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Thursday, September 29, 2022

The Spear Cuts through Water by Simon Jimenez (reviewed by Shazzie)

 


Official Author Website
Order The Spear Cuts through Water over HERE
 
AUTHOR INFORMATION: Simon Jimenez’s short fiction has appeared in Canyon Voices and 100 Word Story’s anthology of flash fiction, Nothing Short Of. He received his MFA from Emerson College. The Vanished Birds is his first novel. This is his second book.

 
OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: Two warriors shepherd an ancient god across a broken land to end the tyrannical reign of a royal family in this new epic fantasy from the author of The Vanished Birds.

The people suffer under the centuries-long rule of the Moon Throne. The royal family—the despotic emperor and his monstrous sons, the Three Terrors—hold the countryside in their choking grip. They bleed the land and oppress the citizens with the frightful powers they inherited from the god locked under their palace.
 
But that god cannot be contained forever.

With the aid of Jun, a guard broken by his guilt-stricken past, and Keema, an outcast fighting for his future, the god escapes from her royal captivity and flees from her own children, the triplet Terrors who would drag her back to her unholy prison. And so it is that she embarks with her young companions on a five-day pilgrimage in search of freedom—and a way to end the Moon Throne forever. The journey ahead will be more dangerous than any of them could have imagined.

Both a sweeping adventure story and an intimate exploration of identity, legacy, and belonging, The Spear Cuts Through Water is an ambitious and profound saga that will transport and transform you—and is like nothing you’ve ever read before.
 
OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: This is my first Simon Jimenez book, and I am stunned.
 
I really liked my read, but let me first put in a little warning here. This book is clearly not for every reader out there. It caters to a niche audience, and is certainly written with them in mind. Even if you are the intended audience, it is likely that you will only enjoy your read if you read it at a time you are not already overwhelmed.
 
When I started my read, all I could understand for the first few pages was that there was some sort of generational storytelling going on, and that this was going to be a demanding read. I put it down twice, and I didn't know if I would enjoy it if I tried a third time. I am very glad I persevered. 
 
With this book, I firmly believe that saying less is more, and that it is an experience to be savoured, if one has the inclination for it. There are multiple storylines in this book. The first seems to be one in which we are not told much about who the reader is, and we only know that that is a time of war, and in it, their lola, or grandmother, tells them stories of the old world. The other storyline talks of two warriors who try to escort an old God across lands to take down a tyrannical ruler. 
 
The author's writing in this is insane. I mean that in the good way. He somehow manages to make narration in all three persons work. I admit, it took me a while to understand that this was even happening. His prose is gorgeous, and he manages to make fine work of an unconventional narrative structure. But I still maintain here that the characterisation involved in this book is superior to his prose.
 
This book is very hard to describe, and even harder to review. All I will say is that it has epic fantasy vibes, and is written in a way that is evocative of so many emotions that it will likely be a read that will stay with you very long. With most epic fantasies, there will be a learning curve before the reader understands what is happening. But here, I cannot emphasize enough, the amount of faith to be placed in the author, since all you can do is keep reading and trust that the author has written it in this way for a reason. 
 
CONCLUSION:
This is a book unlike anything I've ever read before. This might not be for the masses, but will definitely find itself well received by niche readers who are willing to give it a try. This is one of the most genre-bending and rule-breaking fantasy books I have read in a long time.

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