Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter (or three).
The Mountain of Kept Memory is a book that I considered for the Books on Dragonwings December box! It has a really cool world and blends fantasy and sci-fi in fascinating ways, but at 30% I was getting bored. So if you are in the mood for a heavy thinking book rich in details, check this one out.
Note: I received an advanced copy of The Mountain of Kept Memory from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Mountain of Kept Memory by Rachel Neumeier on Nov. 8th, 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Genre-bender, Sci-fi
Page Length: 448 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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In this gorgeous fantasy in the spirit of Guy Gavriel Kay and Robin McKinley, a prince and a princess must work together to save their kingdom from outside invaders…and dangers within.
Long ago the Kieba, last goddess in the world, raised up her mountain in the drylands of Carastind. Ever since then she has dwelled and protected the world from unending plagues and danger…
Gulien Madalin, heir to the throne of Carastind, finds himself more interested in ancient history than the tedious business of government and watching his father rule. But Gulien suspects that his father has offended the Kieba so seriously that she has withdrawn her protection from the kingdom. Worse, he fears that Carastind’s enemies suspect this as well.
Then he learns that he is right. And invasion is imminent.
Meanwhile Gulien’s sister Oressa has focused on what’s important: avoiding the attention of her royal father while keeping track of all the secrets at court. But when she overhears news about the threatened invasion, she’s shocked to discover what her father plans to give away in order to buy peace.
But Carastind’s enemies will not agree to peace at any price. They intend to not only conquer the kingdom, but also cast down the Kieba and steal her power. Now, Gulien and Oressa must decide where their most important loyalties lie, and what price they are willing to pay to protect the Kieba, their home, and the world.
How is the writing style?
The writing is strong with many details to ground you in this world that is quite different from the typical fantasy world. The point of view switches between a princess, Oressa, and her older brother, Gulien. It is in third person, past tense, and limited perspective. The sentences and paragraphs tend to be on the long side, contributing to the slower feeling.
General tone of the beginning
Right away we get to see that Oressa is not the perfect princess she is supposed to be and she is definitely not on board with being sold off to the invading war lord. What is a headstrong princess to do? Escape and con your brother into coming with you! There are hints that some strange magic is at work in this world, though it no longer is favoring Oressa’s people as it used to. The journey up to the Kieba’s (i.e. witch’s) mountain is fascinating and shows that this is not just a standard epic fantasy.
Setting, genre, etc?
The Mountain of Kept Memory is a clear science fantasy. There is magic, but it is pretty clear to the reader that that magic is actually just highly advanced technology similar to what we might see in our culture in the next ten to twenty years. Despite the young-ish protagonists, I’d say that this is solidly adult since it doesn’t have the faster and lighter tone that YA often does.
- My current read, leave me alone! (~5 stars)
- Reading in the near future *hides from TBR pile glare* (~4 stars)
- Hoping to get back to eventually (~3 stars)
- Probably not getting back to but someone else will like it (~2 stars)
- Don’t really want to push this copy on anyone else (~1 star)
Mountain of Kept Memory gets 3 stars from me. I really wanted to absolutely love it, but the slower pace just doesn’t work with my currently very hectic life. I definitely recommend it if you are looking for something a little different.
Have you read this one yet? Are you inclined to check it out?
The Mountain of Kept Memory by Rachel Neumeier
© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.