The Moreva of Astoreth

The Peris Archives Book 1

Fiction - Science Fiction
455 Pages
Reviewed on 01/02/2021
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Author Biography

Award-winning author Roxanne Bland was born in the shadows of the rubber factory smokestacks in Akron, Ohio but grew up in Washington, D.C. As a child, she spent an inordinate amount of time prowling the museums of the Smithsonian Institution and also spent an inordinate amount of time reading whatever books she could get her hands on, including the dictionary. A self-described “fugitive from reality,” she has always colored outside the lines and in her early years of writing, saw no reason why a story couldn’t be written combining the genres she loved and did so despite being told it wasn’t possible. Today, she writes stories that are mashups of paranormal urban fantasy, romance, and science fiction, as well as other speculative fiction genres.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

The Moreva of Astoreth is the first book in The Peris Archives by Roxanne Bland. Priestess Moreva Tehi earns the displeasure of her Devi grandmother, the Goddess of Love. Tehi is a blasphemer for not celebrating Ohra-Namtar, the holiest rite of the Gods that their religion observes. And why would she? The celebration requires sharing her body with others, and she refuses to submit to a race that she abhors. As a scientist, she would rather spend her time finding a cure for the red fever to save her people. As her transgressions have piled up, her grandmother labels her a bigot, and she is exiled to the Syren Territory, a cold and dark place with dense woods full of wild animals. But she takes the opportunity to work on her medical research. Taking on the duties of a liaison officer between a landing beacon and a Mjor village, she meets Laerd Teger, the village chief who will test her sacred vows and make her reassess her views on love.

The Moreva of Astoreth is a science fiction tale that is worthy of your time. While it does contain occasional explicit language and tackles racy orgiastic rituals, they are thrown in as necessary elements to give a rock-solid illustration of Tehi’s hardships and how she chooses to react. Though it may be classified as high science fiction, Roxanne Bland gives food for thought and delivers important messages in terms of gender roles and empowerment. You feel that Bland is directly telling you to think for yourself and make use of the skills and talents that are given to you. Bland may well be the Alice Walker of science fiction. When you read this novel, expect it to cause a stir in your emotions as you get to know the protagonist and what she wants to stand for. Powerful and unapologetic, this highly recommended novel is a blast.

Jennifer Ibiam

The Moreva of Astoreth by Roxanne Bland is an excellent fantasy novel for sci-fi lovers. In the faraway land of Uruk lived the goddess of love called Astoreth. She sought total devotion from her subjects, including a rule that they must never share their bodies with another unless during certain rituals; a sin punishable by execution. Her granddaughter, Tehi, had a mixed bloodline of the gods and inferior beings, or so she thought. She hated the “inferior” people and skipped a ceremony because some "inferiors" had been invited. Her grandmother punished her by sending her away to serve as a beacon steward in the village (Mjor) of these “inferior” beings. There, the village head, Teger, caught her fancy, even though they were hostile towards each other. Tehi was torn between breaking her vows, the disgust she felt for Teger’s race, and the possibility of incurring her grandmother’s wrath.

The Moreva of Astoreth is a fantasy-based novel that felt realistic. I fell in love with the book from its cover. It was hypnotic and drew me in. It had a strong plot that was unique, entertaining, and educative. I reflected while reading this book, taking away lessons that will stay with me forever. I realized that the mind is a battlefield, a place we must conquer before the physical realm. Hate, love, and every other emotion first takes root in the mind before manifesting physically. I learned to question beliefs rather than accepting everything handed to me. Also, Roxanne’s writing style was simple, and the editing was flawless. The storyline had depth, displaying themes like sacrifice, bravery, deceit, and love so pure. I enjoyed the suspense, intrigue, and droplets of humor. Roxanne has written a fantastic book! The Moreva of Astoreth was an interesting and mind-awakening read. I loved it.

Rabia Tanveer

The Moreva of Astoreth is the first book in The Peris Archives series by Roxanne Bland. Tehi Moreva is more than just a priestess. She is also an opinionated scientist whose beliefs are much different than her goddess grandmother. While her grandmother Astoreth is very religious, Tehi has her own beliefs, and she is not ready to bend to anyone else’s will. But her biggest sin turns out to be missing a religious rite, and she is banished for a year from the only place she has ever called home. Forced to go to a new territory, Tehi is supposed to be the spiritual leader of the military personnel stationed there. She has no idea who she can trust and who is her friend. She needs to keep her head and heart in the game and survive the year somehow. Can she do it? Can she keep herself away from temptation? Or will she fall for more than just temptation?

The Moreva of Astoreth is perhaps the most entertaining science fiction novel I have ever read. I am pleasantly surprised as to how much I loved this story. Each character is lovingly crafted and developed; you can find strengths and negatives in each of the characters and enjoy them as a whole. Each character added depth to the plot and made their presence known in the story. This is a story for adults considering some elements of the narrative, but that is what makes it for me. Tehi is a fighter; she is a headstrong woman with very strong views. She is confident, powerful, and understands herself better than anyone (a very refreshing personality trait). She owns the narrative and guides the plot until the end. I feel this is a wonderful start to a new series!