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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
DELOS: The White Tree by Blake Miller is a young adult novel that revolves around teenagers Cynthia and Kaden, who are paired in both fate and friendship, bonded in a way that is reminiscent of twin flames. Their uniqueness does not stop there. They are inquisitive and powerful, with unraveling backstories that lead them on a journey when they respond to a call for help. In another world, the path they embark on is perilous and everything gets tossed at these two. We are talking about monsters and magic and battles and death and friendships earned and lost. Add a heavy helping of hormonal teenage angst, puppy love, and just plain teenager antics and you have got yourself a thrilling ride through a new realm of fantasy for a new generation of readers.
I went into DELOS: The White Tree with reservations as, initially, when you are looking at a book of this length you are also looking for clues as to whether or not it is worth the commitment. New fantasies require trust. New characters, names, worlds, and, in this case, even some new language, and my trust in indie fantasies is tapped out. But do not walk away from Blake Miller. This book is good but wordy, although this wears off quickly once the story gains momentum. The characters are beautifully developed and Cynthia in particular has a depth to her that I respect and appreciate as a person of color. Her blackness is not a prop and not a grasp at minimal token inclusiveness. She's real and amazing. The development extends to minor protagonists and even ancillary characters who all have personality plus. This book is most certainly worth a read.