Having read this through a really busy period, I feel as if I won't be able to do it full justice in my review, but I'll try anyway.
Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern by Selah Tay-Song
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Icer Princess, Stasia of Iskalon is convinced that she is close to finding V'ltruhst, a vast cavern from ancient legend that she has been Dreaming of. However, Flame King Dynat of Chraun, compelled by the Fire Spirit, has launched a war against Iskalon, intent on destroying the Icers' city and capturing all the princesses. Thrust into leadership when her family is captured, Stasia has to find the right balance between saving her people and following her Dream.
Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern (DVBC for short!) draws you into a magical world, where two races who can draw the T'Jas from cold and heat, called Icers and Flames, are pitted against each other. Humans, those without the magic of T'Jas, are unfortunately caught in between as guildsmen and assistants amongst the Icers and as slaves amongst the Flames. It feels like she might be inserting some social commentary here, but it's probably only going to be evident in the second book.
Tay-Song's writing is a pleasure to read - detailed enough to bring you into the scene at will, and yet broad enough for you to fill in the gaps with your imagination. The only thing that broke it for me in several parts were the interludes where Maia's story, set in Khell, brings in an ancient tribal-like feel that's far removed from the rest of the story. It's only towards the end when the two storylines merge does it begin to fit together. I suppose this is something like what Brandon Sanderson has been doing in the Stormlight Archives. I would have liked the interlude to have been maybe a little more connected though.
* I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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DVBC is available here!
Check out Selah’s latest book, Dream of a City of Ruin, available today! The tale of QaiMaj continues in this gripping sequel to Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern:
War simmering for three thousand years is poised to explode on the surface of QaiMaj. The outcome might free the scattered survivors of an ancient disaster from tyranny, or destroy them forever.
Torn from familiar caverns in the midst of her own war, stranded in the icy lands of Khell, Queen Stasia of Iskalon knows nothing of the conflicts shaping QaiMaj. Her only guides are legends told by a Khell Healer and her own prophetic Dreams of her people suffering in a dark, ruined city. Unwillingly allied with the man who destroyed everything she holds dear, struggling to define her identity in the face of so much loss, stalked and assailed by death-hungry Dhuciri, Stasia sets out across the vast wastelands of QaiMaj to reach the city of her Dreams.
But Svardark, the ruling dynasty on QaiMaj, already knows she has surfaced, and they will stop at nothing to find her in...
Dream of a City of Ruin
Dreams of QaiMaj Book II