A Brilliant Alternative-World Medieval-Style Fantasy!
What if you learned you weren’t really who you thought you were, but something more… something much, much more? Aaron-Michael Hall works out that premise in “Kurintor Nyusi: Book 1”—an enthralling Sci-Fi Fantasy read that draws you in from the very start.
This absorbing tale of a young woman, whose impending destiny causes a chain-reaction of suspicion and power-plays among gods, rulers, sorcerers, and men alike, is a remarkable work of fiction that—as Hall’s fans already know—will satisfy even the most well-rounded and discerning reader.
The world of “Kurintor Nyusi” is fully-constructed, taking the reader on a virtual history lesson from the beginning of time, including a belief-system, government, class structure, and social mores that compel everyone and everything from deities to humans to plant-life and beyond. The plot line is highly-engaging and focused while the characters feel as real as everyday people who just happen to, in many cases, have supernatural abilities.
As with any work of fiction set in an unfamiliar world, many of the names, places, and terms prove difficult to pronounce or keep straight, but Hall effectively goes through the history of each character and item, familiarizing the reader with their individual identities and places in their universe. Unlocking the key to main character Nurisha’s storied past is the paramount theme of this alternative-world, medieval-styled story, but Hall provides a virtual pantheon of brilliant characters who are just as compelling and vital to the overall telling of this tale as is her charming and strong-willed heroine.
Sorcery, magic, romance, danger, betrayal, self-discovery, and action blend so well in “Kurintor Nyusi: Book 1”, it’s a true shame that this other-worldly masterpiece must come to an end. I, for one, am greatly looking forward to continuing this remarkable series.
Congratulations to the author on this award-winning story! This novel will be permanently featured on my website at AuthorJBRichards.com under IHIBRP 5 Star Recommended Reads!
“Kurintor Nyusi is one of the most exciting and refreshing books I’ve read in a long time. The plot was not the usual fantasy fare, the world not like the usual worlds you find in the genre, and the characters…well, it was the characters that made this tale a pure pleasure to read. The author has created something very unique, and this is sure to be an award-winning story.
Through the eyes of these believable and well-portrayed characters, the reader is treated to a wonderfully enthralling experience, seeing the world through their eyes and coming to care for each and every one of them. We feel their emotions, share in their pains and joys. Even the antagonists. Nurisha, Xavion, Qaradan, Zuri, Alyelu and so many more. Yet, while there are plenty of characters, I did not feel overwhelmed at any time while reading this book.
This is fantasy as it was meant to be, not focused on creatures and landscapes, or even on the events, but on the people who live them, and we get to experience it all right along with them. I cannot say enough about how well-written this story is. This is an author all fantasy fans should keep their eyes on, and I highly recommend reading Kurintor Nyusi. I am anxiously awaiting the next book, and if this book is any indicator, the next will be magnificent! It deserves more than a mere 5 stars.”
“I am a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan. I have been reading these two genres since I was a kid. Greek and Norse mythology, Arthurian legends, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, comic books, classics, I read it all. So sometimes it’s hard for me to get excited about new books or new writers in the genre. Some days I believe I’ve simply read too much in these genres, so it’s just too difficult to find a new writer, book, or series that can really excite me or surprise me. Well, that’s just some days. Then, on other days I read a book like Kurintor Nyusi by Aaron-Michael Hall. Suddenly, I’m excited by a new writer and I’m seeing new things in one of my favorite genres. This book is good. It will surprise you with the directions in which it veers off. The characters will leave you scratching your head at the choices they make, but most of all it will keep you reading because it is so entertaining.
When describing an imaginary world with imaginary characters, the power of descriptive details cannot be over emphasized. This is an area where Aaron-Michael Hall excels. I felt I have been to this world. The place felt real to me and so did the characters. That was nice because as the personalities were revealed, you could see how this world, this environment, formed them and why they want what they want and act like they act. I thought the female characters were especially well written, especially considering the feudal society they lived in. The plot is good and reflects the environment and the power involved. Kurintor Nyusi is a well written fantasy novel and Aaron-Michael Hall is a writer to watch.”
Midwest Book Review – D. Donovan
“Many epic fantasy reads hold the same familiar trappings: destiny redirects a young life, heritage dictates its obstacles, the protagonist either rebels against or struggles to achieve his birthright, and new abilities come into play to change everything.
Kurintor Nyusi takes a different approach, adopting a focus on protagonist choices in the face of changing circumstances and emphasizing these changing options at different points during the tale.
The battles aren’t just physical confrontations, and they don’t always take place in the arena of a physical world, either. That’s just one powerful piece in a story that winds through threats and arrogance, strong female characters who wield swords and defy death, and one savvy girl’s devotion to her Da and her self.
One strength to note in the course of these events is the language Aaron-Michael Hall employs to describe scenes and characters: “Druehox was a smug churl who wouldn’t have given her the time of day had she wanted his attention. Since the opposite was true, his advances bordered on stalking. Every night, he appeared to have a different woman’s company. They doted and sniffed behind him as if he was the ruler of the twelve kingdoms.” An attention to atmosphere and psychological insights is just one of the strengths that lend a touch of the fantastic to even ordinary scenes and descriptions.
Another strength lies in the story line’s emphasis on developing mental as well as physical prowess. The descriptions of training and battles are well done, as are the explorations of how such training occurs on different levels. These insights influence into other kinds of preparations for survival against all odds: “You have to be aware of your battlefield, Damali,” he lectured, using his cover to mask his position. “There’s more to combat than speed and brute force. Use your mind and harness your true abilities.”
From the loss of parents and the desire to carry on their teachings to unexpected new beginnings “Once the gate closed, Alyelu grinned. “I’ve shattered the mirror, Father, and buried the past. With your death, I’ll truly begin to live.”
Kurintor Nyusi is replete with subplots that cover various forms of choice and transformation.
Wind these elements into an epic fantasy filled with satisfying battles, confrontations with self and others, and changing ties between present, past, and future for a powerful saga especially recommended for epic fantasy fans who like their action-packed stories seasoned with examinations of personal power and how that is cultivated.”
If I needed to use one word to describe Aaron-Michael Hall’s writing in Kurintor Nyusi, I wouldn’t have a hard time thinking of one.
This is not the half-ass work of someone who doesn’t know where their story goes. This is a book written by someone who writes with intention, intelligence, and intense emotion. Nurisha, daughter of Qaaradan San has been trained since she was a child to best any challenge she faces in combat. Physically speaking, she’s a beautiful woman, powerful yet humble in that power. She doesn’t look for trouble, but alas, when there’s something special about you, trouble has a way of finding you.
Rich in high fantasy elements, you can consider Kurintor Nyusi as the gateway book to an author who promises to bring adventures that breathe their own spirit, their own language, and their own soul at every turn. I described this book as elegant, and indeed it is, but it’s exciting, intense, dark, brooding, and explores moral ambiguity better than most other books I’ve read, while including a diverse cast that feels natural instead of forced.
Simply put, one of the best books I’ve read in the year and definitely a book that inspires me to read more high fantasy.
Nurisha San is the adopted daughter of Qaradan San. He has trained her and her best friend Aljosa as warriors, an art she will need in the future. Lately, her birthmark on her wrist has been itching and growing; only a journey to Solluna can give her some of the answers she seeks.
Meanwhile, the remnants of the Kurintor warriors are readying for a battle to defend the Fifth Kingdom. Xavion knows that the mark on his wrist ‘twins’ him with Nurisha though they have never met. But it is time for them both to develop their mental abilities as well as their warrior skills to face the foes all around them.
This is an engrossing tale perfect for readers of epic fantasy. The story moves around between a numerous cast of interesting characters. Redemption is a question much discussed; can the wicked characters possibly redeem their actions? Or are they doomed to taint the good characters around them? The forces of good and evil are a strong theme throughout the story.
The author is excellent at world-building, and her descriptive talents show here. From Qaradan’s blacksmith shop to the taverns of Solluna to the clamor of the Kumasi port, the reader is drawn into a rich and vivid world. The dialogue is particularly striking.
My only quibble is that I would have liked to have seen the story of Goni and Gea moved up nearer to the beginning of the book. It’s backstory that would have helped me understand some of the motivations of the characters, but that’s just me and it really is probably insignificant to most readers. I can’t wait for the next book to see where the story goes next.
This epic fantasy novel is full of diverse and well-realised characters, intriguing worldbuilding, vivid and descriptive writing, as well as fun-to-read dialogue. It tells the tale of one girl’s self-discovery and ‘awakening’. This is just in time for a looming battle with a wayward demon goddess who tricked a god a while back and is still making trouble.
The girl in question is Nurisha. She’s the adopted daughter of a retired military man-turned-smith, and has been trained by her Da in sword-fighting and archery. This kickass female character knows how to handle herself! But she’s also sweet, loyal to her father and to her husband-to-be and trusting of others.
When the birthmark on Nurisha’s wrist starts itching, she heads to the local apothecary to get it checked out. This sparks a turn of events that leads Nurisha to discover that she’s actually something much more than she realised, and that there’s a group, the Keepers of the Nine, who are currently searching for descendants of the ancient Kurintor people. The Kurintors have magic and great powers and are the only ones who can fight against the demon goddess.
But Nurisha is also being hunted down by those who are interested in her for more dubious – and not so honourable – reasons.
There are also plenty of riveting subplots, including Nurisha’s not-so-pleasant admirer who happens to be the town overseer’s son and so hard to shake off without causing trouble. He’s brilliantly described by her Da as a “coxcomb skamelar” who “ain’t worth teats on a bull.”
We also see inside the story of the ‘bad guy’ Alyelu, who has some seriously nasty father issues, as well as another young man called Xavion who is also discovering just who he is, and that he is ‘twinned’ to Nurisha (awkward! Cue lots of jealousy from her betrothed).
I really enjoyed the chapters with Nurisha, especially the moments between her and her Da. The dialogue was fun and believable and really sucked me into the story. There are a lot of unusual names, places and peoples to take in, which I enjoy, but if you’re someone who doesn’t retain more than a couple of character names then there is a handy glossary at the back to remind you who is who and what is where. There were also a few occasions when the word choice was a bit too complex for me and I had to head to Google!
Kurintor Nyusi is an enjoyable, well-paced fantasy for those who love multiple point-of-view narratives and in-depth worldbuilding.