June 22, 2017

Soleri Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt + Giveaway


Author: Michael Johnston
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Tor Books


Michael Johnston brings you the first in a new epic fantasy series inspired by ancient Egyptian history and King Lear.

The ruling family of the Soleri Empire has been in power longer than even the calendars that stretch back 2,826 years. Those records tell a history of conquest and domination by a people descended from gods, older than anything in the known world. No living person has seen them for centuries, yet their grip on their four subjugate kingdoms remains tighter than ever.

On the day of the annual eclipse, the Harkan king, Arko-Hark Wadi, sets off on a hunt and shirks his duty rather than bow to the emperor. Ren, his son and heir, is a prisoner in the capital, while his daughters struggle against their own chains. Merit, the eldest, has found a way to stand against imperial law and marry the man she desires, but needs her sister’s help, and Kepi has her own ideas.

Meanwhile, Sarra Amunet, Mother Priestess of the sun god’s cult, holds the keys to the end of an empire and a past betrayal that could shatter her family.

Detailed and historical, vast in scope and intricate in conception, Soleri bristles with primal magic and unexpected violence. It is a world of ancient and elaborate rites, of unseen power and kingdoms ravaged by war, where victory comes with a price, and every truth conceals a deeper secret.   

Praise for SOLERI:

"Soleri is bloody and utterly epic. A huge saga in a rich and deeply original world.” ―Lev Grossman, New York Times bestselling author

“Prepare to be ensnared in a web of ruthless politics and unbridled ambition, where even the authority of the emperor may be based on an ancient deception. Johnston builds an immersive world with elements of Egyptian and Roman history, myth, and religion. This story seethes with twists and turns, betrayals and secrets, and will keep you guessing until the very last page.” ―Cinda Williams Chima, New York Times bestselling author


Soleri is a mesmerizing first book in what promises to be an epic fantasy series - and it definitely one that fans of the genre should pick up. I enjoy reading fantasy, but I haven't read much in the high fantasy category. It always seems a bit intimidating, but I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm so glad I did! This was a fantastic novel full of history, myth, magic, politics, family, and so much more. Every aspect of the story was incredibly well crafted - no exceptions. The setting was amazing - full of vivid imagery and detailed descriptions that brought this world to life. I loved all the Egyptian-esque qualities built in. Each location was richly imagined and I enjoyed learning about each place and their inhabitants. I hope the next book allows us even more insight into this world - it's operation, history, politics, and all its secrets. 

The story has a unique narration - it's told from the viewpoints of five different characters, all from the ruling family. Each one has their own personal story lines that intersect with the overarching plot of the novel. I really liked getting to know each of these characters - their lives, problems, dreams, secrets, and everything in between. The only small issue I had with the writing style was the use of the third person POV. I'm a huge fan of the first person and almost always prefer it over any other style. I completely understand why the author chose to use the third person - due to the many main characters, it would've been confusing for them all to be told in the first person. I know this makes sense for many reasons, but I guess I'm pretty stubborn when it comes to this opinion. Please remember that this is exactly that - my own personal opinion - and has absolutely nothing to do with the story or writing itself. It's just a personal preference and I thought I'd share it because it had an impact on my reading experience. Overall, this was a wonderful first book in a promising new fantasy series, and I'm excited to see where the author will take us next. Definitely recommended for fans of fantasy, historical, and paranormal fiction. 
Michael Johnston was born in 1973 in Cleveland, Ohio. As a child and a teen he was an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy. He studied architecture and ancient history at Lehigh University and during a lecture on the history of ancient Egypt, the seed of an idea was born. He earned a master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University, graduating at the top of his class. Michael worked as an architect in New York City before moving to Los Angeles. Sparked by the change of locale, a visit to the desert, and his growing dissatisfaction with the architectural industry, he sought a way to merge his interests in architecture and history with his love of fantasy. By day he worked as an architect, but by night he wrote and researched an epic fantasy novel inspired by the history of ancient Egypt and the tragic story of King Lear. After working this way for several years, he shut down his successful architecture practice and resolved to write full time. He now lives and writes in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

You can find Michael on twitter @mjohnstonauthor

 You can purchase Soleri at the following Retailers:
(10) Winners will receive a Signed Signed ARC Copy of Soleri by Michael Johnston
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter 


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