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“What does it mean to call a place home?”

The Jade SunContinuing his Realm of the Prophets series, E.J. Doble is back with another deeply profound philosophical fantasy adventure in The Jade Sun. Equal parts wondrous and meditative, this story takes you on an illuminating emotional journey that will warm your heart for days to come.

The Jade Sun continues the story of the young and precocious Prophet My’ala, who has quite literally rocked everyone’s world off its axis with her revelations and choices at the end of book 1. Now wandering the vast and dangerous desert in search of a new home for her people, she starts to be haunted by a new conundrum. For, how can she find a new safe haven for her people if she doesn’t even know what defines a place as home?

Now, The Jade Sun is admittedly very similar in its set-up and execution to its predecessor, The Crescent Moon. It returns us to the highly atmospheric desert setting, there’s a similar enigmatic wise old mentor figure, and it once again goes hard on the soul-searching and philosophising. Yet at the same time, it’s a completely different beast and somehow manages to feel extremely fresh and exciting.

The way that Doble takes you along on My’ala’s messy journey of self-discovery and emotional growth is just so powerful, and I really enjoyed seeing her grapple with all her new revelations in this instalment. There’s an innate sense of innocent wonder to her perspective that not only adds so much magic to this already marvellous world, but also allows Doble to explore some harsh realities through a safe lens.

And with the narrative in The Jade Sun being so meditative and low on the action, the character work is just really able to shine. Yes, most of the characters do largely feel like the embodiment of the different themes that are explored, yet that does not mean that they aren’t painfully realistic and beautifully human at the same time.

The importance and power of familial love becomes especially prominent in The Jade Sun, and I just loved how hard the complicated dynamic between My’ala and her ailing father hit me in the feels. Their interpersonal struggles interwove so naturally with the overarching theme of ‘home’ this instalment, which made this story much more relatable and impactful than I was anticipating.

Before starting The Realm of the Prophets series, I would never have guessed that I could be so into philosophical fantasy, but leave it to E.J. Doble to just completely entrance me with his stupidly gorgeous and lyrical prose. Moreover, I really like that this series has a lot of the same qualities and appeal that the beloved cozy fantasy genre has, except it is even more quiet and introspective.

I am not saying that the theme work and messaging is extremely subtle in this series, but it’s quite impressive to me how it never even comes close to feeling preachy or corny. And even though I personally connected and resonated a bit more with the thematic exploration in The Crescent Moon than in The Jade Sun, there is simply no denying that Doble executed his vision to perfection once again.

While each of the books in the Realm of the Prophets series tells a wonderfully satisfying self-contained story, I am already counting down the days until I can return to this world. If you are looking for a story that offers both wonderful escapism and challenging food for thought, then I can’t recommend The Jade Sun highly enough!

Thank you to the author for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Jade Sun

The Jade Sun

The Jade Sun

The Jade Sun

The Jade Sun

The Jade Sun

The Jade Sun

The Jade Sun

Esmay Rosalyne

Esmay is a self-proclaimed professional book devourer from The Netherlands. While (dark) fantasy will always have her heart, she is also a big indie/self-pub enthusiast and will probably read anything if the premise sounds intriguing enough. Or, you know, if it promises complete emotional destruction. When not reading books, she is probably reviewing books, talking about books, or watching videos of fellow bookworms talking about books.

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