Unspoken (Nur #1) by Ari Reavis
Reviewed by Cardyn Brooks
Princess Ameera of Nur is trapped. Her mother died immediately after giving birth to her, leaving her in the mostly indifferent, often cruel care of her tyrannical father King Qarun. The king and his nobles rule without mercy or consideration for the suffering of the masses, especially girls and women. Ameera intends to save her people, but first she needs to save herself from her father’s determination to marry her off to the despicable warmongering ruler of the bordering nation of Sameer. Will a few trusted allies, some hidden resources, and a mysterious being rally around her and follow her into battle to emerge victorious? The odds are stacked against her.
Elements reminiscent of The Iliad, Highlander, The Handmaid’s Tale, and fresh spins on djinn lore blend with nuanced characters, detailed world-building, political intrigue, dynamic fight scenes, and assorted mortal dangers. Unspoken offers readers a deep dark fantasy adventure that projects a visceral sense of every phase of recurring cycles of violence from its dormant prelude to activation, escalation, peak, decline, and aftermath, then reset. Despite its examination of the abundant horrors of unchallenged tyranny in the home and in society, Ameera’s story is ultimately an optimistic tale about fighting for what’s ethical even when winning seems impossible.
Self-published April 12, 2021