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(The Chinjoka Saga #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  23 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Askari, Dhala, and Gyam grew up as childhood friends during happier days for the Chinjoka, an Iron Age people with the ability to shapeshift, but now they must learn their place among the tribe while dealing with both a devastating plague and war with the Misiq.

Ena is a young warrior for the more savage Misiq, a tribe whose cruelty exemplifies their deity—the Angry God. Th
ebook, 202 pages
Published February 19th 2018 by NineStar Press
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Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqia
3.5 Stars...
I received this book from NetGalley. Initially, what drew me in was the incredible cover art and the blurb. Fantasy being one of my favorite genres, I went for it.

The delicacy and attention Keys spent on world building deserves serious praise. Without telling the reader outright, Keys gently shows us the life and culture of the Chinjoka, a triple caste, shapeshifting people on the brink of extinction due to a plague.

Their once allies, now enemies, the Misiq are also shapeshifters, b
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
*“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

" You must follow the path set before you even if it is not the one you envisioned for yourself. "

I went through so many different stages while reading Aerie.

Confusion was first. The book is rich in details and describtions. As typical for the Fantasy genre.
There are many creatures I couldn't really picture in my head. Very detailed burial ceremonies and a bit complicated caste system.
But the
I got this book via Netgalley and I was pretty pumped, because it looked really interesting. I started it one night and read the first third in one sitting because the premise was so intriguing and the worldbuilding was really neat and inventive. But then when I finished it, I just felt that the second half didn't live up to the promise of the first half in a lot of ways, which left me frustrated, because I really enjoyed the writing style and felt that this book had a lot of potential. I would ...more
Sarah Meerkat
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recieved and arc from Netgalley

I truly wish the glossary of terms was in the front of the book rather than the back. That would have made this book a lot easier ti read.

This book while excellent gets bogged down in the world building of it. There is so much it gets overwhelming at times and details get lost. I had a hard time picturing exactly what their shifter forms looked like. Are they giant eagles or something more harpy/dragon/gargoyle and the case of Ena giant cats.

The world is fascinati
Colin Hardy
Feb 26, 2018 rated it liked it
The concept of the story is interesting as it reifies and incorporates spirit animals into human castes within a hunter/gatherer society. This is also layered with a magic system centred on healing and the intervention of deities in everyday life. As such, this is quite a complex and layered world. The reader is faced with metamorphosis as natural part of the world, with those who manifest in particular ways becoming members of higher social castes. All of this is revealed as the story progresse ...more
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Title: Aerie
Author: John Keys
Publisher: NineStar Press Publications
ISBN: 978-1-948608-12-1
Buy Link:
Reviewer: Teresa Fallen Angel
The Chinjoka Saga 1

Askari, Dhala, and Gyam grew up as childhood friends during happier days for the Chinjoka, an Iron Age people with the ability to shapeshift, but now they must learn their place among the tribe while dealing with both a devastating plague and war with the Misiq.
Ena is a young warrior for the more savage
3 stars

Synopsis: Dhala is a healer. In a world that depends on the shifter castes, he is looked down upon because he has never shifted. Gyam is a flying shifter, and the last of his kind. Because a disease has been wiping out the races, and all the shifter healers have been killed off. Their childhood friend, Askari is a warrior shifter. Gyam hates Dhala because he blames him for the only other flying shifter dying of the mysterious disease.
Dhala's mother is sure that he is meant to be some so
Feb 21, 2018 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I read a little more than half of this book, but it didn't engage me at all and I realised that even if I forced myself through the rest, I wouldn't feel comfortable giving it a star rating, so I might as well just leave it.

There were several reasons why this book wasn't working for me. First of all, there were many new words, which isn't unusual in fantasy stories, but in this case I felt like we were hit by a lot of unfamilia
Corrie DeWolfe (Corrie's Book Nook)
-NetGalley ARC-

The premise of this book is what reeled me in. Shifters, YA, M/M romance. Sadly, it was so slow. The world building wasn't holding my attention. There was a moment or two of fast-paced action, then it slowed right down again. There was some M/M action going on, which I was excited about. But the scenes were not written that well. You could tell they were written by a male, and lacked any kind of imagination. My favourite character wasn't even the main protagonist, Dhala. It was hi
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt
This is such an amazing book.. The world building is impressive. I had a little problem in the beginning to understand some of the new terms and names. I really enjoyed this book, and can't wait for the next one.

Thanks to the publisher and author for granting me this copy.
Stefanie Stokes
Jun 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
Ebook Provided by NetGalley.

DNF 12%. Sci-Fi is not my thing I don't think. Or at least not this one. Weird names, info-dumps I forgot a minute later, no visible plot.
I requested Aerie from NineStar Press, LLC on NetGalley based on the description and the fact that it is a blend of fantasy and LGBTQIA+ genres.

Aerie sort of throws you in the world with little exposition. It took me a second to understand what was happening and why it was relevant. The writing is solid enough, however, lacks the descriptions that would have enriched the experience for me as a reader and made the world easier to comprehend.

The fantasy world of Aerie is set in Iron Age, which is
Don Bradshaw
rated it liked it
Feb 11, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Dec 16, 2018
Bretton Coppedge
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm
This book is a coming of age story centered around an unique and beautiful mythology. You can tell that the basis for the culture is early Native American but it has enough of its own new aspects to make it truly original. Askari, Dhala and Gyam are best friends that belong to the three different castes in their society. The highest caste, similar to knights, can shift into eagle like forms. The second caste can grow plates to defend themselves and take the role of soldiers. The lowest caste can ...more
Jason Bradley
rated it it was amazing
Feb 07, 2018
Andrew Peters
Cross-posted from Queer Sci Fi: Four young men discover their soulmates, and one, a higher purpose in his tribe, in a sweet tale enriched by a fantasy perspective that is evocative of an ancient indigenous era.

The story focuses on a magical, hunter-gatherer tribe, the Chinjoka, wherein Dhala is of a caste (Saat) who are healers and custodians to their hunter and warrior brothers. It is a mark of shame that he cannot shift like the valiant members of his kind. He’s also tragically in love wit
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Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtiqa
I received an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I technically would rate 3.5 stars, but I'm rounding up.

In almost every high fantasy book I've read, I get lost in the world building. I'm thrown head first into unknown lands with unknown creatures, just sort of floundering about and trying to get my feet under me. The first few pages of Aerie were no different--until I got smart enough to read the glossary. Once I read the glossary, the characters and their word
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