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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
The world of Lelanos was ruled by four powerful guilds in an impasse; the Lion in the north, the Fox in the east, the Elephant in the south, and the Crocodile in the west. The decimation of the Fox guild and the Lion guild’s declaration of war on the Crocodiles ended the stalemate. The two have been engaged in a bloody and heated war ever since, whereas the Elephants decided not to participate and became pacifists. Years later, James Ivory, reputable Judge and expected successor of the Elephant Guild, questions the tenets of his people, including his sanity. Jarvan Hartengale VII tries to prove himself a worthy future leader of the Lions, while Raven oracle Orianna Duskbringer seeks to escape from her abusive family and fulfill her deity’s prophecy. However, the mainlanders don’t realize that there’s a powerful being deep in the sea who has been waiting impatiently to conquer the world above.
Rise of the Abyss (The Search for Paradise, Volume 1) by Negus Lamont is an intriguing fantasy fiction filled with conflicts, conspiracy, and betrayals. The world-building is impressive, particularly how the guilds personify different animal symbols that shape their system of law and magic as well as the attributes of their members. The plot is intricate where the characters struggle with their own dissension and with others. I gravitated towards James Ivory’s gradual disillusionment with the Elephants’ tenets, his fragmented mind and the truth about the city he admires. I had a soft spot for the docile Orianna, who progressively becomes more courageous to do what she thinks is right. I look forward to reading her character development in the sequel. Overall, the nature of particular crimes might affect some readers, but this dark, complex fantasy is no doubt a fascinating read.