Setting: During a fantasy retelling of the Great Flood.
First Sentence: Head held high, chest puffed with pride, the Lion of Hur-ar marched to glory.
This novel is the second in Braden's fantasy series.
In the Bible, God employs a flood of forty days and forty nights to cleanse the world of evil. In this novel, Braden uses a flood of equal duration. In the author's flood innocent people die, evil people survive, and exactly which god caused the flood is an open question.
To tell his tale, Braden uses a large cast of characters. We have the Lo, a group of poor fisher folk who struggle against the waters for their very survival. Then there is Fu Xi, an immortal demigod and the son of a goddess. He too must find a way to survive the cataclysm which may destroy the Earth itself. We also have Leviathan, a son of the god Poseidon. He has plans to conquer the lands which belong to Fu Xi and his mother. Then there is Quexil, a minion of Leviathan and the leader of the Olmecs. Even Noah and his ark make a brief appearance.
The author weaves his somewhat confusing tale back and forth between several very different main plots:
The Lo are lost at sea in reed rafts which are slowly rotting away. Of course there is the usual problems of a group of people forced to live in close quarters.
Occasionally, Fu Xi relates the experiences he had with Leviathan and Quexil in the past.
We also follow Fu Xi's struggles in the present. He has to survive the flood, and find a mysterious woman.
Additionally, a minor character will pop up to drop an ominous hint.
And, since there will be a third book in this series, not much gets resolved.
For me, this was a long, rambling read. I found it difficult to keep track of the characters. Especially all of the different Lo characters with their uniquely spelled names.
I did enjoy the story of the Lo, but I don't understand what Fu Xi has to do with them.
In my opinion, not the best novel I've ever read, but then again, not the worst.
If this novel piques your interest, I strongly suggest that you start with the first book in the series.