Book One of the Revisions to the Truth Series
By J. Kyle McNeal
Birthrights is the debut novel by author J. Kyle McNeal. An epic fantasy written in a style similar to that of J.R.R. Tolkien or George R.R. Martin, Birthrights presents a world where secrets rule, corruption is everywhere, and magic has faded to legend.
The novel follows two young men from opposite backgrounds as they come of age and learn to navigate a world on the brink of civil war. Whym, the last heir of a disgraced family, is given the opportunity to leave his humble roots to apprentice to become a seeker. While Quint, the son of a prominent religious figure, shuns his religion to fight against a corrupt government. However, both men soon learn that not everything is as it appears, and the world is not black and white.
To be honest, I am only about half way done with the book. Not due to a lack of interest, but a lack of time. Birthrights, so far, has been an exciting and engrossing read. I find myself having trouble putting it down once I start. Sometimes I have needed to force myself to walk away due to other commitments.
I am always a little wary when I pick up a book and comparisons have been made to authors like Tolkien and Martin. But I think those comparisons are accurate. It also reminds me a little of Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen in that each section starts off with a quote or tidbit from a character or book associated with the story and that directly relates to the coming action Also, like in the Tearling novels, there is a feel that this story could be in the not-too-distant future or the past.
The chapters are rather short, so it is easy to find a stopping point if the reader needs it. However, I am struggling a little following the timeline of the story. Most sections begin with a marker in turns (years) or moons (months). But time tends to jump forward and backward, especially when switching from Whym’s storyline to Quint’s.
At this point, I would recommend Birthrights to fans of fantasy. I am thoroughly enjoying it so far and hope to find time soon to speed through the rest of the book (full review will follow at that time). The writing is solid, and I am invested in both Whym and Quint’s stories. The secondary characters are likable and intriguing as well; I hope to learn more about them as the story progresses. Given what I have read so far, the Revisions to the Truth series has a lot of potential and can be a very powerful series.
If you are interest in learning more about Birthrights or purchasing the book, here are some links: