Netgalley - Altaica by Tracy M. Joyce

Monday, August 4, 2014

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Summary from Goodreads

“Look at her – she’s Hill Clan. Even the Matyrani don’t like them …”

Isaura – little is known about her race, but much is whispered. Born to refugees, she grows up enduring racism and superstition within a community that fears her. She has few friends, and those she treasures. Trapped, she longs for escape to a different life. 

Escape is only the beginning of her troubles. Having fled an invading army with her friends, Isaura is faced with heinous choices in order to survive. Secrets from her past emerge to torment her and threaten to destroy all she holds dear. Her struggles forge a bond with an ancient power – a power which may transform or consume her. Old hatreds and superstitions are renewed and at her most vulnerable she learns the true nature of those around her.

Her only hope lies in a foreign land – a land rich in tradition; ruled by three powerful clans. A land with a history marked by warfare; where magic as we know it does not exist. Instead what is here, in abundance, is a more primal power.

Survival carries a high price.

Welcome to Altaica.


I need to borrow the summary from Goodreads as I am a bit confused with how to put this story in a plot. There are lots of going on in this book that it I can’t make myself create a good 1-paragraph summary. At first, it’s about Isaura and her friends, their village and their escape. When I thought I’m getting bored with their lives at sea, the story jumped to Umniga and Asha and the kingdom ruled by 3 clans. It gets good and exciting page by page, but I’m not really sure where the story is going.

First, I would like to praise the author for creating such a wonderful world in this book. I could imagine the village myself and the kingdom and got attached to the characters of this book. Isaura and Asha’s character are really strong. They are characters that came alive in this book and I wonder, who really is the lead here? Is it Isaura or Asha?

My problem with this book is that it’s not well-explained. Yes, the description of the places and all are very detailed. But there are terms and things that I can’t actually understand. Please bear in mind that this is a new world and leaders can’t directly jump to the state of mind of the author’s imagination, so I was a little bit frustrated with the terms, the names of people, and other terms that I am not familiar with. Though at some point I finally realized what these were, I’ve already past the moment. I believe a bit of history on Altaica, Isaura’s heritage, the village’s history, the the three clans would help readers understand more.

But even with thise frustrations, I come to love Altaica. I love the characters (except Elena and Ratilal) and have enjoyed myself reading their lives and getting to know the more. I love the part where the 2 stories merged, I was about to think the story is going nowhere when this happened so my frustrations were relieved a bit.

It’s a promising story and I expect much on the second book, especially after how this book ended. I’ll be surely anticipating for the next book. 


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