December 8, 2023
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Child of a Vanquished Isle
Book Reviews Fantasy

Child of a Vanquished Isle by Talia Martini – Can peace be found after unforgivable violence?

Author: Talia Martini

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Year Published: 2023

Nerdection Rating:

“Nerdection Wort to read”

Four forces combine to challenge the enslavement of the Indarrans by an oppressive ruler. Sacrificing everything down to one’s one life for downtrodden people void of all hope sounds like an exercise in futility. The odds lie nowhere near the four brave souls—joined by the few loyal to them—willing to undertake an impossible task for the slimmest sliver of success that may emerge from their relentless effort. The uncertain promise of eternity might make everything worthwhile for heroine Tiyana O’boctura; no one wants to live out forever as a prisoner of hatred and subjugation.

Spoiler-free Plot

Vasili, a bloodthirsty conqueror hailing from the most dominant kingdom of the Western Isles, Gutizia, gains what he most covets following a merciless massacre of the Indarrans: power and status. Pride provides justification for the sacking of Indarra, with its full-bellied populace and adoption of Eastern practices. A stinging betrayal sends him into a frenzied hunt for the perpetrators of this deceit, one to who he granted clemency years prior.

Keahi D’Indarra’s puerile attitude gets him into trouble more often than not. This time, the only solution to rectify his offense is to leave the only home he had ever known and plunge into the cold, shark infested waters of uncertainty. Isolation is all he has to look forward to. And just as well, he might even deserve it.

Tiyana O’boctura is unsatisfied with her lot in life. The mistakes of the two people closest to her set in motion an irreversible plot for preservation to protect those she holds dear.

All the while, whispers of the religion, Andidism, untapped and waiting to be unleashed in full force are passed on in secret for anyone found practicing this outlawed religion is condemned to a gruesome death by those who do not fully comprehend the full power of the faith they will soon be up against.

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My Take on Child of a Vanquished Isle

Fantasy fiction stories are only as good as their worldbuilding. The strength of the imaginary world will determine the success of the story being told. Diligence over the minutiae breathes vibrancy into the piece of work. The key points of worldbuilding have been appropriately implemented by author, Talia Martini.

Establishing the rules and regulations the people in the world being created are bound by is an important first step. In this story, the societal rules mimic similar ones we have witnessed or still witness in real life. A functioning monarchy with a distinct hierarchy is the chosen structure. Any magical elements of the story must have their limitations for a believable end product. This world isn’t overrun with magic. We receive it in small, digestible doses. It isn’t ostentatious nor does it run rampant, infiltrating every thought, action, and point of motivation of the characters. The progression of the characters isn’t interfered with.

Geography sets apart worlds within the same niche. Each of the seven islands has different topographical features. The ones where a majority of the characters are from and travel to within the course of the book are, naturally, described in the most detail, all with unique landscapes, productivity, and flora mentioned by name.

Religion is one of the most important plot drivers in this story. We are treated to a classic battle between monotheism and polytheism. An important tension is derived from the two opposing religions of Andidsm from the East and the worship of the pantheon of gods from the West.

While the historical context given to the events we presently find our characters in is brief, it has its importance. Without it, the weight of the character’s actions would be completely lost on us as readers. It would all seem very contrived so it is appreciated that Talia Martini took the extra time to deliberately lay a comprehensive foundation.

Experiencing a brand-new culture was a fun feature of this fantasy land. Somehow, the author managed to—with great success might I add—create an entirely new language with words from this dialect strewn across every chapter. While they were completely foreign to me as standalone words, the way they were placed into their respective sentences made their meanings obvious. No repetitions, translations, or glossaries were needed to deduce the definitions of these words. Notable books that I can compare off the top of my head to this one in terms of novel linguistics would be G.R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series and J.R.R.Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings. Along Brandon Sanderson’s The Cosmere. Having your work lined up alongside these beloved works is something to be extremely proud of.

It takes incredible imagination to pluck all the fictional details that make up this book out of thin air and fashion them into a sensible, logical story; one that readers can easily keep track of and make sense of. Talia Martini has sealed off each possible plot hole with a sensical rebuttal to any inquisition launched by a reader, with all the supporting evidence written plain and clear on the pages of the book for all to see.

Because of all the attention and care paid to this story, the door has been left open a crack for the author to transport us back to the world she has created. Be it following different characters, the same ones but in a different time period, or expanding the realm while dropping breadcrumbs linking the locations we’ve become familiar with in Children of a Vanquished Isle to a broader universe filled with even more whimsical qualities. The possibilities are infinite. A return to the seven islands feels imminent.

Content Warning

Graphic violence, Slavery, Torture.

Age Rating

Suitable for teenagers 16+

About The Author Of Child of a Vanquished Isle

Talia Martini is a law student who loves nothing more than to whip up a carbonara, pop open a bottle of red and binge an action-packed book after a long day of briefing cases. She published her first novel, The Miracle of Broken Endings on Amazon in 2020 and expects to publish her second novel, Child of a Vanquished Isle in July, 2023 to Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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