Review of Refugees by R.A. Denny

“An epic journey of a lifetime.” That’s what three young individuals from three different corners of the world have dreamed about. They were destined for greatness since the moment they were born. But what if they don’t want it? What if they’re not ready? What if their desires no longer align with the prophecy?

The problem is, they have no choice. The star has appeared. Their destiny has already begun to unfold. 

It’s not the send-off that they’ve been dreaming of. Forced out. Banished. Raided. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Now they must discover who they really are while embarking on the most exciting journey of their lives. One star. One impossible task. One chance to save the world they love.”

Refugees is the first book in the Mud, Rocks and Trees series and it’s a really strong start!  Refugees felt to me like a true fantasy adventure, I loved how the 3 young people are very different in their ways, customs and languages but are all threaded together by one man, Baskrod, a simple fisherman highly bound by his faith with more to him that meets the eye i’m sure.   The mud, rocks and trees relate to the culture each of the 3 hail from, usually I would try and pick a favourite but I found all 3, Brina (trees) Moshoi (rock) and Amanki (mud) to be fantastic characters with their own specific traits, strengths and flaws (I hope they all make it together in future books as I would love to see how they interact with each other).  I especially liked how time was spent showing how different each society was, how their beliefs, understanding and acceptance of other cultures and religions shaped how the story moved forward and impacted upon what happened to the characters

The book is in multiple POV’s (my favourite) for each of the 3, intriguingly we also have the view of Metlan (grass) occasionally which usually would end up being too many characters for me to keep track of, but he is used sparingly and only to drive the story forward where necessary which I was glad about.  As grass doesn’t feature in the series title his inclusion took me a little by surprise and my mind is ticking over about the part he has to play in it all!

There is a ton to love in this book, I really enjoyed the slow reveals of how the story was coming together and the small nuggets that wove through it in relation to the star and the prophecy.  It was well paced and the multiple POV’s led to me feeling like I was on a cliffhanger throughout which made it an exciting read, although it was a little unfair to some characters occasionally as I found myself rushing through some chapters to find out what happened next with others! Some of the chapters are quite short and punchy but it serves the story well and keeps the characters moving forward without losing track of where each are.

For me the only thing that I would have liked is that the 3 would have moved further forward on their journeys by the end, it’s very much a story to set up the series (6 books in total) and I felt it ended too soon despite it being a decent size read; everything was very open ended, which had a slight Lord of the Rings feel to it. Amanki was the first to have their part of the story come to an end and I felt he got a little left behind because of it, I am a big fan of things being tied up neatly though, so that’s more down to me and not at all a fault in the story telling.

Ultimately if you’re a fan of intricately woven stories with a sense of adventure, intrigue and a little bit of faith then you will enjoy Refugees, it’s certainly got the makings of an epic series!

4*

Refugees is available through Amazon and is currently free! (at time of posting)

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