Sorry that this review is so late! I’d planned to have it up a few weeks ago but other things got in the way so I’ll hopefully be posting a few more reviews soon to make up for it. My reviewing skills are a bit out of shape so hopefully this is okay! 🙂
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
They enslaved humanity three thousand years ago. Tall, strong, perfect, superhuman and near immortal they rule from their glittering palaces in the eternal city in the centre of the world. They are called Those Above by their subjects. They enforce their will with fire and sword.
Twenty five years ago mankind mustered an army and rose up against them, only to be slaughtered in a terrible battle. Hope died that day, but hatred survived. Whispers of another revolt are beginning to stir in the hearts of the oppressed: a woman, widowed in the war, who has dedicated her life to revenge; the general, the only man to ever defeat one of Those Above in single combat, summoned forth to raise a new legion; and a boy killer who rises from the gutter to lead an uprising in the capital. – Goodreads Description
Those Above is Daniel Polansky’s first delve into epic fantasy and during some parts it was quite noticeable whilst in others it wasn’t so I have mixed feelings towards this book. Those Above is told from four POV’s, a soldier, a Domina, a slave and a street child. I enjoyed the variety of different view points as it gave me a chance to get to know the different sides of this world that Polansky had created but sometime it could be a bit confusing. I felt like the characterisation of the characters came across as rushed and I didn’t feel like I could truly relate or connect with any of them.
I also felt the same with the world building, whilst there seemed to be a lot of info dumping there didn’t seem to be anything truly important and it felt like the author spent most of the book describing the world rather than the plot. Despite this the world was quite interesting. There are bird like creatures ruling over the humans who live in ‘rungs’ based on class and the plot focuses on the rising tension between the humans and their rulers. It wasn’t like anything I’ve ever read about before
I did enjoy reading from Eudokia, the Domina’s, point of view more than anything as I love reading about political intrigue and she kind of reminded me of Cersei from the A Song of Ice and Fire series. I loved how manipulative she was and I can’t wait to see how her character features in the next book. I thought the pacing picked up quite a bit towards the end which I really liked and I enjoyed the twists and turns that the plot took later on.
Despite the few problems I had with this book I may pick up the next book in the series. I am quite interested to see where the plot will go and the ending left it on kind of a cliffhanger which I’m curious about. 🙂