not ageing, power boost etc.). But it came with a price as it lead to an illness & a very painful death. Some are affected, some not. But the cause is definitely human blood.
Because of that, the Eborans & humans aren’t buddies anymore. Hundreds of years ago humans were slaughtered by blood-mad Eborans and it only stopped because of the illness. Now Eborans are slowly dying & not many are left. Tor turned his back on his city & his sister and ended up being a hired muscle for Vintage.
I really like Tor! He’s far from perfect – he likes his wine, his girls and dressing up^^ He’s arrogant and witty but has a darker side, especially if someone brings up the war between Eborans & humans. he was still too young and not a part of it, but still gets blamed.
He’s kinda me as well:
‘There are a few things as fine, Sareena, as a good piece of cheese and a decent glass of wine.’
Damn straight, my friend!
3. Parasite spirits, mutant animals and really big grapes: would you live safe behind city walls, or would you make your home in the Wild?
Not gonna lie, as much as I LOVE reading about all of it, I wouldn’t risk my life, so I’d stay behind walls and hope some heroes come along to save me!
There’s so much going on in this book and I love all the mysteries and the imagination! There’s giant weird mushrooms, giant bats that can be trained and people can ride on them. There’s the mysterious worm-people, the Jure’lia, who are gone, but are they? There’s still remains from the war left, like those Behemoth skeletons & parasite spirits that can only be killed by steel forged in winnow fire.
Seriously, so far, this is the PERFECT Fantasy story!
4. In a nightmarish world, a few bad dreams are to be expected. Or are they? How much are you reading into them?
And then there is this… I haven’t got a big clue about the dreams yet, but we know that some people, like Tor’s sister, can dream-walk. And some people have prophetic dreams? At least that’s what Fell-Noon had before she fled from the Winnowry.
Because Fell-Noon is an awesome witch who can take life-energy from people & plants and throw fireballs. She just can’t control it very well!
I can’t wait to continue reading!!