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The Penitent: Part I

The Penitent: Part I by [A. Keith Carreiro, Hollis Machala, Jamie Forgetta]

The Penitent: Part I by Keith Carreiro is a sprawling sci-fi fantasy novel. It also has a healthy dash of horror, war, and tragedy. Needless to say, it is a little bit intense but it is a satisfying and well-told story. It is about Pall Warren, an ostracized young man who does not know why he is doomed to live on the outskirts of life. Yet he makes peace with this and continues his difficult existence. Slowly, his background is revealed to us, and Pall finds meaning in his journey to find the truth. He pairs up with a mysterious archer, John Savage and the two form an uneasy but loyal partnership.

Pall lives a tough life and it was difficult to read about his daily pain and struggle, almost as terrible as his past. He has a lot of grit and moral strength, and manages to navigate life with his head held high. John is, as they say, a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. I found his parts very entertaining as he was a droll and captivating character- probably my favorite. Towards the end, Evangel is also briefly mentioned- I’m very interested to know what part she plays in Pall’s life.

The story starts off slow and doesn’t shy away from laying out the atrocities and horror of Pall’s life. Some parts are gruesome, violent, and downright depressing but I think those parts were important in forming Pall. They may seem gratuitous, but as the story developed, I could see that this is what made Pall a consistent and strong character. The author brilliantly displays the psychology of people amidst war. The ruthlessness, and ultimately, pointlessness of political struggles seemed to be the root of evil to me.

The Penitent: Part I is an emotional rollercoaster of a story that looks at both sides of life. It shows how hope and despair can easily be a part of one’s fate when one has little control. Ultimately, it is about digging to find the truth and to have an unflinching moral code against one’s enemies. That’s what makes the characters and this story so likable. The nail-biting ending was superb and I nearly wanted to scream at the suspense. A thrilling beginning to a riveting epic fantasy series.

Pages: 293 | ASIN: B07W9F44LK

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