While we live, the enemy shall fear us. All her life Kyr has trained for the day she can avenge the destruction of planet Earth by an all-powerful, reality-shifting weapon known as the Wisdom. Raised in the bowels of Gaea Station alongside the last scraps of humanity, she is one of the best warriors of her generation, the sword of a dead planet. Then Command assigns her brother to certain death and relegates her to the nursery to bear sons until she dies trying and she knows she must take humanity’s revenge into her own hands. But she soon learns that not everything she’s been raised to believe is true and the Wisdom is far more complex and dangerous than she could ever have imagined. A thrillingly told space opera about the wreckage of war, the family you find and who you must become when every choice is stripped from you.
EMILY TESH is a World Fantasy award-winning author. She grew up in London and studied Classics at Trinity College, Cambridge, followed by a Master’s degree in Humanities at the University of Chicago. She now lives in Hertfordshire, where she passes her time teaching Latin and Ancient Greek to schoolchildren who have done nothing to deserve it. She has a husband and a cat. Neither of them knows any Latin yet, but it is not for lack of trying.
My thoughts: this was really good, set many years after a bitter war has destroyed Earth, where humans who believe they are the last of humanity left to face the Wisdom and it’s people wage a war only they are really fighting.
When Kyr starts to learn the truth and the messages she’s had drummed into her all her life break apart, at first she thinks she’s being tricked, but the more she learns, the new friends she makes, the more she realises that everything is wrong. The Wisdom and her commander are not correct either, something must change or they’re all doomed to repeat their mistakes over and over.
This is super clever, intelligent sci-fi but also highly enjoyable. It did get a bit meta at one point but I think I understood it! I like Kyr, she had so much to learn about the universe she lives in, and the people around her. And indeed about herself. Her relationship with her brother sustained her through all the complicated and dangerous things she had to do to make things right. Realising that Clara and the other Sparrows really could be her sisters, discovering that another species are just people, even her banter with Avi. She grew on me as she opened up and stepped into her birthright as the daughter of a heroic leader, who died trying to do what Kyr does – really help the humans of Gaea.
There are some funny moments, the most entertaining character being Yiso – a Prince of Wisdom who hates exercise and loves a spot of sarcasm. He and Kyr become close and she changes a lot because of their friendship. I loved Yiso too.
This was definitely one of those books you get to the end of and go “wait, no, there must be more!” as I can’t see how Kyr, Yiso and the rest of the gang won’t go on to have lots more adventures, foil a few more nefarious schemes and generally cause mayhem.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.