2018/01/24

Reader Praise for The Ophian Rising

The Ophian Rising - Brian Niemeier

Reader Sebastien LaQroix reviews my new book The Ophian Rising and stands it up against the dreary, nihilistic, and often downright sadistic offerings from the Big Five New York publishers.
The Ophian Rising is the fourth and final book in Brian Niemeier's Soul Cycle series. All I can say is WOW! Mr. Niemeier gives one hell of a farewell to his series, one of the most beautiful and memorable fantasy/sci-fi series out there.
The Ophian Rising (OR) takes place nearly 200 years after Shaiel's failed attempt at universe domination. The cosmos has enjoyed relative peace and prosperity due to the wise and just rule of Astlin, Xander and the rest of the Zadokim. However, there are rebels out there, the Ophians, who view the Astlin and the rest as tyrants and want nothing more than to overthrow them. To complicate things further, Astlin has been dabbling in some forbidden magic in an attempt to bring back her family which, of course, leads to disaster.
Like Souldancer, OR is not a direct sequel in that it takes place 200 years after the events of the previous book. However, I actually enjoy this. Mr. Niemeier moves forward in time to show what a society ruled by immortal Zadokim would look like. And it is a fascinating one where Mr. Niemeier's imagination and creativity shine brightly. We've got ether gates, diamond encrusted swords, horrific monsters made of barbed chains, frozen hells with pits that lead into terrifying abysses, the list goes on. OR, like the rest of the series, injects you with a sense of wonder that's quite rare to find nowadays. It short, it's mind-blowing.
Like all of Mr. Niemeier's novels, OR starts somewhat small in scope with Queen Astlin trying to find the Ophians. Yet, as further players are revealed, the stakes rise higher and higher. By the end, characters are fighting for the fate of the cosmos itself. I know of no other writer who can pull that off so well.
The writing, pacing, and overall structure has improved considerably since the first book. The book itself moves very quickly with things constantly happening, and they only pause enough to let you catch your breath. The novel twists and turns without having things come completely out of left field. You just can't help but drink everything in as it happens.
A whole host of new characters are also introduced and they are all great. I especially love Tallon, the smuggler who REALLY looks up to Jaren Peregrine. The evolution of older characters like Nakvin and Astlin is also something to behold. We've come along way since Nethereal and Souldancer, and these older characters still feel like themselves despite all the suffering and transformations they've undergone. Finally, while we may never get another Shaiel, the villains are also evil and downright terrifying. Mr. Niemeier is also not afraid to kill off major characters. Yet, Mr. Niemeier doesn't do it out of pure sadism like some of the more popular authors out there.
One last word about the series as a whole. Now, the entire series is full of violence, death, evil gods, fates worse than death, betrayal and damnation. Yet, Mr. Niemeier manages to balance all that out with hope, redemption, courage, sacrifice, and good triumphing over evil. With this final novel, Mr. Niemeier has created a work of art and beauty that I believe will stand the test of time. I will be passing along to anyone who wants a way out of the filth and nihilism that seems to plague so much of modern fiction. This, I believe,  is Mr. Niemeier's greatest achievement with the Soul Cycle series.
We've spent a lot of time on this blog shining a spotlight on the decline of Western pop culture. Many readers have asked what can be done to turn back the tide of despair and blandness. The first step is to stop giving money to people who hate you, and the second is like it: Support creators who working to bring truth and beauty back to the market.

4 comments:

  1. Got my copy. Looking forward to reading it.

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  2. Wholeheartedly agree. Even though I don't agree with a lot of what Vox Day says, I fully support what he's doing with Castalia house and Alt-Hero.

    In the end, we get the stories we support. More "conservatives" and right-wing leaning people need to understand this.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah. "Support creators who want to benefit you" follows logically from "Don't give money to people who hate you."

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