United By Pop received a free copy of Birthrights in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are our own.
Title: Birthrights (Revisions to the Truth #1)
Author: J. Kyle Mcneal
Overall rating: 4/5
Great for: Fans of Robert Jordan, George R. R. Martin and Anthony Lavisher
Themes: High fantasy, kingdom fantasy, adult fantasy, coming-of-age
Review: My favourite type of books are set in far-flung and fantastical lands, with evocative and rural surroundings, and rich and intricate histories. ‘Birthrights’ by J. Kyle Mcneal quickly proved itself as a solid newcomer to this category.
This first instalment of an epic new four-part series details the world of the Lost Lands. And it closely follows two individuals traversing the equally as perilous geographical and political terrain therein.
Whym’s life has been tormented by poverty. Growing up in the poorest parts of town, he held little hope for a future of much acclaim. But on his encroachment into adulthood, a mysterious figure, somehow linked to his past, offers him an apprenticeship and a chance to escape the tortuous and expected path of his life.
Quint’s upbringing was remarkably different as the high-born son to a powerful religious family. But on introduction to the tribes of the Dagonborn, and one particular individual, the expected course of his cosy life also makes a drastic and unexpected alteration.
Both boys’ lives were once and still are, ones of marked dissimilarity, but how their paths will cross and combine remains to be seen…
This is both a coming-of-age tale and a story that sits firmly in the adult fantasy genre. The topics discoursed often trespass on the potentially triggering, and maturity of the reader is advised before beginning this book. For this is a dark read, in the way that only the best of fantasies are!
One particularly recurrent topic, in the book, is that of faith. Each of the character’s individual beliefs are repeatedly tested and queried, and all they each thought of as the accepted truth is twisted and turned beyond all recognition. In this way, both characters and reader are invited to suspend belief and challenged to reconsider everything they thought they knew.
This corruption of the truth is duplicated in the politics of the lands. Again, the reader shares in the characters’ struggles as they each work to discover the meaning of the truth buried securely in the rife deception haunting every aspect of this story.
The astounding levels of political intrigue combined with the interesting central characters and the intricate world and personal histories, all combined to make this a complex yet alluring read. Whilst not initially immerse, due to the immensity of information, this is a solid first instalment in what is sure to be a highly renowned high fantasy series.
— J Kyle McNeal (@JKyleMcNeal) June 7, 2017