Source: Bought from Amazon
Back Cover Blurb:
Falling in love is easy...
...even for Kezi, though she knows her days are numbered. And head-over-heels, come-what-may love is inevitable if her heart's desire is Olus, the Akkan god of the winds.
But accepting death is hard, especially when romance is new.
Falling in love is easy for Olus if his beloved is Kezi, a beautiful mortal, a dancer and rug weaver from the city of Hyte. But facing Kezi's approaching death is unbearable.
Love brings Kezi the will to fight her fate. Love gives Olus the strength to confront his fears. She questions her faith and seeks truth in dark places. He suffers a god's trial when she needs a champion. Together--and apart--they encounter spiders with webs of iron, the cruel lord of the land of the dead, the mysterious god of destiny, and the tests of the Akkan gods. If they succeed, they will be together; but if they fail, Olus will have to endure the ultimate loss, and Kezi will have to make the supreme sacrifice.
This story follows the fairy tale style. It is written in first person, present tense. Most stories are written in past tense, and I could never quite forget that this was a story I was reading--I wasn't able to become immersed in the story. I also frequently had trouble following what was going on, particularly when dancing was described. Perhaps due to the use of present tense, the story also seemed a bit more simplistic than I am used to reading in YA.
The worldbuilding is good and the idea is fairly clever. However, the characters aren't very deep. There is kissing in this book, but no sex. The magic in the book is confined to the powers of the gods. The story encourages the conclusion that if a god can't be seen or touched, then it can't be found...or isn't real at all. I'd rate this book as "clean fun."
Excerpt: Chapter One
I am huge in my mati's womb, straining her wide tunic. She is Hannu, Akkan goddess of the earth and of pottery. My pado, Arduk, god of agriculture, sits at Hannu's bedside, awaiting my birth.
It is too tight in Hannu's belly! I thread my strong wind into her womb, and my strong wind thrusts me flying out. Fortunately, Arduk catches me in his big, gentle hands.
Although Hannu lies in bed and Arduk stands holding me, we are also floating above the earth. In the air over volcanic Mount Enshi hovers Enshi Rock. From its center the temple rises: our home, a tower of porous white stone mounted on four stout stone legs. Never has there been such a temple!
When my diaper cloth is tied in place, I kick. When I'm lowered into my sleeping basket, I cry. If a blanket is tucked around me, I bellow. I am the god of the winds, and I hate confinement. Shame on me! I fear it.
Hannu and Arduk name me Olus. I call them by their own names, as is the custom.
Soon I can see and hear and smell across great distances and through objects, just as the other Akkan gods can. I hear the prayers of our worshipers, which are like the rattle of peddle in a pan, too numerous to sort out.
When I am a month old, I smile from my parents' bed at the faces of the other Akkan gods and goddesses as they pass by above me. Meanwhile my merry wind tickles their ankles.
But when Puru, the god of destiny, tilts his head down at me, my merry wind fades away, and I wail. His face is swathed entirely in orange linen, as is the rest of him. I can see through ordinary linen, but not Puru's.
Perhaps he can peer through his linen, or perhaps he smells me or only knows I'm there. When he speaks, no constant breath pushes his words, so he stops after each one. "Olus...will--"
"Hush, Puru," Hannu says, frowning.
"He's too young to hear about his fate," Arduk adds.
Puru says, "Olus...will...have...no happiness until he gains what he cannot keep."