This book took me so long to read. So long to read.
I started it before it came out. I got a copy from Netgalley and was interested in it because I’d never read Modesitt before and wanted to see if he was an author I could get into. A standalone seemed like a good place to start.
The summary was what really drew me in:
On a world called Heaven, the ten major religions of mankind each have its own land governed by a capital city and ruled by a Hegemon. That Hegemon may be a god, or a prophet of a god. Smaller religions have their own towns or villages of belief.
Corvyn, known as the Shadow of the Raven, contains the collective memory of humanity’s Falls from Grace. With this knowledge comes enormous power.
When unknown power burns a mysterious black image into the holy place of each House of the Decalivre, Corvyn must discover what entity could possibly have that much power. The stakes are nothing less than another Fall, and if he doesn’t stop it, mankind will not rise from the ashes.
This book dragged so much. Corvyn starts off his journey to find out who is burning symbols into sacred relics, and we get a step-by-step account. The first half is him on his little bike traveling to another village or city, checking in to an inn, asking where to get the best food, him going to to eat food with detailed descriptions of said food, him going to the nearest religious building, him seeing the symbol burned into a relic, him being chased out, him getting back on his little bike, and on we go again.
The second half gets little more action, and we get more information on who is doing this. Honestly, by thing I got to the part about who and why this was happening, I didn’t much care anymore. In order to finish this book, I had to switch to audio and even then I caught myself zoning out.
As Corvyn goes from village to village, Modesitt peppers in little references to each religion and I’m sure it’s super interesting to someone with a wide knowledge of world religions, but a lot of it just flew over my head. While I was reading on Kindle, I would use the Wiki feature to get the connections, but once I switched to audio I just let the references slide on past. I’m sure I only got half of what he was trying to convey.
It came across very “I took a comparative religions class and wanted to shove as many references as possible into a book” to me, and that took away from my overall enjoyment.
I rated this book 2.5 stars on Goodreads, but the more I think about it the more I want to knock that half star off. If you like extreme detail and books where you have to take the time to look up references, this is for you.. If you’re looking for a simple read, maybe skip this one.