Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Fantasy Review: The Water Road (Book One of The Water Road Trilogy) by JD Byrne

The Water Road by J.D. Byrne
Genre: Fantasy

Two women are about to expose a terrible secret that will turn their world upside down.

For centuries the great river known as the Water Road separated the Altrerians in the north from the Neldathi in the south. When the Neldathi clans united and struck out across the river, the nations of Altreria formed an alliance, the Triumvirate, to drive them back. For more than a hundred years after, the Triumvirate kept the Neldathi barbarians at bay, fighting amongst themselves across the Water Road.

Antrey is a woman without a country, the daughter of a Neldathi mother and an Altrerian father. She’s found a role for herself in Tolenor, the headquarters of the Triumvirate, that's given her access to a secret the alliance has kept for generations. When she finds it, she explodes with rage and embarks on a quest to find justice for the Neldathi people.

Strefer is a reporter without a story, desperately working the streets of Tolenor for any kind of lead. When Antrey flees the city, Strefer slips in and discovers her uncovered secret, stained with blood and fury. It’s the story of a lifetime, one powerful forces want to keep her from telling. With the help of a renegade Sentinel, Strefer sets out for a mythical city in hopes she can make the world listen to the truth.

Together, they’ll inflame the passions of a people and set the world alight. The Water Road - first book of The Water Road trilogy.

My Review:
The Water Road is an epic in the making. Antrey’s story is all about righteous indignation and a quest for justice and vengeance. Strefer’s story is about revealing the truth to a people who don’t want to hear it.

I thought this was a rather well put together read. Both stories and heroines are fully developed and engaging. In both cases, their chosen path is something they feel is right, but is it? That’s a question that can only be answered in later volumes. This story sets the stage for what promises to be an epic-scale struggle both between two civilizations and within each of the two women that spark it in the first place.

As a fantasy, this one isn’t concerned with any magic systems or peoples. However, the world building is flawless and the history is intriguing and rich. I love the details sprinkled into the story, but also how they don’t take over. The focus is on the people and the struggles they face: past, present and future. And the characters are relatable, and the pacing is steady, but good for this sort of book. There’s a balance between information and action with no unnecessary romance clouding things up.

Overall, I loved this story, and I’d strongly recommend it to fans of fantasy, intrigue and politics, and other worlds. You won’t find dwarves or elves in these pages, but you won’t miss them either.

I received a copy of this book from the author so that I could write this review.


Book Links:

Official Webpage: The Water Road Trilogy
Goodreads: The Water Road (book 1)
Amazon: The Water Road

About the Author:

JD Byrne
JD Byrne was born and raised around Charleston, West Virginia, before spending seven years in Morgantown getting degrees in history and law from West Virginia University. He's practiced law for more than 15 years, writing briefs where he has to stick to real facts and real law. In his fiction, he gets to make up the facts, take or leave the law, and let his imagination run wild. He lives outside Charleston with his wife and one-eyed dog.

Follow JD Byrne:
Official Webpage
Twitter @JDBAuthor

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