Tamesa combines the talents of two amazing writers whose previous works I have admired, and it did not disappoint.
I particularly loved the characters of Tinshu and A’renn, the male and female leads. Their paths started so far apart, but when they intersected, the chemistry between them was undeniable. The world-building is phenomenal, a richly woven tapestry of words that filled my mind with colorful images. The early parts of the story were sometimes a tad hard to follow because there were a lot of threads going on, but once they came together, I enjoyed it very much.
I tend to read series more often than solitary stories, but Tamesa felt like an epic trilogy rolled into one book. I highly recommend it to lovers of fantasy.
Tamesa is a refreshing new fantasy. I’ve read numerous fantasy books from Tolkien to fledgling writers and it’s good to read something original that’s both entertaining and thought provoking. The beginning was slow, but after a few chapters, the story just took off and kept going until the last word.
This isn’t your usual good vs evil story littered with one fantasy trope after another. There’s romance budding in Tamesa, but the elements around that romance are gripping and the supporting cast is just as interesting as the main characters. The young character Darweshi’s story arc had me in tears in some places. Tamesa is exceptionally well written getting you emotionally involved in the characters lives and struggles. That alone is worth a 5 star rating.
Another thing I enjoyed is how the characters are described. These aren’t the typical cookie cutter handsome and beautiful fantasy creations. They’re ordinary people struggling with physical differences that make them unique and powerful. Such a pleasure to read.
I must admit I was a little “iffy” about reading Tamesa. I have not read much by Tom Falwell, but this novel is a collaboration by Mr. Falwell and another increasingly popular author of epic fantasy, Aaron-Michael Hall. In a way, that was another possible strike – there’s an old joke about a camel being a horse designed by a committee, so, can two authors be better than one? There was only one way to find out, so I purchased a copy of Tamesa at a recent convention to check this for myself.
Tamesa is a very fast-moving story, but I found that I had to read it attentively to keep track of unique names of people, peoples, and locations. The authors have spun a gripping tale of other-worldly evil being resisted by people who are sometimes imperfect, sometimes deeply flawed, but believable and human. So human, in fact, that I found myself earnestly hoping for the healing and redemption of one of the protagonists, an orphaned thief named Tinshu. His counterpart, a young woman named A’ren, lives with her adoptive family in the other half of this divided world of Tamesa. In a secluded forest A’ren is being prepared for her role in a desperate search for the Zayzahrin, an unknown talisman that the evil leader of the Ecumenical Order is also seeking in order to achieve a god-like power and immortality.
These two characters are developed independently (after all, they live in different hemispheres) but are brought together in a wonderfully original development. I’m not going to spoil the story here, you’ll have to read it for yourself.
I should mention the other characters are also developed with care and are just as interesting and important to the story as the main characters. I was especially attached to Darweshi, another orphan who is connected to A’ren. He has unique talents and great heart, and the arc of his story quite literally had me dabbing at my eyes and choking up. (I googled “Darweshi” and found that it derives from a Swahili word that means “holy”. It fits.)
As I said, the book moves fast. The plot, dialogue, and characters are meshed together very well to create an original fantasy world complete with magic, heroic battles, monsters, and of course the defining struggle between good and evil. This is an easy book to recommend to any reader who enjoys unique and original fantasy fiction.