A Key, a Tree, a Prophecy
Booderas Rookeri-Sharmin – better known as Boody, playwright, poet, dancer and chorusmaster – orphaned nephew of the Elect of Raselstad, disciple of the Forty-First Avatar who brought the Founders to this new world.
“Worth is not measured in gold. To ban a word is not enough. To forbid the metals silver and gold will not lessen their attraction. The Guided Guilds give no protection against the Old-World demons.”
Eshe, daughter of Judge Madir, believes herself tough (she enjoys caving and climbing), unsuccessful in matters of the heart, fears her father will intervene and arrange a marriage.
Kalamite, head of the quasi-religious Runman Order, son of a queen no one has seen, for to ensure her safety he keeps her locked in the mysterious Wood Tower at the heart of Citadel Lecheni. He is her sworn protector.
Sifadis Lafdi, heiress of the wealthiest House in Lecheni. Owns every ship in the Luant; no one eats fish except by her catching. But marriage arrangements threaten, and a ruling husband would separate her from her passion – the study of the ancient documents stored in her library.
A violation of Wood Tower has astrologer-priest Kalamite in fear for his mother, his queen. Planetary alignments foretell an invasion from the south. When Eshe arrives in Lecheni from southern Raselstad, Kalamite moves into action. He insists a spy is sent to Eshe’s hometown. Sifadis jumps at the opportunity to be that spy, to pursue a project of her own and to delay further marriage arrangements.
In Raselstad Sifadis meets her antithesis, Boody with his abhorrence of everything northern and Rothi. Yet they share a love for ancient books and Daabian plants. They also share an ancient connection which on meeting neither expects.
I once accused Crispina Kemp of being an Asar. Her being an immortal fallen angel was the only explanation I could find for her complete knowledge of every culture and time in The Spinner’s Game series. These were not works of fantasy, these were her memoirs. But I was wrong. Because if Crispina were an Asar and using such a cheat to create the rich world of her previous novels, she would not have been able to do so again in her latest book, the standalone Roots of Rookeri. Read this book and step through a portal to a totally immersive world, filled with so much fascinating detail you will lose yourself in.
But it’s not just world building. The characters will grip you too. With four POV characters to captivate—scholar on a mission Sifadis, underdog poet Boody, headstrong Eshe and lunatic Kalamite—it’s hard to pick a favourite.
While not set in the same world as Crispina’s previous novels, this book will definitely appeal to any who loved the Spinner’s Game series, and ensnare plenty of new readers too. If you love fantasy (especially if you love it with a hint of sci-fi), this is a must read.
So again, do yourself a favour, and make a purchase.
Cover design by yours truly. So why not treat yourself to the paperback 😉