The Unspoken Name
A. K. Larkwood's The Unspoken Name is a stunning debut fantasy about an orc priestess turned wizard's assassin.
What if you knew how and when you will die?
Csorwe does—she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.
But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and...more
I rarely ever not finish a book, but this is genuinely making me miserable. And I just can't do it. Full review to come.
The Unspoken Name is a terrifically-written debut that merged science fiction, space-opera, and high fantasy into one inventive book that’s incredibly suitable for SFF enthusiast.
One look into the striking cover art by Billelis, and I already wanted to speak about this book. My urge to read this book increased when both Nicholas Eames—the author behind The Band series— and Dyrk Ashton—the author behind Paternus ...more
Where has this queer high fantasy book been all my life? Kai is shooketh.
I wish I knew where to start. There are so many aspects of this book that filled me with pure joy: frenemies, world building, characters, twists, diversity. No hard feelings!!! Ugh.
I'm going to start with the one thing that could have been improved: the pacing. Overall, this is a finely plotted story. It spans over 8 to 9 years and I think it wouldn't have hurt to stretch ...more
"Unspoken and Unspeakable One, Knight of Abyss, Overseer of the Eaten Worlds, praise and reverence unto your Chosen Bride. May she intercede for us."
What an exceptional debut! The Unspoken Name is difficult to summarize; the story is an ambitious blend of epic high fantasy and space opera/science fiction, which will tickle the fancy of fans of both tremendously. From the very beginning, I got the vibe that this book would be the lovechild of the writing styles and world building of ...more
Thank you so much, Tor, for my ARC!!!
This story sounds incredible.
Tor, continuing to bring heavy fantasy game in 2020
This sounds EPIC!! ...more
Actual Rating: 2.5 stars
“You frightened of ghosts? Whatever it is you’re scared of in the dark, that’s what you become.”
The cover, the synopsis and early reviews all made me believe that I was going to read something very special! Unfortunately, I am not impressed by this debut. I wish I did but It was just acceptable for me!
I had 2 problems with the book, the writing which was too dense for me and affected all other things in the story and the ...more
The Unspoken Name is a commendable fantasy debut with fascinating worldbuilding ideas.
With so many fantasy debuts cropping up every year, it is not an easy task to differentiate oneself from the rest. In this respect, Larkwood has created an interesting setting that blended old-world god worship that bestows magic, and science fiction or technological elements such as skyships and a dimensional plane called the ...more
*special thanks to Tor for sending me an arc of this in exchange for an honest review ...more
Thank you NetGalley and Tor Books for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
What a fascinating premise to this new fantasy novel. How can anyone who's a fan of the genre resist? Unfortunately, the reality fell short of the premise, which is always a disappointment.
The first part of the book dragged more than it needed to, and then I noticed a pattern throughout the rest of it until I arrived at the fourth and final section of The Unspoken Name ...more
Coming up with a way to first introduce The Unspoken Name in a review is, at the very least, complicated. This is a novel with many layers and many aspects that cohabit peacefully with one another, and to put focus on one before the others would be to build wrongful expectations for what is the end result.
...and there I tricked you by giving you what I feel like should be ...more
But the mountain where the monastery is happens to be but a small corner of ...more
“Nothing in this world has earned the power to frighten you, Csorwe”
The Unspoken Name is the first book in The Serpent Gates series by A.K. Larkwood, and bloody hell folks, what a debut this is! Fast paced, sophisticatedly written, genre blending - I’m absolutely certain this is set to be well loved amongst many SFF readers alike.
Wait, that’s all you need to know, right? That’s enough to make you add the book to your to-be-read list immediately, right? Well it should be! But for those ...more
And even better, The Unspoken Name is a truly wonderful book. It grabbed my attention on the first page and wouldn’t let go. To me, it’s got the classic feel of the best of Le Guin, while also being progressively fresh, exciting and new, with story and sensibilities akin to something like R.J. Barker's Age of Assassins ...more
Advance thanks to TOR and NetGalley for my ARC.
Reading and review post closer to release date.
I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Csorwe (pronounced like 'doorway') is a young orc priestess, and she has been chosen to serve as the Unspoken One's vessel and will be sacrificed when she turns fourteen. She is content with her ...more
The Unspoken Name is the first book in A.K. Larkwood's debut series, The Serpent Gates.
This one is getting a ton of love ...more
I want to thank NetGalley & Tor Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I feel really surprised that this is a debut book and I feel very happy to have read it before its release date. This is a very ambitious but very well executed fantasy that I think takes the genre to a new place and gives it a lot of originality, especially due to its subtle mix with sci-fi. That's why I highly recommend it if you're like me, a fan of fantasy, and feel that you have already ...more
An extraordinary debut from a fresh and exciting new voice in fantasy!
It has been a while since I added a book by an unknown author to my tbr that fast. It was unavoidable though, as the blurb of the Unspoken Name spoke to me! On the day of her inevitable death as a sacrificial bride to the god of desolation, Csorwe is gifted a choice. She can ignore her fate and walk away from this ...more
Hold on, let me:
1.) Pause my World of Warcraft raid.
2.) Put away my Magic the Gathering deck.
3.) Tell my Dungeon Master to GTFO.
Because I know what I'm doing for the foreseeable future and it involves devouring this book from start to finish.
And what a wild ride it was. What a completely innovative, unique, entertaining roller coaster. I will admit the first 30% had me nervous - it was a little unstructured, a little meandering. And then ...more
With an original blend of genres and a setting with a time span of years, this is definitely a story that took it's time evolving, growing and being created. From the full character development to the world building, this story was heavy on the details and little was left to the imagination.
All in all a great start to a series and something fresh and fun for ...more
"The secret of greatness is toknow when you should risk the wrath of a god."
The Unspoken Namehas everything I love in fantasy books: badass female assassins, a smouldering f/f slow burn romance, a self-destructive gay who just wants to be loved, and a chance to become a martyr for a god ... and then deciding to join the villain for a life of pleasure and rebellion instead.
If you love fantasy novels as much as I do, then The ...more
The Unspoken Name is an utterly captivating epic coming-of-age fantasy novel from a debut author who has immediately landed on my auto-buy list. The premise of an orc priestess destined to be her cult’s sacrifice who is instead swept away by a dashing ambitious wizard and trained to be his deadly right hand is bold and exciting, but I wasn’t prepared for how thoroughly this would enthral me. It’s an early contender for my favourite read ...more
You have looked your foretold death in the face and turned from it in defiance. Nothing in this world or any other deserves your fear.
On my blog.
Rep: lesbian mcs, gay mc, bi side character
Galley provided by publisher
You know when you finish a book and you have a lot of feelings and not a whole lot of words and so you think, I’ll just leave this review til I find the words, but then you never find them and you end up having to write a rambling review that’s basically just READ THIS BOOK a ...more