Reviews of Urdaisunia
"Kyra Halland's Urdaisunia takes on a big task - combining an epic fantasy tale with a very personal and heartfelt story - and it succeeds completely...
"There are so many things to like about the book. First is the setting, which isn't the traditional medeival European-style fantasy-world. It feels more like the kingdoms of the ancient Middle East (Sumeria, Babylon and the like), which is a refreshing change. There's magic, but it's small and subtle, rather than flashy and world-changing, which is another change from the usual fantasy tropes.
"What's the most refreshing, though, is that the characters are well-rounded and three-dimensional. They're believable, as Rashali and Eruz struggle to overcome the prejudices and hatreds they have towards the other's people. The story alternates between Rashali's and Eruz's perspective, with occasional interludes showing what the gods - who are as interested in Rashali and Eruz as everyone else - are up to.
"There's plenty of well-handled action, intrigue, romance and high stakes, as the fate of the entire land is up for grabs. The book is very well-written with clean, engaging prose and a lively voice. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I highly recommend it."
J.J. DiBenedetto, author of the Dream series
"There is an amusing framing device of a feuding family of gods overseeing and interfering with events - set out rather like Clash of the Titans with cut away scenes of heavenly commentary. Their argument is causing a drought in the kingdom below, and a consequent battle for the little water left in the river beds, which is being exacerbated by more feuding in the ruling family. Rashali's romance weaves through this as she tries to stay alive in the increasingly violent river valley. She's an engaging lead and, once the set-up is over with, wrestles convincingly between her heart and her desire for freedom."
L.L. Watkin, author of The Abbey At the World's End
"The characters were solid and believable, and the situations they found themselves in was well delivered.
"As I read, I could easily have believed this was set in a middle-eastern country thousands of years ago, and the writing was sufficiently descriptive enabling me to picture the world the story was set reasonably well, which is essential in Epic Fantasy novels. The story moved along at a good pace and kept my interest from start to finish, and there was a good balance of romance, feuding, and fighting. The interference of the gods in the mortal world was minimal but effective, and it was refreshing to see dissention amongst the gods, and the adverse effect on them because of it.
"Overall, Urdaisunia was a well written novel, which I enjoyed, and would recommend to anyone who enjoys adult Fantasy."
W.H. Cann, author of the Guardians series
"World building is essential in making an epic fantasy novel believable and this was very well done here. The story was also solid, emotional and intriguing. There were moments when I felt truly worried for Rashali and what might happen to her in the brutal world Halland has created. I wasn't sure what to make of Prince Eruz at first but his character grew on me by the end.
"Overall this was an excellent adult fantasy novel and I would recommend it to just about anyone."
Sharon Stevenson, author of the Gallows series
"This is a story of honor and a determination to do right in the face of overwhelming odds, where honesty and justice seem only to result in grief and hardship, and yet a kernel of hope survives. I loved the nobility in both Rashali and Eruz, and the slow blossom of their rocky road to love, erasing prejudices and hatred. Looking forward to more fantasy tales from Kyra Halland."
C.J. Burright, author of Lured by Darkness
"There is a huge amount of world building and much of it is laid out in the beginning of the book, which before building a strong investment in a specific story or character, and with tons of difficult names to weed through, it was hard to absorb all of that at once, but persevering did pay off. And all the back story does add to the reading experience.
"The book picks up steam though, and carries you through a great ride. I do recommend it to anyone who likes love stories with a fantasy or dystopian edge. The command of language is impressive and there are no visible typos. The story is very engaging, and I did not set the book down for longer than a day between reading sessions. I liked the tension that Halland crafted through shifting perspectives and unleashing little bits of story that hinted at coming drama. I really enjoyed the system that the author created for the deities in the story who turn the main characters into a high stakes wager. It made this action filled love story seem important on a grander scale. The ending is satisfying and I hope Halland keeps cranking out books."
F.F. McCulligan, Author of The Cost of Haven
"I loved it! The situation was compelling, the heroine was feisty and likeable, and the gods were amusingly naughty. Oh, and the forbidden love interest was hawt! Lots of action and suspense kept me wanting more."
Becky, a reader
"I wasn't sure whether the genre was right for me, but this book was recommended by a friend and as I was on holiday and had time, I gave it a go. Was I glad to have time! I couldn't put it down, I wanted to know what was happening next. The characters feel very real to me as did the whole world the author describes in vivid detail. I really felt and suffered with the main character (and it felt so good to me to have a strong FEMALE main character) and saw many connections with today's world that set me thinking. I am looking forward to read more by this author."
Upfi, a reader
"From start to finish, there was never a moment where the story lags or the author describes things so much as to distract you from everything else. It flows beautifully, with just enough detail and depth to tantalise the imagination and pull at the heart strings. I would definitely recommend it, not to mention snap up any other books by this author in a heartbeat!"
Benita, a reader
"I enjoyed this. Fantasy story with star-crossed lovers - actually they are enemies at the beginning. His people conquered her land and virtually enslaved her people. The world's gods are active participants in this land, and they get their own chapters. Very interesting.
"The character names were very unusual and hard to follow for a while, but I finally caught on."
Kris, a reader
$4.99 ebook/$13.99 paperback
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