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(The Purification Era #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  163 ratings  ·  107 reviews
**Revised June 2019 in response to reviewer concerns**

They can take your house, your daughter, whatever they want.

For Ariliah, life under the militarized Hulcondans is one of order and safety. Despite the soldiers’ ruthless policies, she trusts their judgment. They alone provide protection from the enemies lurking beyond the city wall.

For her older sister, Rabreah, every g
Kindle Edition, 2, 386 pages
Published August 9th 2016 by Create Space
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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
I read this for SFPBO. It was chosen to be one of the 10 finalists, and I did not like it. There’s a gratuitous overuse of violence and rape towards women, among other things. Like there was sooooooo much misery for the main character that it became torture to read (no pun intended) and I just stopped caring.

I don’t have anything against violence. Love it. I love action and violent movies, but there comes a point where it just becomes unwarranted and I reached my point halfway through.

The writi
Apr 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: spfbo
Sowing is one of those books that seems problematic on the surface and then just gets more and more so the deeper you get into it. Most of those issues stem from the fact that it comes across as rape/oppression fantasy. It seemed to me that the author was trying to write a grimdark YA, but her version of that is framed specifically through the denigration of women and girls. If that’s not enough, the world was lightly done. You can’t see any further than what’s on the page in front of you, with ...more
Dec 23, 2018 rated it did not like it
[TW: attempted rape/sexual assault, physical abuse, psychological abuse]

I'm sorry, but I really did not like this book. At all.

The story takes place in a world where there are humans and a slave-race called the itzalin. We don't learn much about them, except they work in the Itzalin Ward and have grey skin and yellow eyes and are humanoid enough to be able to mate with other humans. They're mentioned infrequently here and there; and they're really the only thing fantastical about the book.

We fol
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author, Angie Grigaliunas, for an honest review.


The nerd in me is losing its s**t right now.

I don’t think you guys understand the painstaking dilemma that is like a raging tsunami building up inside me right now. How am I supposed to go on after this?! There is supposed to be EIGHT books in this series, and I don’t even know if I can wait for book TWO! I’M GOING TO LOSE IT!
I don’t think I can go on…*sigh*.

The Itzalin are a race of creatures
Feb 07, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: spfbo4
Welp. These are always difficult. It can be challenging to review a book that you dislike, but I’m going to give it a good try.

The Sowing is told in the first person from the point of view of two sisters, Ariliah and Rabreah. They are a part of the poorest class of people in a city that’s split into two main peoples: the Hulcondans, and the… uh… the not Hulcondans? The Hulcondans being a group of soldiers who are the ruling class of the city. The people that the Hulcondans oppress have no title
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it
* This is one of the SPFBO finalists *

I picked this up to read and was a little unsure what I would get as the cover looks almost like a cult horror, and there were certainly elements of a cult mentality throughout this. I wouldn't say this is predominantly fantasy, although it is an alternate world, there is little magic in this and it's just in the form of a beaten down slave race who are outside the limits of the city where the main focus of the story is set. This is a dark book, with a LOT o
Dec 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this one since it was labelled a YA novel, but what I got was something that was much more adult than YA, in my personal opinion. There are a lot of very dark topics and a rape scene that didn’t settle well with me, it felt much more like an adult grim dark than a YA novel. It was oddly juxtaposed with an aversion to cursing, with the characters being told to “watch their language” which bothered me a bit.

This is a world where the people are extremely opp
Mark Lawrence
I've not read this book yet, but it is one of ten finalists in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO), selected from 300 entries. So it must be good!

Find out more about the contest here:
Feb 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Baker
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
*I was provided an advanced reader copy for review**

I got this as an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy). Angie is truly a talented author, and her creative world-building talents are shown in the first instalment of her fantasy series Sowing. A dystopian society told in the POV’s of two sisters of widely differing backgrounds, it highlights the cruelty of the world, while at the same time making you want to know more. I spent the book wondering what the outside world must be like, because it was very i
Hey folks! My review of the SPFBO entry SOWING is live. I really liked this one.
kartik narayanan
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNF (my first of the year). I just could not seem to get into the story or care about any character. Oh Well...
Misty Thompson
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dystopia YA books are all the rage. They all seem to have a similar theme, Government absolute power, except for a few things, like they educate their people into thinking they may have hope, they are smart, and whatever have yous. This is not that!

Sowing reminds me of what North Korea looks like, except set in medieval times.

Sowing follows two sisters with two very different ideas of the world they live in, one is defiant while the other believes the people in charge are truly saving them. Seei
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
While I read broadly, I rarely reach for dystopian YA fiction. I have nothing against the genre, but given the choice, I pick other things. That said, I rarely ignore Sarah Chorn’s opinions, and she’s just announced Sowing as her SPFBO 2018 finalist. As one of the supporting judges, I must read it anyway, so why wait?

The story takes place in the nation of Etholia, in a city walled from all around. Militarised Hulcondans rule the city and expect its citizens to follow ruthless policies. They can
Debbie McQueen
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
The only reason I marked this as a 4* instead of 5, is because the first few chapters were confusing with a lot of characters introduced quickly and a lot happening. But, once it got going, and I got a better handle on who was who, I really got into the story. The Sowing switches back and forth between two sisters. The older sister Rabreah, waa hurt and humiliated in the past by the man who wanted to marry her. She has hardened her heart against all men, but also holds a lot of fear. Rabreah als ...more
Andy Peloquin
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'm going to start off with the good:
I have only the highest of praise for the world-building in this book. While we don't get a glimpse outside the city, we know everything there is to know about the culture, technology, and political situation of this one city. I felt like I got a very clear glimpse at every element of the small world in which these characters live, and it was very complete.
Character development was also very on-point! While Arililah's character bothered me a little (too "wimp
Alizabeth Lynn
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had the privilege of reading this book early, and I have nothing bad to say about it. There are parts that weren't to my personal taste, but the author executed them so well, that while I was disturbed, I was also thoroughly engrossed and intrigued by the story and world she created. Her characters have depth and personality that's sadly lacking in a lot of indie books, and to see the care she put into crafting each masterpiece (for that is exactly what they are--Mas and Sorek...*swoon*) was a ...more
Elaine Milton
Jun 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a fabulously well-crafted book. The world is detailed and well-realised, and the characters that inhabit it are very real, behaving like flawed human beings. They have huge depth and complexity, and there are so many shades of grey that at times you sympathise with those who are capable of bad things. I really enjoyed the two points of view of the two sisters who are the protagonists - they are very different people with their own thoughts and opinions, and this worked well to show the s ...more
Jun 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this advanced copy for review and I did not realize the treat I was in for! The story had me hooked from the beginning. I absolutely love the depth of the characters and even though I am finished reading I am still trying to figure each of them out in my mind. I am looking forward to the next book to answer all of the mysteries and loose ends! I really feel the author was extremely clever in how she presented the characters and all their quirks and issues. She did an excellent job of ...more
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have never read a story quite like this one. Sowing is written in first person perspective but switches between two characters: Rabreah and Ariliah. Ariliah gives you a big picture of the world while Rabreah gives a smaller, more intimate one. This dichotomy allows for an amazing and unprecedented read. The conflict between the rebels and the Hulcondans is masterfully done.

I would have liked for the rebels to do more in the way of rebelling but other than that I loved it. Pick it up asap!
Stephanie - Books Less Travelled
Where to start? I mean SO much happens in just this first book, and yet spoilers, so I'll try to stay vague as always, yet still helpful? That may be a little harder this one in ways though. It does technically have several potential and some strong TW triggers, but then it's a Dark Fantasy-Dystopian, so...some things are to be expected. I can think of several other books with similar topics and yet are well loved (including one that had a recent release >.>) So fair warning, yes there is violen ...more
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-arcs
Sowing By Angie Grigaliunas July 24th 2016
Wow what a good book, So complex and suspenseful.
Just about the time you think you have got it figured out BAM the Author takes you down a different road and keeps you guessing. One such incident was the questioning and torture of Rabreah & Edaliah for info on the name of the leader of the rebels, I thought it was a test till the Hulcondan questioning her started cutting her.
This is a heartstring-pulling story ,very well written with such vivid detail. Y
Angela Cuéllar
pooled ink Reviews:


Okay this book was right up my alley. It's an intriguing blend of fantasy and dystopia. While the world-building and monsters beyond the wall build this story upon a fantasy foundation, the plot itself is very dystopian. The humans live within walled cities protected and ruled by the mighty Hulcondan soldiers, but what if the real monsters aren't lurking beyond the border? What if they're hiding in plain sight within their own home? Perhaps the monsters lur
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I want to start by saying I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, it was quite well done. The characters are compelling and the story is well laid out. The author illustrates the tyrannical nature of the society without getting too lost in exposition. While first person narratives are not my cup of tea, this was done well enough that even not caring for the style, I was quite able to be engaged and remain so throughout the read. The initial chapter is a little slow paced, in a way, despite being ...more
Jacqueline Brant
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sowing. The Purification Era.
The author certainly knew her characters and her development of those characters within the story is well done. As far as the plot, just as soon as I thought I had settled on which course events would take, I was most often surprised. The biggest questions for me during my reading were related to two of the main characters' motives and true individual character...and were they connected by some unseen relationship? Since the book is written in first person from two v
Kelly Smith Reviews
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

So, I am particular on what dystopian fantasy I read, because the genre has become overcrowded recently and the last thing I want to do is waste my time with copies of The Hunger Games. And despite the main characters being sisters, that is the only similarity this book has the THG or ANY of the dystopian books you've read lately.
We start out with Rabreah and her little sister Ariliah. Rabreah is a tough girl, a
Stephanie Lunsford
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was honored to be one of the lucky ones to get an advanced copies of this book! It gripped my attention from the start, a tale of 2 sisters' bond that will withstand anything! There are disturbing and dark parts in this book but it only shows the amount of strength these characters have! I fell in love with each for different reasons. This story is more that just about sisters and their bond, its about each finding out what they are truly capable of and how they can make a difference. They hav ...more
J.E. Feldman
Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazing story filled with beautiful, larger-than-life characters! Although a slow start in the beginning (I normally read much faster-paced books with battle and drama on the first few pages), the bond between the two sisters, the structure of their society, and the hints at deeper plots kept me hooked the entire time. "Sowing" is the perfect debut novel for this author and you can already see by the many reviews how much people love it. Do yourself a favor and purchase it! ...more
Eric Morrison
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received an early advanced copy of this book and I loved every second of it. It's very suspenseful and the characters were so real like that I couldn't stop reading. I enjoyed it very much. ...more
Janelle Garrett
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sowing is the second SPFBO finalist book I chose to read. I’m certainly glad I did. There are many, many things to commend about this story. This is nearly a 4.5 star rating, but there were a couple things that bothered me. More on that later.

First, the characters are fantastic. Ariliah and Rabreah are unique, their sister friendship endearing in a way you don’t often see in fantasy. Both had many layers and differing motivations, and their voices were strong and easily decipherable. I could tel
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Angie Grigaliunas (grig-ah-LOO-nahs) is a part-time normal person and full-time author of fantasy/dystopian young adult books. And also some romance. (“She admits it! Murderer!”) She loves Jesus, the woods, and the stars, and has always wanted to be a superhero with a secret identity.

She has completed four books: one about elves that needs a massive revision before it ever sees the light of day, o

Other books in the series

The Purification Era (2 books)
  • Quelling (The Purification Era, #2)

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