The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #1) by Jen Williams

Fantasy, 544 pages, published in 2017

The Eborans always kept the humans safe from Jure’lia, a mysterious group of creatures, for thousands of years, until the tree that gives them life dies. Now, Eborans are dying out and threats arise from remaining Jure’lia artifacts. Vintage, an explorer, hires Tormalin, one of the last Eborans, to be her bodyguard on her quest to understand their foe.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Warnings: imprisonment, violence, blood

I overuse the word ‘interesting’ in reviews, but this one was the epitome of interesting! Elements of this book felt familiar, but overall it felt nothing like anything I have ever read before.

I definitely thought the beginning was a tad bit slow. It starts in the past and takes multiple chapters to work up to the present day, which I think contributed to that. The characters don’t know much about the world, so it definitely took a little while to get oriented.

There are a ton of different magic elements at play in this world. There are the Eborans, who are almost elf-like, but previously got their power from the sap of their tree god. Once the tree died, they turned to drinking human blood, even though it has very bad side effects for them. There are also witches with an interesting power source, as well as rogue parasite spirits that threaten remote communities.

The way all of these elements worked together to create the world was so good! It didn’t feel like one any of these different magical elements were underdone or overdone.

The characters of this book are where my heart lies. There is a solid main trio in this book: Vintage, Tormalin, and Noon. All three of them come from such different backgrounds have such different goals and personalities, but it worked so well.

I don’t want to say that this book has no plot because that isn’t necessarily true, but it kind of changes as certain events in the book take place. There’s no hard end point that these characters are trying to get to.

I am so excited to see where this series goes! There are some side characters introduced later on in this book that I’m very excited to get to know and I’m am dying to get to know more of how this world work. Things went down in the ending, so I’m very curious to see what the impact is.

This book is so hard to talk about! There are so many layers to the world that I don’t want to spoil and so many reasons why I enjoyed it. It felt so different, the characters are great, and the relationships between them are interesting. If you can get your hands on this book (it is a little difficult to find), I highly recommend it!

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