The Pious Insurrection

The Reaping

Fiction - Fantasy - General
284 Pages
Reviewed on 07/22/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Dexter is a Southern-born Seattle author and model. Homeschooled after a diagnosis of mild Asperger's, he learned to play to his strengths as an energetic, creative artist. He began writing at the age of fifteen, and published his first novel two years later. Outside of art, Dexter spends his time gaming, studying, and socializing with other ambitious minds. As an army brat, he attained a pragmatic sense of discipline that he uses to balance his artistic endeavors with his academic ones. Dexter's ultimate goal is to contribute to the subjugation of humanity by artificial intelligence.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Stephen Fisher for Readers' Favorite

The Pious Insurrection: The Reaping by Dexter Morgenstern is a fast paced fantasy novel of high adventure that begins at the monks' temple on the island of Regnarov. The story opens with a rainstorm. The fearsome reptile creatures with human heads, the nagas, attack and feed during rainstorms. The monks do their best to fight them off with the help of their seers' magic. Amos and Eli have been best friends their whole life, but Eli is killed during the battle. The Seer Bo is chosen by their goddess to go on her quest for the Reaping, and right away she chooses Amos to accompany her. Amos has his magic lantern of light, and Bo has her magic flute. The scene switches to a combat tournament with Lancaster and his soldier Darwin squaring off in an arena. Lancaster is looking to win so that he can ask the king's permission to court his daughter. Even though Lancaster loses, both he and Darwin are chosen to go on a spy mission to see what their enemies, the Seladorians, are planning.

Dexter Morgenstern does a magnificent job of moving this story along with lots of surprises, legendary creatures, and well-described exotic landscapes. The author is able to switch back and forth between the different quests while leaving the reader in cliff hangers as the story shifts back and forth between our heroes. This technique reminded me very much of Terry Brooks's writing and it works. The Pious Insurrection has an array of stunning scenery vividly brought to life by the author. This book is entertaining with many surprises and internal conflict with underlying plots. This book has that wow factor to be a huge success in my opinion. Bravo!

K.C. Finn

The Pious Insurrection: The Reaping is an immersive fantasy novel by author Dexter Morgenstern, and presumably the first in a series of works set in the war-torn province of Evigonda. Our central hero is Amos, growing up amid periods of tentative peace, but where war seems to threaten to rear its head at any moment. Amos works as a guardian to a mystical seer, blind to the real world but able to see spirits. Together they embark on a mission known as the Reaping – a soul harvest that will provide security to their lands and people. Of course, there are those who oppose the Reaping and will stop at nothing to end Amos and Bo’s mission when it has only just begun.

The level of commitment to world-building in Dexter Morgenstern’s work is astounding. I really appreciated the development of the religious beliefs of Amos and his people, as well as the well-conceived opposing views of their enemies. The plot was easy to follow and interesting, and the young protagonists would be relatable to readers of all ages, so I’d say The Pious Insurrection: The Reaping could be enjoyed by young adults and adults alike. I loved the use of characters lacking essential senses, for example Bo’s blindness, as it’s something we need to see more of in fantasy, and this makes for a refreshing and challenging read in terms of plot solutions. Overall, I’d highly recommend The Pious Insurrection as an innovative new fantasy work, suitable for all ages of fantasy fans looking for something different.

Lit Amri

The Pious Insurrection: The Reaping by Dexter Morgenstern is a high fantasy tale set in the land of Evigönda. Bo, a blind seer from Yudecca, is tasked with the mission to harvest souls from each nation in Evigönda to be presented to the Shepherd for the safety of their homeland. An acolyte named Amos accompanies her for the important and perilous task. They lack experience and never set foot out of Regnaröv. Their knowledge of good and evil will be challenged, they’ll learn that trust is not easy to give or earn, and that the nature of their mission alone can start a war.

The world-building is vast, intricate and can be overwhelming but it has several classic aspects which help with the familiarization. Its sense of place is enough for readers to imagine the characters’ different environments and cultures. You have the monks, acolytes, and seers of Regnaröv, the Ashborn who are excellent inventors and builders, the fierce Seladorian Templars, the wind wielders and wyvern riders of Nazarelle, and others who are loyal to no gods or nations. There’s plenty of action balanced with descriptive narration and solid dialogue. Themes such as sacrifice, death, and morality give the plot a substantial depth and a dark quality. One of the intriguing and ironic aspects is that the characters, including the devout ones, are aware that they are just pawns for the gods.

The Pious Insurrection: The Reaping is definitely an imaginative and commendable tale from Morgenstern. It evokes strong emotions as the complex and memorable characters lingered in my mind long after the story ended. It may seem like a YA imprint, but older readers will definitely enjoy this high fantasy as well. The ending hints at a sequel, and I look forward to it.

Christian Sia

The Pious Insurrection: The Reaping by Dexter Morgenstern is a fantasy tale filled with humor, skillfully plotted and executed with remarkable mastery. It is, in fact, to use the author’s own words, “an introduction to an entire world.” Fantasy is mixed with strong elements of the supernatural and powerful magic in this gorgeous treat. Evigönda is ravaged by war and it seems like the gods have decided it’s time for the “reaping.” A seer named Bo, who gave up her sight so she can see the spirits, is out to harvest souls for the reaping, with the help of Amos, her mystic guard, convinced it’s the only way of saving their world. But are they aware that they are tipping the balance and that other worlds need saving? There is a veteran who is out to stop the reaping because his own world depends on it.

The reader is introduced to an impressive cast of characters including monks and seers, fighters and Elders, all embroiled in a conflict that threatens their worlds. I particularly enjoyed the way Amos, Eli Valdemar, Akando, the veteran monk, and Elder Tahki are developed. These characters evoke a world suffused with spiritual energy and forces that are warring against each other. Dexter Morgenstern’s writing is atmospheric and it has an evocative character that highlights the beauty of the prose. The setting is an imaginary world captured in vivid descriptions, allowing readers images of the landscapes and the action taking place within that world. Whether Morgenstern is describing the “electricity arced across the roiling surface of the sea, catching the metallic nets that formed an impassible wall” or capturing a conversation between the characters, the author allows the magic of the tale to ensnare the reader, pulling them in. The Pious Insurrection: The Reaping is a tale of survival, conspiracy, and the battle against evil, an enviable escape for fantasy fans. The originality will strike readers forcefully and the plot will have them turning the pages, unsure of what comes next.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Bo and Amos are on a path that neither of them fully understands, but if they are to be successful in appeasing the Naamah, they must continue to push themselves anyway. But can a boy who can’t speak and a girl who can’t see really make it across the world to collect the right souls? Will they even be able to survive the dangers that they will face in The Pious Insurrection? And of course, they’re not the only ones on a path that seems dangerous and difficult. Lancaster has suffered the loss of his brother, but he is determined to do whatever he can to gain the hand of the woman that he loves. Can anything he does make him worthy of an heiress, however? With the world in turmoil, there’s no telling what could happen to any of them.

The Pious Insurrection by Dexter Morgenstern is about characters that you can’t help but be drawn to. While Bo and Amos seem so young they are definitely wise beyond their years in some areas as well. You find yourself wanting them to succeed, but also wondering what will happen and worried that they may not succeed. With Lancaster, you wonder if he’s really on the right path and whether he will achieve the love that he wants, or if it’s even what he should be doing at all. There are plenty of twists and turns going on in this book and there are plenty of adventure. You never know what’s going to happen next in The Pious Insurrection by Dexter Morgenstern.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Pious Insurrection: The Reaping by Dexter Morgenstern is a fantastical story. Amos, a mystic, has an important job. He must guard the seer, Bo, a seer who sacrificed her own sight so that she may see the spirits. Together, Bo and Amos must act on Bo’s judgment as they harvest the souls needed for The Reaping. The Reaping is evil, but it is necessary if their home province of Evigonda is to be kept safe. Between them, they create utter chaos and turmoil the world over and things will get worse before they get better. They are challenged by a veteran who wants to save his own nation; to do it he must stop The Reaping but the body count is rising fast. The morals of righteousness and piety are being challenged and the battle will be hard, fast and bloody.

The Pious Insurrection: The Reaping by Dexter Morgenstern is a fascinating fantasy story that begins with a cast of female warriors, all human. It is a combination of fantasy with magic, monstrous beings, religion, and war all merged with piety, morality, and righteousness – that’s quite a lot in one story but it works. There is no holding back, the story starts as it means to go on, romping through an action-packed, sometimes bloody plot with characters that are developed thoroughly and in a very real way. This is a must-read for fans of the fantasy genre, a book that will have you on the edge of your seat all the way through.