The Heretic's Guide to Homecoming: Book One: Theory by Sienna Tristen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I think I just found one of my most favorite books of all time.
Even if the novel didn't remind me of Cat Valente's best writing, with all its poetry couched in prose, the way the stories within stories kinda blows me away.
But you know what really speaks to me the most?
This novel is about awe. Hope. Regaining spirit, driving forward your dreams, fighting anxiety, and finding wonder.
Quite aside from that, the novel has a truly delicious and deep worldbuilding that is matched or perhaps overmatched with the depth of characterization. On the surface, it's a novel about a scholar putting his books away to fully experience the world no matter what anyone thinks and taking up with a fascinating traveler.
But that's like saying LoTR is about some short person taking out the trash.
As I was reading, I counted three times I was brought to tears. The first was probably the hardest hitting. The traveler's rules for our hapless scholar put him through a profound and genuine change, revealing his heart's innermost desires, smashing walls and unearthing all the buried dreams of a lifetime. The courage and the point of it and the execution floored me.
And that might have been more than enough for any novel, but this one forges forth and gives us some of the most engaging reveals I've ever read. Never mind that some themes might have been explored in older fantasy novels.
The author's take on these themes is superior. Courageous. Delightful.
Am I in full-on crush mode right now?
You better F***ing believe it.
I plan on reading this again. And again. At delighted leisure. There is nothing about this that isn't uplifting, even if it is often difficult. Or even more than difficult. You could call it an artist's journey, but it is as valid for self-discovery, self-actualization, or even just accepting yourself and falling in love with life and your own destiny. :)
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