Today I am delighted to be reviewing the novelette ‘The World Reaper Odyssey’ which is part of Luke Tarzian’s omnibus edition of the Adjacent Monsters series which came out yesterday (digital) and will be out in physical copies in a couple of days. There are no words to describe how excited I was when this omnibus edition with a bonus novelette was announced, and I grabbed the digital copy straight away and I will getting the physical once it’s released (I mean just look at that cover, who wouldn’t – plus I need a matching set!).
You can check out my reviews for the other books in this omnibus edition here:
Both books in the Adjacent Monsters duology, plus a bonus novelette, compiled in a digital boxset and print omnibus.
THE WORLD MAKER PARABLE
Guilt will always call you back…
Rhona is a faithful servant of the country Jémoon and a woman in love. Everything changes when her beloved sets the ravenous Vulture goddess loose upon the land. Forced to execute the woman she loves for committing treason, Rhona discovers a profound correlation between morality and truth. A connection that might save her people or annihilate them all.
You are a lie…
Varésh Lúm-talé is many things, most of all a genocidal liar. A falsity searching for the Phoenix goddess whom he believes can help him rectify his atrocities. Such an undertaking is an arduous one for a man with missing memories and a conscience set on rending him from inside out. A man whose journey leads to Hang-Dead Forest and a meeting with a Vulture goddess who is not entirely as she seems.
THE WORLD BREAKER REQUIEM
Prince of Woe…
Avaria Norrith is the adopted heir to the Ariathan throne. But that means little to a man who, for the better part of fifteen years, has sought and failed to earn his mother’s love. Fueled by pride and envy, Avaria seeks the means to prove himself and cast away his mental chains. When he’s tasked with the recreation of The Raven’s Rage he sees his chance, for with the infamous blade he can rewrite history and start anew.
Daughter of the Mountain…
Erath has not felt sunlight for a century. Not since Ariath condemned her people to a life of darkness with their misuse of The Raven’s Rage. But when an old friend comes seeking the remnants of the ancient sword, Erath cannot contain her curiosity and resolves to lend her aid. Is it true-can history be revised? Can her people be reclaimed?
Toll the Hounds…
They are hungry-and they are here.
More Adjacent Monsters?
I honestly, don’t think I will ever tire of delving into this world or losing myself in Tarzian’s writing. The World Reaper Odyssey novelette has been something I’ve been waiting for eagerly since it was first announced, and I was not disappointed!! I will preface this review by saying that I got so much more from this novelette because I had read the previous two, although I do think that it will stand well as a story in and of itself as part of the overarching world. That said, I would not have missed out on those connections for the world, because there was that wonderful feeling of familiarity from the first word of Odyssey because of that.
In previous reviews of Tarzian’s work, I’ve said that I love the repeated motifs, phrases and words that occur across the books, and some are present here. And some that are subtly different but still there, and as with all his books, the devil is in the detail.
“Twisted by the wild Dusk when the Raven Jévim fell. I thought I could forget, that I could be something, someone different. But I was wrong. This mountain made sure my past transgressions would not stay buried.”
Just as Rhona’s journey takes a twisting, turning path on so many levels, reading The World Reaper Odyssey captures that feeling too, especially as once again we have an author who trusts both in our ability to find the path, but also in the world and story he has created. It’s a delicate balance and one that Tarzian has honed to perfection regardless of the length of the work.
‘Dusk melted into night and the stars blinked. Like thousands of eyes, reddened by the moon, Rhona observed, teeth chattering. Not from the cold, but out of fear, from watching shadows dance beneath the moonlight streaming through the trees.’
I am always in awe at the imagery that Tarzian can conjure, and that is certainly no different here. This is a shorter story, and yet the breadth of the world – in terms of the physical journey, the self-journey and the history that is implied through both – is very much there in the detail.
If it is your first time in this universe, then The World Reaper Odyssey will give you that delicious feeling of a wider world waiting to be discovered, and if you are already familiar with the universe, then it is both another layer to an already intricate world, but also a wonderful delve into more of Rhona’s journey and story that we see in Parable. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to once again appreciate how Tarzian plays with dreams and memories, and the fluidity of truths and lies, both deliberate and unintentional within that etherealness.
“Are the fears and horrors we encounter simply tricksters longing for our Walker blood, or are they manifestations of our inner selves we must confront in order to better ourselves?”
I love Tarzian’s ability to make you question what you know. There are connections in this novelette that you will recognise if you have read the Adjacent Monsters Duology, and yet still as Rhona doubted and questioned herself and the world and people around her, I found myself doing the same, and as with every Tarzian book and story, this one demands your attention. There are details within the details, and rereading this for a second time this morning, I found myself picking up on pieces I’d missed the first time – and it is more than worth taking the time to connect those dots. This novelette is both separate and yet integral to the greater story, and I love the connections that spiderweb between the different books, and between and within the characters themselves.
The World Reaper Odyssey is another fantastic installment in the Adjacent Monsters series, and it was a true delight to return to this series (although now I want to reread it all from start to finish, which is the power of Tarzian’s writing). If you haven’t already checked out this series, what are you waiting for? Especially now it is gathered into this beautiful omnibus edition!
I will always and forever bang the drum for this series because I just love every single aspect of it!
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.