Sunday 4 February 2024

BOOK REVIEW - The Quelling: A Trilogy by C.L. Lauder

The Quelling: A Trilogy
Series: Book 1
Author: C.L. Lauder
Genre: Speculative / Fantasy
ISBN: 9781632997654
Publication Date: 16 January 2024

Book Description:

Befriend your enemy, save your friend...

When Kyjta accidentally brands herself with an alien fluid while plotting revenge, she knows her fate is sealed. As one of the Stained, her skin glistens star-bright, and the creatures sent by the Rhemans to scavenge for bodies will have no trouble finding her. One night, while sheltering during a raid, Kyjta forms an unexpected pact with a Rheman rebel to protect a young girl, Calipsie, who’s fallen into her care. Days later, when Calipsie is taken, Kyjta abandons precaution to go after her. Facing impossible odds and allied by a Rheman she’s not sure she can trust, Kyjta must not only rescue Calipsie, but also face the Rheman overlord who’s taken a disturbing interest in her.


Perfect for fans of Divergent and The Hunger Games! The Quelling is a captivating, dystopian fantasy about loss and love, oppression and rebellion, and delves into the power of the individual against a dominant evil.

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The Quelling thrusts readers into the captivating world of Aurora Saura, where our main protagonist Kyjta grapples with the consequences of branding herself with alien fluid. With her star-bright skin making her an easy target, Kyjta unexpectedly allies with a Rheman rebel to protect the young Calipsie. The narrative unfolds with themes of love, loss, rebellion and oppression, delivering a compelling story reminiscent of fan favourites like Divergent and The Hunger Games.


Diving into the book was a rollercoaster of emotions. The characters, especially Kyjta, Calipsie, and the mysterious Kranik, brought the story to life. Despite a hefty info dump early on, the world-building gradually unveiled a rich history and intricate societal structure that added depth to the plot.

The dynamics between characters, particularly Kyjta and Kranik, added layers to the narrative. Although the visual storytelling was a bit confusing at times, it beautifully depicted the characters' experiences. Kyjta's echoes of Katniss Everdeen contributed a familiar yet impactful touch.

The plot's premise kept me hooked, though there were moments of pacing issues and filler chapters. The transition between Merrick and Kranik showcased the author's skill in handling conflicting personalities seamlessly. While I occasionally had to backtrack due to the initial info dump, the story gained momentum, culminating in a satisfying conclusion.

In a nutshell, The Quelling blends dystopian elements with character-driven storytelling. Despite minor pacing hiccups, the book offers an imaginative and engaging experience. This is a great start to the series and a must-read for fans of dystopian fantasy.


Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Author

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