The gods made mortals but haven’t spoken to them in ages. The mortals, when left to their own devices, betrayed their gods’ trust.
Belili and Kisare are sisters and slaves. Forced to labour in the orchard of Aricaba-Ata, a fire-wielding noble with a thick lock of red hair, they have little hope of escaping the fate of servitude all magic-less blondes endure. That is until one night, they discover an ancient box buried beneath the cruel noble’s godfruit tree and their destiny doesn’t seem so devoid of hope anymore.
When the time is right, they flee the orchard with the mysterious box and are given shelter by a group of purple-haired caravanners. The Asha-Urmana were ousted from their homes long ago by the four-colours. They have remained isolated ever since, eschewing the reliance on slavery that became the cornerstone of their conqueror’s culture. They have waited an eternity for the moment when they can regain their homes and put an end to the wicked ways of the four-colours.
The elders believe the sisters’ box contains a seed for a previously unknown fifth godfruit and believe it is the sign they have been looking for. They join forces with the sisters to uproot the Dyad and nobles’ seat of power, dissolve their slave-based society, and reclaim their rightful place in the city they were cast from so long ago. However, no-one knows just what kind of power the seed’s fruit will give, or even how they will activate it. But when the leader of the Asha-Urmana is captured, and Belili and Kisare are discovered once again by Aricaba-Ata, they have no choice but to try and unleash whatever power it may hold.
Pros And My Favourite Parts
My favourite part about this book is unequivocally the world building. The scenery is detailed, vivid and lavish whether describing the opulence of the city, the clothing of its denizens, the architecture, or the flora.
Additionally, Tracy has developed an elaborate mythology with a unique and fascinating magic system. The five different races are distinguished by the colour of their hair. The magic system is based on the consumption of certain fruits (each corresponding to a different god) which provide different powers based on the colour of the consumer’s hair. AND… the power is temporary, lasting only as long as the juice is held in the user’s mouth. This, combined with the fact that different fruits are only available in certain seasons, is a fascinating concept.
Cons And Heads Up
Content warnings for the book include slavery and the horrors that accompany it (on page), rape (not on page though the aftermath is dealt with in a more realistic manner than many books I have read), incest and torture.
The pacing slows periodically, which I find common in fantasy books and having been on many backpacking treks in my life, I have to say its kind of realistic when on a lengthy journey. The characters could have used a little more depth, but I really enjoyed their diversity and that we were accompanying sisters on a quest and how that affects the narrative.
This book is a must read if you are looking for a fantasy with immersive settings, rich mythologies and a unique magic system that is nutritious, delicious and packs a juicy punch.
Excerpt from Fruits of the Gods by William C Tracy
Her sister picked up the wooden box again. Kisare could see bands of metal around it in the dimming light, and an old rusted lock on the front. It must be something important. Why bury it out here?
“Remember our wager,” Bel said, as if it were possible to forget. Kisare swallowed. One blond had already died, connected to this box. Would there be more?
Bel tapped nervously at the box, the Tok echoing far too loudly in the night’s stillness. “Do you really want to be a runaway blond?” Kisare asked her sister. Bel’s face was pale, but she nodded, slowly. “We could end up like him.” There was no need to name names. Mulagun would never meet his new daily work quota until he healed from his punishment.
Finally, Bel spoke, but too quietly. Kisare caught a glint of a tear on her sister’s face.
“I still think we should go.” Kisare shook her head, but inside, a tiny bloom of hope took hold. “Give it here,” she said, and snatched it before Bel could protest. She grabbed a stone from the ground and swung it against the sturdy box. Her shoulder twinged in pain, but she ignored it. With a satisfying crunch, the lock dropped to the ground. She handed the box back.
“Well, go on,” she gestured impatiently. “It’s your discovery. Open it up.”
Bel was staring at her in a way she had never seen. Kisare didn’t have time for it. “Go on. We either need to get back to the orchard soon, get our stories ready, and treat these cuts, or we need to be as far away as possible from here by morning. Either way, there’s no time to stand around.” She lifted the lantern up, loosening the fabric just enough to illuminate the box. Light reflected off the metal bands. As if in a daze, Bel opened the top of the box.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781950412587
- Publisher: NineStar Press
- William C Tracy Online
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