Friday, 5 August 2022

Review: Beneath the Canyons

Beneath the Canyons Beneath the Canyons by Kyra Halland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this as part of a box set (Patty Jansen's Sword & Magic: Eight Fantasy Novels , and my few Kindle notes are attached to that volume. I'd come across another Kyra Halland book, vaguely recognised the name, and then figured out that she had a book in the box set which I hadn't read. Because she seemed to have a better than average grasp on basic writing mechanics, and I was just coming off a read where the author very much did not have that, I gave it a go even though the premise wasn't 100% me.

There were a couple of elements I disliked. Almost all the men, including the hero (though not during the story), make use of prostitutes; and the heroine spends a large portion of the book under threat of gang rape. If you have a problem with such content, avoid this one. There are no explicit scenes, though.

Other than that, I did enjoy the book, which does a decent job with all three of its genres (fantasy, Western - albeit in a secondary world - and romance; a dystopia is happening elsewhere, but not really onstage). There's plenty of suspense and tension and conflict, which for me were the best part. I could have done with a little more involvement from the heroine in the resolution of the plot, but given her untrained-mage status and the fact that she was a slender young woman surrounded by hard-bitten miners, the fact that she was somewhat ineffectual is believable, I suppose. She does go into danger alone in an ill-advised, headstrong way and have to be rescued by the hero, though, which is another element I don't love.

Despite having some tropes that I'm not a fan of, this is a well-executed novel, and makes it to the bronze tier of my Best of the Year list.

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