Source : NetGalley, many thanks to the publisher!
TL;DR : Read this, it is simply incredible
It’s honestly best – in my opinion – to take this book with the most basic of description and dive in. In fact, I’m going to try and keep my review as spoiler free as I can because I want so many people to do just that and to experience this the way I did.
The Spear Cuts Through Water is a fantasy epic that tells the story of an Empire’s fall at the hand of two young men and an escaped Goddess. The themes here explore belonging, redemption, family, hate and love, and what it is people will do for what they believe. It is also structured in such a way that you feel and see so much, even at times the thoughts of the people around – you truly sink into the story. It is by no means a traditionally structured or told story, so keep that in mind when you pick this up. It’s done so masterfully that it only adds to the story (though I know some struggle with unusual narrative styles).
The world itself is vivid, dark, rich, and so layered. I honestly was so engrossed in the world and the aspects of it that I was heartbroken to leave. I cried on finishing this, and nearly turned around and picked it back up. You feel the heat, the dark nights, the fear of the people. The smells (thanks Defect) and the sounds.
The characters as well are nuanced and flawed. There is only one character in this story I’d consider in anyway a traditionally ‘good’ character. The rest, Jun especially, were incredible renderings of ideas and people. The Goddess for example, I spent the first half of the book assuming I knew her story. It seems so obvious and clear what happened and I was righteously angry for her. But then when she wrenches the narrative voice and tells you the truth? I read the book with my mouth gaping. I hated her but loved her even more.
Melding a story between time and perspectives I truly think Simon Jimenez has created a classic and something everyone should at least try. This is going to be one of my favorites of the year, and something that is going to sit on my shelves in a place of honor. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
5 sad, lonely Tortoises out of 5