The Rise of Riverstone by Mandy Schimelpfenig is an absolutely amazing novel. Following the story of Laria Audrey, told in the first person, as she goes from her life as a privileged adolescent who like so many young woman, begrudges her family and her appearance, to a life as a servant hiding behind a lie of being deaf and mute.
The first thing that stands out about this novel is the fact that main character, Laria, is a genuinely strong female protagonist. Sure, she’s not hefting around a sword and taking off the heads of enemies, but she’s also not a wilting wall flower waiting to be swept up by prince charming. In fact, romance does not come up in the story until later chapters at a point where it fits the progression of the story and you actually feel for the characters you are reading about.
Besides the main character, each fits perfectly in the well-built world that the author has created for us. While we are only given a little bit of information on the world as a whole, and only two countries, you can tell that the author has put a lot of work in to her world building giving a vibrant world for the amazing characters to live in.
This brilliant fantasy novel is my new second favorite novel (sorry the first will always be Tolkien’s The Two Towers) and will be read and shared with friends seeing a good read for years to come. Plus unrelated to the story, the book is just beautiful to look at and a perfect addition to any collection.
Do you want to feel for excellently written characters and enjoy a lovely world? Pick this book up immediately.