Carisa Catherine's Reviews > The Heretic's Guide to Homecoming: Book One: Theory

The Heretic's Guide to Homecoming by Sienna Tristen
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it was amazing

I think I have to finally resign myself to the fact that I will never be able to be as eloquent as Tristen, and just write my review of this book honestly, regardless of the outcome, so here goes.

This book has got to be one of my favourite books of all time. All. Time.

Heretic's Guide To Homecoming: Book One starts off as a slow burn but has quite the payoff. By the time the reader is coming into the story, our main protagonist Ronoah (Genoveffa Elizzi-denna Pilanovani -- trust me these names are important) has already been through so much, gone as far as this poor anxious man can possibly get on his own. Luckily, this would be where our other main protagonist Reilin comes in to play. This tale follows their adventures to the Pilgrim State, told through the eyes of Ronoah.
It's easy for me to forget that I do not have an objective, reliable storyteller, and get lost in Ronoahs thoughts. I can relate a lot to Ronoah's anxieties and see a lot of myself in him; this is likely why I can simply accept his reality as the truth, and become so enthralled in the story. (Note; I literally had 2 panic attacks with/because of Ronoah). Reilin, on the other hand, is exactly the type of being I love to have in my life - outgoing, carefree, all while making sure Ronoah stays honest and attempting to keep him level-headed (I think). Reilin keeps Ronoah as well as the reader on their toes, as you try to keep up with them and their rules. This character dynamic is very interesting to watch grow and develop and change over the course of the book. When I talk to people about this book, I tend to warn them that they may hate Reilin for a while but to wait and remember who is telling this story.

One of my favourite elements of this book are the small "breaks" (for lack of a better term) in the main story. Once in a while, we get to read and experience smaller stories throughout the story: usually folklore or old wives tales. I can't get too much into these without spoiling them, but I will warn you that they will break your heart.

I found that part one and two of this book took me a long time to get through, as I was absorbing as much of the information as I could and I was really taking my time (probably also because I didn't want the book to end). On the other hand, I finished part three so quickly, and could hardly put it down. I haven't been this invested in a book since high school. I was back into my habit staying up late with a flashlight under the covers because I just need to finish *one more chapter*. The only exception to this was when I needed to take a break after Tristen broke my heart. I needed a full day of recovery. Sienna Tristen does make up for this later on in the book, providing some much-needed aftercare.

In addition to all that, Tristen does such a good job of planting seeds of thought into your mind for later reference, and you don't even realize until it's too late. Nothing is in this book for no reason. Every line has a purpose. Every line is beautifully written. I am rereading for a third time now and still realizing things I didn't notice before.

I recommend this book to everyone and anyone who likes to read. Particularly those who find they are in a mental rut or are dealing with their own battles. Living through Ronoahs brain helps you figure out your own, trust me on this. There's a reason they advertise the book as a "mental health narrative disguised as a fantasy novel"

Plus, there's a map. How could a book be wrong if there's a map in it?

TLDR: Seriously, read this book.
The characters and stories and the amount of thought that went into it need to be appreciated.

Full disclosure: I was roommates with Sienna Tristen for 2 years, but I can guarantee you I would be recommending you this book whether I knew them or not.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
April 25, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
April 25, 2018 – Shelved

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