Reviews

Review: Scarlet Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi

Book Review

Scarlet Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi
(Scarlet Odyssey #1)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: 47North
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Synopsis
Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter.

Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.

Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.

On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption. 

What I thought
I was sent a copy of this book from Megan Beatie Communications and 47North for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is a character-driven fantasy novel which is my favorite to read, and it’s inspired by another culture so when I was asked if I was interested in reading it I jumped at the chance and I was not disappointed. It is really hard to believe that this is a debut novel. 

This book has multiple perspectives however this story keeps moving in one direction.  I love it when I can follow a story and not have to jump around and keep track of everyone.  

From the first chapter, I was pulled into this world.  This story takes place in an African inspired fantasy world. You follow multiple perspectives throughout the story but the heart of the story focuses on Salo. In Salo’s world, Men become warriors and Women become Mystics.  But Salo doesn’t quite fit into that framework. Through events, Salo becomes a Mystic and in consequence, is sent on a journey for his Queen. 

In this journey, Salo picks up two companions that also do not fit into where society wants to place them, which added to my enjoyment of the story. 

I can’t wait to see all of these perspectives come together in the next book.  

If you enjoy character-driven fantasy novels you really should pick this one up.

Also, If you have read this book and want to talk about it please let me know.  There was so much I wanted to say but I didn’t want to spoil anyone.

My Rating: /5

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New Releases

New Author Spotlight: C. T. Rwizi

C. T. Rwizi was born in Zimbabwe, grew up in Swaziland, finished high school in Costa Rica and got a BA in government at Dartmouth College in the United States. He currently lives in South Africa with his family, and enjoys playing video games, taking long runs and spending way too much time lurking on Reddit. He is a self-professed lover of synthwave. Scarlet Odyssey is his debut novel. 

Follow him on Twitter: @c.t.rwizi

Why I Wrote SCARLETT ODYSSEY by C.T. Rwizi

I’ve always enjoyed reading books in the genre, and I’d find myself dreaming up my own stories in my free time, wishing I had an outlet to bring them out of my head.  For the longest time it never occurred to me that I could simply write these stories on paper and attempt to publish them like every other writer.

I didn’t even think being a writer was an option for me.  Writing isn’t a profession many people pursue where I live—I’d say the same is true for many African societies—and I carried that same mentality with me.  I knew several doctors and engineers and managers, but I knew no one who’d written fiction, let alone fantasy or science fiction, and gotten published.

It wasn’t until I’d graduated college and I was back in South Africa, sitting at home after a day at work, that I—for some reason I can’t explain or remember—settled in front of a computer screen and started writing.  The first story I wrote wasn’t Scarlet Odyssey.  It was a fantasy starring a white-ish guy in a pseudo-medieval European-ish setting.  It wasn’t very good, and I wasn’t enamored of it, but I wrote it because I believed it was what fantasy was supposed to look like and what readers wanted to read.  There was a formula, and I was trying to fit my story and characters into it.

Then I saw her.  She was a bride dressed in traditional Xhosa attire on the TV screen at my uncle’s house where I was visiting.  Every Sunday, my uncle’s wife watches this wedding program that features weddings from all over South Africa.  There are usually two ceremonies—one with the suits and the white dress and the priest, and a more traditional African affair the next day.  I saw her just as she stepped out of a car on her second day to the sound of music and cheers, and I remember thinking: wow, I wish I could write a story with her as a character.

And I remember thinking: But who said I can’t?

I immediately reached for my journal and wrote down a description of her, how she made me feel, how stunning she looked in her attire, how proud of her heritage she was—she and everyone around her—and rightly so.  I later used that description for the Yerezi queen when she makes her first appearance in my novel.

That was the initial spark, the inspiration that unshackled me from the formula, unleashed my creativity and led me to the story of Scarlet Odyssey

Scarlet Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi
(Scarlet Odyssey #1) 
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: 47North
Expected Publication: July 1, 2020
Add to Goodreads

Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter.

Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.

Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.

On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption. 

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: Scarlet Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:

Scarlet Odyssey by C.T. Rwizi
(Scarlet Odyssey #1) 
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: 47North
Expected Publication: July 1, 2020
Add to Goodreads

Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter.

Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.

Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.

On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption. 

About the Author

Debut author C. T. Rwizi was born in Zimbabwe, grew up in Swaziland, finished high school in Costa Rica, and got a BA in government at Dartmouth College in the United States. He currently lives in South Africa with his family, and enjoys playing video games, taking long runs, and spending way too much time lurking on Reddit. He is a self-professed lover of synthwave.

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook