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Monday, August 9, 2021

Review: Akin by Robin Murarka

 I was given a free copy of this book to review. Since I like books that take time to world build

You can find the book HERE on AMAZON

 I picked it up. Below is my review:

The opening prologue does a wonderful job setting the tone of the novel as we read of a man who wakes to a nightmarish vision and the belief he had taken his own son’s life. The end of the prologue sets the reader with an interesting question regarding the purpose of tears. “Perhaps it was pain, or perhaps it was beauty. You will learn, as you get older, that a man can cry for both.”


From there we meet Aydan, a man who is frequented by dreams. We learn of Jacub and the effort to remove his mind of possession, finally leading to an experience called the Ascendance, ironically in a pit. It is word images such as this that really draw the brilliance of the narrative. The author does well building a world and introducing ideas such as Kinda, Saal-Ind, Fayem, and a great tree in the center of the world.


Overall, the story loosely follows the Hero’s Journey model with a bit of an existential twist. As Aydan leaves his known existence he ventures out, finding himself at one point in a cave with the hurt Samaye and… something shuffling in the darkness. He assumes the name Akin when he meets Kaius though the text leads the reader through the conflict of the new and old identity. He travels to a temple city and an oracle. Aydan / Akin continually expands his world to one much larger than himself, though the opening prologue continues to resonate with each dark night, each moment of reflection or tears. 

There are several nods to great epic moments in literature with chapters such as the Leviathan or Midas (though no literal reincarnation of either) followed by a fight. The author’s fight narrative was perhaps the highlight of the book for me with prose such as “They fight as we predicted they would… a bloodthirsty ary. They burn far too bright, and cannot last the course of this war” and one of my favorites, “You did not die in hiding, my friend.”


I won’t give spoilers here, but in a good Heroes’ Journey form, Aydan / Akin returns home to his father and to see if there can be a place for the new person he has come to be or if he would have to leave.


Overall, the writing is concise and clear, without long drawn-out sentences. This makes the philosophical aspects of the book easy to digest and integrate well with the action and aspects of journey. If you like stories dependent on world building where the reality of human nature are not glossed over, this is a great read.


I was given a copy of the book for review. The opinions are my own.

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