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A good fantasy debut with a lot of cool magic and fascinating set pieces.There are evil scheming gods and dying worlds in between thriving cities There are also a lot of great allusions to fantasy classics here The opening chapter has a nice Tombs of Atuan but they re all orcs vibe Later, there s a part withof a Robin Hobb setting, full of assassins in training who get brutally heartbrokenly antagonized Through the interplay of magic, cultures, and drama, I got a sense of how alive and A good fantasy debut with a lot of cool magic and fascinating set pieces.There are evil scheming gods and dying worlds in between thriving cities There are also a lot of great allusions to fantasy classics here The opening chapter has a nice Tombs of Atuan but they re all orcs vibe Later, there s a part withof a Robin Hobb setting, full of assassins in training who get brutally heartbrokenly antagonized Through the interplay of magic, cultures, and drama, I got a sense of how alive and doomed all these worlds are and how powerful it is to learn the skillset to move between them.There are unpredictable changes from chapter to chapter I did lose reading momentum about a third of the way in, when the book turned into somethinglike a sequel to itself That story was cool too, just jarringly different at first in its changed focus It Is Doneme great relief floods my body Phew I feel beyond accomplished having completed The Unspoken Name Honestly, this was a fairly challenging read for me.Csorwe, sounds like doorway, is a teenage girl who has been raised to be the sacrificial wife of the Unspoken One, an ancient god living within the earth.Entombed on what is to be her death day, a mysterious mage appears and offers to rescue her and provide her with a new life.She decides to accept his offer and flees with him O It Is Doneme great relief floods my body Phew I feel beyond accomplished having completed The Unspoken Name Honestly, this was a fairly challenging read for me.Csorwe, sounds like doorway, is a teenage girl who has been raised to be the sacrificial wife of the Unspoken One, an ancient god living within the earth.Entombed on what is to be her death day, a mysterious mage appears and offers to rescue her and provide her with a new life.She decides to accept his offer and flees with him Over time he trains Csorwe to be his assassin She feels she owes him everything He saved her from certain death She owes him her life and thus, is extremely loyal to him and his goals.The mage, Belthandros Sethennai, is a very powerful man who is on a mission His aim is to regain control of the lands from which he was exiled.In order to do so, he wants Csorwe, along with another young person in his employ, Tal, to seek and return to him a specific object, the Reliquary of Pentravasse.This Reliquary is said to hold immeasurable knowledge and the one who is in possession of it will increase their power to unreachable heights.or something like thatI will admit this was a little hard for me to grasp I never felt like I truly understood the world For example, Csorwe, is an Orc, which I never knew until I read a blurb of it in a bookish newsletter.I knew there was something going on with her, as she is described as having tusks, but I thought maybe she was some sort of elephant human hybrid or something.But even knowing she was an Orc, didn t really piece the rest of it together for me Were they all orcs Were there humans Were there all sorts of magical beings living together in harmony like in Middle Earth I genuinely don t know If you know, comment down below.I am also of the opinion that this was entirely too long There were two distinct portions of the book, or quests if you will.There is a quest for an object Once that point is resolved, you think, it s over.But no, it is not Characters are separated, there s still a baddie out and about, it would have been a great place to leave off prior to a second book.Then there is a completely new quest to find a particular person this time, instead of an object.Again, I feel like that could have made a great second book If it had been broken up that way, I think the world could have been built outand perhaps the author would havetime to focus on the world building, instead of trying to cram all the action into a single volume.Because of this, it was a mixed bag for me I felt the pacing was off There were moments when I was really into it and then a few pages later, I would be bored, and back and forth it went until the end.It did have moments of greatness and I don t want anyone to think my minor critiques make this a bad book It s a good book, I just feel the story could have been better served if formatted differently.It also isn t an easy read I did end up mentally exhausted after reading it for a half hour or so I could have made it throughquickly if it didn t take me 8.5 minutes to pronounce each name.My favorite part of this was the relationship between Csorwe, and a religious adept, Shuthmili Their friendship towas beautiful I waited a long time to get to it, but it was worth it.In short, although this wasn t perfect for me, it did have some strengths If you can make it through the weaknesses, it is a pleasant, though entirely too long, read.Thank you so much to the publisher, Tor, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review I appreciate the opportunity to provide my opinion me, screaming I will go down with this friend shipWhere has this queer high fantasy book been all my life Kai is shooketh.I wish I knew where to start There are so many aspects of this book that filled me with pure joy frenemies, world building, characters, twists, diversity No hard feelings Ugh.I m going to start with the one thing that could have been improved the pacing Overall, this is a finely plotted story It spans over 8 to 9 years and I think it wouldn t have hurt to stretch t me, screaming I will go down with this friend shipWhere has this queer high fantasy book been all my life Kai is shooketh.I wish I knew where to start There are so many aspects of this book that filled me with pure joy frenemies, world building, characters, twists, diversity No hard feelings Ugh.I m going to start with the one thing that could have been improved the pacing Overall, this is a finely plotted story It spans over 8 to 9 years and I think it wouldn t have hurt to stretch the story , give it a little to breathe for the characters to evolve, grow I felt this especially in the beginning, when we see Csorwe turn from a quiet, nondescript girl into a warrior and spy I see how the time jumps were necessary to let the author tell the story she wanted to tell, but another 50 pages or so might have given itdepth.Now that we got the unpleasant things out of the way, hear me gush about all the great stuff I cannot believe how, in a matter of chapters, A.K Larkwood created a fictional universe so rich and original A universe in which thriving and dying worlds lie side by side, connected through a labyrinthine structure called the Maze The universe is populated by all kinds of different people who seems to live peacefully side by side, for the most part They all have their own history, traditions, social and political systems, and beliefs And while they clearly look different and come from various backgrounds, their differences don t lead them to hate and fight each other This is not to say that they all run around holding hands and loving life, but at least their outer appearance and faith don t serve as an excuse to disrespect and exploit each other Overall, the attention to detail and the societies, cities, realms that the author built are utterly fascinating and I m so glad that this isn t a standalone I couldn t live knowing that there remains so much left to discover.The characters were a joy Csorwe reminds me of Harry Potter in the way the she isor less an average person No shade She is balanced, doesn t necessarily lean towards extremes, and therein lies her strength it makes her relatable She is a character with fears, dreams and hopes like anyone else She s also pretty queer, like most if not all characters in the book It s also great to see that no character experiences discrimination because of their sexual orientation It s never once questioned Because in a perfect world, why would anyone think of you as lesser just because you don t care about what gender you fall in love with Something else that I found striking was how there is no main antagonist This is not to say that Csorwe doesn t have enemies She has lots of those But alliances change a lot based on whether people have similar goals and decide to work together even though they might have been on different sides before It s refreshing and creates unexpected turns and entertaining character dynamics.Onething about the characters Usually I live for queer ships But what almost drove me nuts was the friendship hateship between Csorwe and Tal They both work for the same guy and should combine forces, work as a team But they simply despise each other too much At the same time they can t live without the other Tal is a bastard, don t get me wrong, but I love him And I want nothingthan for these two idiots to annoy the f ck out of each other until the very end of this series And I also want No hard feelings to be what History, huhwas for Red, White Royal Blue If you don t know what I m talking about, you better read RWRB quickly because you re missing out.Suffice it to say that this was my high fantasy adventure of the year.Findof my books on Instagram 4.5 STARSUnspoken and Unspeakable One, Knight of Abyss, Overseer of the Eaten Worlds, praise and reverence unto your Chosen Bride May she intercede for us What an exceptional debut The Unspoken Name is difficult to summarize the story is an ambitious blend of epic high fantasy and space opera science fiction, which will tickle the fancy of fans of both tremendously From the very beginning, I got the vibe that this book would be the lovechild of the writing styles and world building of Bran 4.5 STARSUnspoken and Unspeakable One, Knight of Abyss, Overseer of the Eaten Worlds, praise and reverence unto your Chosen Bride May she intercede for us What an exceptional debut The Unspoken Name is difficult to summarize the story is an ambitious blend of epic high fantasy and space opera science fiction, which will tickle the fancy of fans of both tremendously From the very beginning, I got the vibe that this book would be the lovechild of the writing styles and world building of Brandon Sanderson and Ken Follett How an author can take so many aspects of my favorite genres and include a storytelling format in league with the giants in the writing industry is beyond me, but Larkwood has done just that There is a lot of story packed into just shy of 500 pages and it s very dark overall, but there is action and gore galore, while also including a steady balance of thought provoking thematic elements surrounding the choices we make and the outcomes that they produce If you enjoy a new take on a familiar tale, please consider picking this one up I enjoyed it so much that I ll be purchasing a finished hardcover for my personal collectionThis is me, in two weeks time Here I am, walking up to the Shrine This is the end This is how it will feel at the end Thy name shall be forsaken and thou shalt be my bride Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy via NetGalley. This Review Blog Twitter Instagram Actual Rating 2.5 starsYou frightened of ghosts Whatever it is you re scared of in the dark, that s what you becomeThe cover, the synopsis and early reviews all made me believe that I was going to read something very special Unfortunately, I am not impressed by this debut I wish I did but It was just acceptable for me I had 2 problems with the book, the writing which was too dense for me and affected all other things in the story and This Review Blog Twitter Instagram Actual Rating 2.5 starsYou frightened of ghosts Whatever it is you re scared of in the dark, that s what you becomeThe cover, the synopsis and early reviews all made me believe that I was going to read something very special Unfortunately, I am not impressed by this debut I wish I did but It was just acceptable for me I had 2 problems with the book, the writing which was too dense for me and affected all other things in the story and the characters who I could not care about and connect to The writing reminded me of Tamsyn Muir s style and my thoughts on this are similar to those on Gideon the Ninth.I was very confused as why do people have tusks and why are Orcs mentioned I did not realize that the characters were orcs because nothing gave me that feeling except that they had tusks, they felt very humane and I was embarrassed when I realized the fact that they are not I think writing a whole race isthan just physical description and tusks The beginning of the book was good but then I did not relate to Csorwe or any other character The pacing was weird too because we get so much at first and it was very fast but then it got slower I was even bored and then picks up toward the ending againThe secret to greatness is to know when you should risk the wrath of godSummary I don t have much to say about this book because I finished it but I can t really say that I could get into it The writing and characters were not for me and the world building was good but not enough to make me continue it I am woefully not going to continue the series.You can getbooks from Book Depository 4.5 starsI m definitely getting the audio to go with my hardback This book took me by surprise I had no idea it was going to be like this and I quite enjoyed it I love Csorwe Mel 4.5 starsI m definitely getting the audio to go with my hardback This book took me by surprise I had no idea it was going to be like this and I quite enjoyed it I love Csorwe Mel ARC received from the publisher, Tor UK, in exchange for an honest review.3.5 stars.The Unspoken Name is a commendable fantasy debut with fascinating worldbuilding ideas With so many fantasy debuts cropping up every year, it is not an easy task to differentiate oneself from the rest In this respect, Larkwood has created an interesting setting that blended old world god worship that bestows magic, and science fiction or technological elements such as skyships and a dimensional plane called the ARC received from the publisher, Tor UK, in exchange for an honest review.3.5 stars.The Unspoken Name is a commendable fantasy debut with fascinating worldbuilding ideas With so many fantasy debuts cropping up every year, it is not an easy task to differentiate oneself from the rest In this respect, Larkwood has created an interesting setting that blended old world god worship that bestows magic, and science fiction or technological elements such as skyships and a dimensional plane called the Maze of Echos through which these ships travel via portal gates Technology aside, the setting still feel very much like most classic fantasy, mainly because of the prevalence of gods and magic What I got out of The Unspoken Name is that it is a story about choices vs destiny The main protagonist, Csorwe, is the prime example as she renounced her destiny as the Bride of the Unspoken One by escaping from her sacrificial ceremony with Belthandros Sethannai, a powerful wizard And henceforth became his personal aide and assassin The same theme came up again when Csorwe met Shuthmili, a very powerful Adept who was believed to be able to channel a goddess thought long dead Magic in this world is bestowed by the gods, and wielding it comes at a cost, and a possible consequence of losing oneself or burning out completely, if not careful Shuthmili is both feared and valued for her powers And what usually happens to a young talent Trained and controlled for the good of her nation, of course As much as I commend Larkwood for her worldbuilding and consistent use of character theme, I didn t get much emotional resonance from the character work itself Being unable to bring myself to care much about the characters, I felt detached from the story which affected my overall reading enjoyment There are also aspects of the writing style which didn t sit well with me For example, the dialogue came across as beingsuited to a urban fantasy romp even comedic at times , while other parts read very much like dark high fantasy I do think that this is a good book, and a lot of the other reviews could attest to that my co bloggers loved it Larkwood has produced a contemporary fantasy that has great ideas and solid plotting The Unspoken Name is a debut that s worth checking out for modern fantasy readers.You can purchase the book fromUKUS Book Depository Free shipping You can find this and my other reviews at Novel Notions. dnf 50%this had all the elements that I love but something about it just wasn t working for me and it felt like a chore to read ARC provided by the publisher Tor UK in exchange for an honest review The Unspoken Name is a terrifically written debut that merged science fiction, space opera, and high fantasy into one inventive book that s incredibly suitable for SFF enthusiast.One look into the striking cover art by Billelis, and I already wanted to speak about this book My urge to read this book increased when both Nicholas Eames the author behind The Band series and Dyrk Ashton the author behind Paternus trilogy recomme ARC provided by the publisher Tor UK in exchange for an honest review The Unspoken Name is a terrifically written debut that merged science fiction, space opera, and high fantasy into one inventive book that s incredibly suitable for SFF enthusiast.One look into the striking cover art by Billelis, and I already wanted to speak about this book My urge to read this book increased when both Nicholas Eames the author behind The Band series and Dyrk Ashton the author behind Paternus trilogy recommended the book to me Then I found out that Lindsey Hall, the editor behind two books Kings of the Wyld and the upcoming The Bard s Blade by Brian D Anderson I truly loved edited this book too, suffice to say that The Unspoken Name has attained all the package that made it a necessity for me to read I m glad I didCsorwe had spent a lifetime readying herself to die, not to talk to strangersThe Unspoken Name, the first book in The Serpent s Gate series by A K Larkwood, follows Csorwe an orc priestess destined to become a sacrifice to her god on her fourteenth birthday On the day of her prophesied death, Belthandros Sethennai a powerful wizard offers her a new fate that compels her to escape death by leaving her home, destiny, god, and become Sethennai s personal assassin instead The main plot of The Unspoken Name centers around Csorwe as she s tasked by Sethennai to retrieve the Reliquary of Pentravesse anyone who claims the Reliquary will gain the legacy and knowledge of Pentravesse someone who changed all worlds forever Jumping through multiple worlds with a strong echo of chaos and destruction accompanied by landscapes that are also beautiful, Csorwe has to go through tons of dangers to achieve this task many events happened in less than 500 pages book However, what I found to be very praise worthy about the story was that in the midst of all the mayhem, The Unspoken Name is at its core a book about choices and its importancePeople were like locks All resistance, until you discovered the precise information of teeth that would open them upYou always have a choice, have you ever heard this often repeated phrases advice straight to your face You probably have, and you ll most likely know just how simple it sounds and yet how insanely difficult it can be to execute What if for a period of time, short or long, you re caught in a toxic situation environment that you didn t recognize at first By the time you do, the actual task of breaking the invisible chains can be harder than it sounds Freedom and choices among many other themes such as faith, loyalty, and love were the most relatable themes throughout the book for me Csorwe s journey and character development ignited and gave an impactful meaning to the themes in this book I wouldn t say that I clicked with Csorwe immediately, but once the story reached a quarter mark and eventually she meets Shuthmili, I became captivated thoroughly by Larkwood s storytelling The Unspoken Name doesn t have a large cast of characters relatively, but the dynamic between the five dominating characters Csorwe, Sethennai, Oranna, Tal, and Shuthmili was very compelling Also, I loved reading Csorwe and Shuthmili s endearing and gradual relationship development their relationship progression was believable and easy to root forCsorwe, before I met you, my idea of happiness was, I don t know, going to bed earlyFrom my reading experience, the most impressive thing about Larkwood s prose is her capability to constantly shift her writing style between elegant utterance and bloody scenery it didn t feel like reading a debut effort Also, The Unspoken Name is an imaginative book with a very fascinating world building Seriously, it has multiple worlds to travel, ancient tombs, terrifying giant serpents, spaceships, magic, giants, and intimidating presence of dead gods Gorgeous landscapes described beautifully and efficiently Larkwood never went overboard with her scenery visualizations In a way, this book reminded me a bit of the world building done in Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir telling a high fantasy story in a sci fi space opera setting Heck, comparison wise, it even featured a swordswoman and queer duo as the main charactersThe secret to greatness is to know when you should risk the wrath of godI believe that The Unspoken Name is, ironically, the title of an incredible genre blending debut that should and will be spoken by its readers in the future I highly recommend it to both sci fi and fantasy readers, evenso if you re a fan of both genres It s creative, greatly imaginative, not afraid to be different, filled with intense rescue sequences, and it gave a breathtaking lotus scented fresh air to the genre Larkwood tells a compelling tale about choices and braving the first step to pave your own way, and you should choose to read this book as soon as it s available to read.Official release date 20th February 2020 UK and 11th February 2020 US You can pre order the book fromUKUS Book Depository Free shipping The quotes in this review were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions `DOWNLOAD PDF ↶ The Unspoken Name ⇰ What If You Knew How And When You Will Die Csorwe Does She Will Climb The Mountain, Enter The Shrine Of The Unspoken, And Gain The Most Honored Title SacrificeBut On The Day Of Her Foretold Death, A Powerful Mage Offers Her A New Fate Leave With Him, And Live Turn Away From Her Destiny And Her God To Become A Thief, A Spy, An Assassin The Wizard S Loyal Sword Topple An Empire, And Help Him Reclaim His Seat Of PowerBut Csorwe Will Soon Learn Gods Remember, And If You Live Long Enough, All Debts Come Due