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NetGalley Review: Untethered Sky by Fonda Lee

Hey all, Sam here.

We’re soaring into the weekend, and I’m hoping to do a lot more writing, and hopefully some more reading too. If I don’t figure out some reading time then I just might run into the issue of needing to figure out how to fill in the space that would normally be a review post here on the blog. There are probably a number of books I’ve read in the past few years that I never managed to blog about, so I suppose those could be reviewed, and probably should be reviewed.

Oh, so I figured out my plotting issue for my Camp NaNoWriMo project this morning. I wrote myself into circles a bit yesterday and though I wrote a lot of words, I knew most would end up getting tossed out. But today while heading to a friend’s house to take care of her dog, I realized where my problem was, and now I feel like I can push forward and make some pretty good progress with my writing. I’ll talk more about this in the next WIP Wednesday post, but I’m still doing good with my writing goals, both for Camp NaNoWriMo and just in general.

Okay, this is enough of an intro and delay, so let’s go ahead and jump into today’s review.

From World Fantasy Award-winning author Fonda Lee comes Untethered Sky , an epic fantasy fable about the pursuit of obsession at all costs.

A Most Anticipated in 2023 Pick for Polygon | Book Riot | Paste Magazine

Ester’s family was torn apart when a manticore killed her mother and baby brother, leaving her with nothing but her father’s painful silence and a single, overwhelming need to kill the monsters that took her family.

Ester’s path leads her to the King’s Royal Mews, where the giant rocs of legend are flown to hunt manticores by their brave and dedicated ruhkers. Paired with a fledgling roc named Zahra, Ester finds purpose and acclaim by devoting herself to a calling that demands absolute sacrifice and a creature that will never return her love. The terrifying partnership between woman and roc leads Ester not only on the empire’s most dangerous manticore hunt, but on a journey of perseverance and acceptance.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4.5 stars

This cover is lovely. Honestly it’s the first thing that drew me in and made me want to check out this book. Then I noticed that it was written by Fonda Lee…who I’ve been meaning to read. There has been so much hype for her Green Bone Saga, and I’ve been wanting to read them, but just haven’t managed it yet. But seeing that she had a new book that wasn’t connected to the other books, it seemed like a great place to start.

But I didn’t realize at first that it was going to be a novella. It wasn’t until I was approved for the story on NetGalley that I really began to look at the specifics and realized that Untethered Sky was only 160 pages.

I enjoyed reading this. I truly did. The characters and the descriptions and the action were all intriguing. But I wanted more time to explore the characters and their relationships with each other. I wanted more time to dive deep into the world. I wanted more time to grow the story, and I wanted to disappear into it longer.

Most of the story is about Ester and her relationship with her roc Zahra, but also with some of her fellow ruhkers. The other main plot point of the story is Ester’s drive to hunt down manticores.

So we get scenes that flash us back to how Ester came to be on this path, how a manticore killed her mother and her brother…and that’s not a spoiler. It’s clearly stated in the book’s summary. We get to experience the terror of that manticore attack with Ester, and we get to see her apprenticeship with the King’s Royal Mews. We get to see some of the ruhkers and their training and bonding with rocs, especially since we follow Ester’s bonding and training with Zahra.

We get to experience that thrill of the hunt alongside them. It’s almost like we get to go out there and fly and hunt with them.

This was a thrilling story packed into a short number of pages. I just wish there was more to it.

Untethered Sky was released on April 11 in the US, so you can check it out yourself now.

Well, that’s all from me for today. Thank you so much for stopping by, and I’ll be back soon with more geeky content.


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