Friday, October 28, 2022

Heart of the Valley by Shermon Kodi

 A creatively written, dual-timeline dark fantasy


The Valley must feed, and Serena is next.

Raised to hold a lone vigil over a realm of spirits, Serena is the only one who can stop the ghostorms and maintain the barrier that keeps the demons at bay. Though she knows it’s her duty, she’s terrified to leave the safety of her temple and the priests who trained her. 

When her only friend is cut with a cursed blade, Serena has no choice but to face her fears. 

She must journey through the Valley of Souls and embrace her destiny before it’s too late. If she fails, the agents of evil will finally be freed from their prison, unleashing a new age of darkness upon the world.


Trigger Warnings: Death, Violence, Parental Death, Abandonment


I have a love hate relationship with dual timeline stories. On one hand, from a creative viewpoint I think they're brilliant. Weaving two stories in and out and then showing how these two vibrant stories were relevant to the other has got to be challenging. I fell in love with both MC's and chapters were usually left in cliffhanger style, and then we switch to the other story.  Ya' was jarring, and often times I did NOT want to switch storylines, however...that should attest to the story being told. They were good, but I had a bit of whiplash.

Both MC's really grow in contrasting ways, which I also thought was very well done. Serena is a young student destined to be the Grace of the Valley, and she's not sure she wants the job. Instead she considers running off and not fulfilling her duties at all. We see her grow into her roll as she realizes how important she is to the world.

Dodson, our other MC a fierce ennusi warrior who is able to use "koho" or fire elements for both battle and healing. She is one of the most powerful warriors in the Rhor empire. The queen assigns her a new yatis, that's sort of like an apprentice/adoptive son, named Alesund.  She initially is dissapointed in him, but quickly realizes even despite his gentle nature he is extremely gifted. Together and Alesund travel to Aborynk, and along the way her entire situation changes. Dodson initially doesn't want anything to do with Alesund, but the boy grows on her.

Overall this was a well written, fast paced YA novel.  If you're looking for a unique dark fantasy novel be sure to grab this one.

Heart of the Valley was published October 25, 2022 and is available on Amazon.

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Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book free for review.  This however does not affect my opinions, as I do not leave a review for each book I receive. There are links to Amazon, clicking these links won't cost you anything but any purchase helps support this blog.  Thanks!

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