In Aerisia, the land beyond the sunset, there are beautiful fairies, immortal warriors, and the magic-wielding Moonkind. There are thick forests, lovely palaces, and tall mountains.
And there are the Dark Powers, the Evil.
When Hannah Winters is suddenly spirited away from Earth into Aerisia, her hosts graciously but implacably assign her her destiny: to become the Artan, their deliverer.
Aerisia: Land Beyond the Sunset is written by Sarah Ashwood and published by Griffineus Press, the first of a trilogy. The world-building of this novel is impressive – a collection of races, each distinctive and compelling, a rich mythology, and a fascinating history. An attention to detail completes the land of Aerisia as a wholly different world.
As the first book in a trilogy, Aerisia: Land Beyond the Sunset is devoted to establishing its strange, new world, with all its peoples and history. The plot moves somewhat gradually on account of this. With all the space devoted to world-building, it’s a curious omission that the story never elaborates on the Dark Powers. We see them in action three or four times before the climax, but as readers we have little notion who they are and what they want. It’s hard to discern what the threat to Aerisia really is. They need a deliverer, but from what? As far as we can see, and except for a few targeted attacks, everything in Aerisia is great.
I think this neglect to develop the Dark Powers is the novel’s primary flaw. Hannah’s character arc may be frustrating to some readers (she mostly reacts, and when she does act, it’s usually foolish), but it is a real and believable journey, as she progresses from a frightened, angry young woman to … something more, maybe even the Artan.
Although this was not the author’s fault, there was an unusual number of typos. It wasn’t too bad, but it was enough to be noticeable. (Typos are hard to clean out, and you need at least two thorough edits besides the author’s.)
Aerisia: Land Beyond the Sunset is a rich fantasy with memorable characters, an intriguing mythology, and a fresh romance. Recommended to those who enjoy intricate world-building, fantasy creatures, and romance.
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.