The Surviving Sky

Titan. (The Rages Trilogy, Bk. 1). Jun. 2023. 512p. ISBN 9781803361246. pap. $16.95. FANTASY
DEBUT Civilization scrapes by upon lush floating islands above a jungle planet, which is repeatedly annihilated by violent storms known as earthrages. Nothing can survive them but the mysterious creatures known as yaksha. Archaeologist Ahilya studies them, determined to discover another means for survival, but she is ignored in favor of the architects, like her husband Iravan, who keep their island afloat using complex plant manipulation. As the storms last longer and the plants start to resist the architects, Iravan resorts to forbidden magic, and Ahilya risks the tumultuous jungle. The intractable pride of both results in a disastrous marriage, but their reconciliation might be the only thing that can save their home from plummeting from the sky. Iravan and Ahilya are believably flawed characters who are easy to root for. There are no easy answers, only intimate stakes, and their journey withstands many unpredictable and heart-racing twists.
VERDICT This Hindu-inspired sci-fi fantasy is a transcendent debut, full of cosmic magic and set in an exquisitely glorious and treacherous world. Such a daring ecological and metaphysical endeavor is perfect for fans of Wesley Chu and Brandon Sanderson.
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