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The Unremembered by Peter Orullian
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The Unremembered

by Peter Orullian

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2551169,564 (3)13
The troubles of the world seem far from the Hollows, where Tahn Junell struggles to remember his lost childhood and to understand words he feels compelled to utter each time he draws his bow. Trouble arrives when two strangers appear--an enigmatic man wearing the sigil of the feared Order of Sheason and a beautiful woman of the legendary Far.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Fast paced, highly entertaining read! ( )
  ladyoflorien | Nov 19, 2018 |
See the complete review posted on Book Frivolity. Check out other Fantasy and Historical Fiction ruminations there as well! Please note that this review is based on the Author's Definitive Edition, to be released on 7th of April 2015. I haven't read the original, so I can't comment on the whys and wherefores of that particular release.

POV's: Multiple
Narrative: Third person, subjective.

-'If you get the words right, you can go anywhere - Author proverb, taken as an expression of fancy.'

The Unremembered, in essence, is a book that breathes new life into the classic fantasy of yore. Break it down quickly and there is a desperate journey, some battles, a chosen one, a grumpy old wizard, a pixie lust chick and some corny joke cracking teenagers. However, what makes it break away from the norm, is that it is given a sense of keenness and emotional intelligence that creates a more relatable narrative. Everything has consequences, everybody is emotionally vulnerable and the good vs. evil isn't all that clear cut. The whole novel feels like a romp through your favourites; Belgariad, Riftwar etc, but it is richer in personality, feels more complex in it's expression of vulnerability. It's almost like wrapping yourself in the narratation, rather than simply reading it. I would say, immersive is the word I'm looking for.

I believe a lot of it comes from the depth of psychology Orullian was able to cram into the book. It sound strange to say it, but I enjoyed how emotionally painful some of this book was. There was no throw away lines to express despair and anguish, it was written so you feel it and understand it, just as you might experience it. As an example, Wendra is a singer that can express her emotional pain through song, and subsequently that pain becomes a source of magic. I did choke back ugly sobs at some points, because the imagery used to describe the way her pain rips from her and is melded into music and magic, is incredibly potent. It tugs at your soul, as do many other characters and plot points throughout the book. (Note: I found out after reading this, that Orullian is actually a singer/musician, so he has an unfair advantage in pulling our strings!).

The characters are classical fantasy tropers on the surface, but get a few pages in and that changes dramatically as the reality of the adventure starts to sink in. Tahn is a classic amnesiac chosen farmboy, until the backlash of his past becomes his present. Sutter is the classic jovial companion, until an event literally rips at his soul. And so it goes for all of them. Gorgeous character development in nearly all cases. There are also some little throw in scenes that add to that depth, just by creating a diversion from the journey and letting us into the characters mindset on how they deal with situations away from the main plot. Braethan with the burned widow was a little touch of beauty.

The magic systems of the various wielders (there are a few types in here!) is really nicely structured. I adored the Sheason's gifts. I know, having to give away chunks of your own life force to wield isn't exactly an adorable idea per se, but that sense of sacrifice to give life to power is really stunning. I was able to empathize with the magic wielders in The Unremembered, because they aren't just token magical tanks that pluck power out of the ether at will. In some ways, they are literally killing or purging themselves for whatever cause they set themselves to. That's dedication! And the Authors, creating magic through writing? Very cool.

The world building on the ground level was pretty classical. It isn't really a piece of grand architecture, but it is a limited narrative, so you can only rely on the experience of the characters to see the picture, rather than having information thrown at you in an omnipotent way. I have no objection to this type of building, but if you are looking for every type of meteorological and tidal phenomena explained in detail or every back story of the noble families told in minutia, it might be a sticking point.

The battle scenes were sufficiently brutal, but worded in a way that made them gritty yet beautiful at the same time, They weren't altogether technical, but it wasn't necessary to make them such.

I will admit it took a few chapters for this The Unremembered to settle for me. The introduction felt slightly off kilter, as you are thrown into the book after the adventure had started. I did feel somewhat adrift until everything started to come into focus a few chapters later, when the party is broken up and we get to meet the characters on an individual level. It also seemed to leave a gap in the relationship between the characters for a while, because you aren't privy to how or why they have met up until further along. It was the weakest part in my opinion, but quickly forgiven once it started to gather it's strengths.

Honestly, as I get older, The Unremembered is the type of fantasy I want to read. It has all the groundwork of my favorites before I got into the 'over 25's' age bracket, but with the emotional investment of a novel not all that often seen in this genre. So, if you love your epic fantasy adventure canon, but just need that extra something to make it a bit more D&M, this is really worth checking out! I'd suggest it for WoT fans that are looking for a bit more grit and edge (and don't want to reread the whole skyscraping series again!).

Harcopy Worthy? My giddy Aunt, yes! ( )
1 vote BookFrivolity | Apr 23, 2016 |
There were many things I enjoyed about this fantasy novel, but more things I did not enjoy.
There is a fine line, I find with fantasy novels, between getting into the action too soon and getting into it too late. This novel got into it way too soon, and then never seemed to let up. It felt claustrophobic, like every chapter had to have something epic happen. There were very few "breathing" chapters that focused more on story, plot, character development, etc. It was just action scene after action scene.
Because of literally jumping into the action from the first page, it left very little room for me to care about the characters. It also made it very unrealistic. The old fantasy way of a random no one being plucked from obscurity to go on an epic quest, just doesn't work the same as it used to.
I think Orullian did a great job of world building, and clearly has a well thought out and detailed history of his world that plays beautifully in the book. And the overall story got me very invested about halfway through the book, making me want to continue.
Still, it all fell a little short for me. Most definitely not a top tier fantasy book for me, but entertaining enough. ( )
  Kiddboyblue | Dec 26, 2015 |
I like the characters, but there is so much left untold, I felt like I was reading a Book 3 in a 6 book series. Some of it ends up being explained, but the great majority of it does not. I finished this in the hopes of ends being tied up, but it seems that just more loose ends appear. I understand setting up for a series, but you have to have some sense of completeness within a volume, or people are going to get frustrated and walk away. That's what I'm contemplating right now. I already have the second book, but am undecided as to whether to read it or not. Great potential, currently unrealized. ( )
  Vinbert | Nov 22, 2015 |
I like the characters, but there is so much left untold, I felt like I was reading a Book 3 in a 6 book series. Some of it ends up being explained, but the great majority of it does not. I finished this in the hopes of ends being tied up, but it seems that just more loose ends appear. I understand setting up for a series, but you have to have some sense of completeness within a volume, or people are going to get frustrated and walk away. That's what I'm contemplating right now. I already have the second book, but am undecided as to whether to read it or not. Great potential, currently unrealized. ( )
  Vinbert | Nov 22, 2015 |
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For Cheyenne, in the hope of more daddy stay-home days
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An uncustomary quiet fell over the council as its last member entered the tabernacle.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The gods, makers of worlds, seek to create balance—between matter and energy; and between mortals who strive toward the transcendent, and the natural perils they must tame or overcome. But one of the gods fashions a world filled with hellish creatures far too powerful to allow balance; he is condemned to live for eternity with his most hateful creations in that world’s distant Bourne, restrained by a magical veil kept vital by the power of song.

Millennia pass, awareness of the hidden danger fades to legend, and both song and veil weaken. And the most remote cities are laid waste by fell, nightmarish troops escaped from the Bourne. Some people dismiss the attacks as mere rumor. Instead of standing against the real threat, they persecute those with the knowledge, magic and power to fight these abominations, denying the inevitability of war and annihilation. And the evil from the Bourne swells….

The troubles of the world seem far from the Hollows where Tahn Junell struggles to remember his lost childhood and to understand words he feels compelled to utter each time he draws his bow. Trouble arrives when two strangers—an enigmatic man wearing the sigil of the feared Order of Sheason and a beautiful woman of the legendary Far—come, to take Tahn, his sister and his two best friends on a dangerous, secret journey.

Tahn knows neither why nor where they will go. He knows only that terrible forces have been unleashed upon mankind and he has been called to stand up and face that which most daunts him—his own forgotten secrets and the darkness that would destroy him and his world.

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