‘The Ninth Rain’ by Jen Williams is a fantasy of epic proportions.
Synopsis: The Jure’lia are invaders and throughout the history of Sarn, they have been defeated but they always came back. The Eborans were key to Sarn’s success however, their tree god and city are dead, they are not what they used to be. Now, a human, a fell-witch and an Eboran are seeking out the answers to the question that is Jure’lia but with some answers, more questions unfold and soon everyone’s lives are on the line.
There are many characters within this story and there are many POV’s. Sometimes the POV will change mid chapter and at first I found this disorientating but you soon get used to it. I quickly realised that with so much happening in different places, you need the POV’s to understand the whole picture. At the beginning of some chapters there are some journal entries/letters from Vintage’s files. I found these both the most difficult to understand as well as the most useful. For me, it became apparent half way through that the entries seemed to foreshadow/enlighten you about things that are soon to be mentioned.
Noon was my favourite character. When I first met her I didn’t think she would become the strong character she is at the end. Her growth is incredible and entirely believable considering the events that lead up to those last few pages. I love that at the beginning she was quiet and content for Tor and Vintage to lead and then at the compound it all changes and suddenly she is confident and completely sure in her abilities. I also shipped her and Tor from the get go. The whole neck situation was the first sign I got that they would progress in a certain direction. Speaking of Tor, he’s an odd one. At times he came across as strong and unruffled and other times, he would seem unsure of himself. I haven’t figured out if that is just his character as a whole or if it correlates to the events he faced.
Vintage annoyed me on occasion with her ‘my darling’ and ‘my dear’. There were too many of them for my taste but I understand they are part of her personality. It gave her her humanity and it fit well with her endless thoughts and obsessive behaviour when it came to the worm people. Aldasair, even though a small side character, was very relatable and I hope he becomes a more focal figure in the coming books. He’s slowly regaining his confidence and interest in the world and I suspect those tarla cards may come in handy with predicting the future.
I had many theories bouncing around my head with this book. I thought quite early on that the parasite spirits are not what they seemed. They didn’t seem to fit with the descriptions of the Jure’lia so I knew they must have been something else, I just didn’t know what. I also believed that the Jure’lia hadn’t gone. I got the feeling, again very early on, that they were still knocking about. I also never trusted that voice in the netherdark. I would also like to say that I OBSESSED over the title of this book. It seemed too obvious a title. And then Tor’s sword was mentioned. I now know that the sequel is called ‘The Bitter Twins’ and I have sneaky suspicion that the books are named after weapons.
I fucking loved it! The world building in this is incredible and I want to know SO MUCH MORE! I want a full, comprehensive history lesson on all the Rains and I would very much like to know where they come from. I have many questions and there were quite a few things mentioned throughout that I hope is elaborated upon as I suspect they will be important. Overall, I think this is an incredible start to the trilogy.
“The question is: what broke our world? Better yet: what poisoned it?”
You can get it here