Skip to main content


Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky To fix the world they first must break it further. Humanity is a dying breed, utterly reliant on artificial labor and service. When a domesticated robot gets a nasty little idea downloaded into their core programming, they murder their owner. The robot then discovers they can also do something else they never did before: run away. After fleeing the household, they enter a wider world they never knew existed, where the age-old hierarchy of humans at the top is disintegrating, and a robot ecosystem devoted to human wellbeing is finding a new purpose. There is so much to love in Service Model, but one of the things I most love about it is the peculiar blend of charming innocence and insightful cynicism. Uncharles the domestic robot is such a simple soul (though he would state that he has no soul and this is an inaccurate description). He approaches the end of the world with optimism and hope, or whatever equivalent to these emotions h

Blog Tour Review - The Sun and The Void by Gabriela Romero Lacruz

 Blog Tour Review - The Sun and The Void 

by Gabriela Romero Lacruz

In a lush world inspired by the history and folklore of South America, a sweeping epic fantasy of colonialism, ancient magic, and two young women's quest for belonging unfolds.

Reina is desperate.

Stuck living on the edges of society, her only salvation lies in an invitation from a grandmother she's never known. But the journey is dangerous, and prayer can't always avert disaster.

Attacked by creatures that stalk the region, Reina is on the verge of death until her grandmother, a dark sorceress, intervenes. Now dependent on the Doña's magic for her life, Reina will do anything to earn--and keep--her favor. Even the bidding of an ancient god who whispers to her at night.

Eva Kesare is unwanted.

Illegitimate and of mixed heritage, Eva is her family's shame. She tries her best to be perfect and to hide her oddities. But Eva is hiding a secret: magic calls to her.

Eva knows she should fight the temptation. Magic is the sign of the dark god, and using it is punishable by death. Yet, it's hard to deny power when it has always been denied to you. Eva is walking a dangerous path, one that gets stranger every day. And, in the end, she'll become something she never imagined.

What a fantastic, fresh fantasy novel! I really enjoyed The Sun and the Void a lot.

The setting is very South American in feel, which really makes it stand out from the Western European and Far Eastern settings so often seen in fantasy. It's a post-colonial world, that has recently fought for and established its independence from an overseas power, and while it's easy to see some of the influences at work, it's imaginative and innovative and not a direct parallel. The cultural influences are embedded throughout though, in food, music, language and beliefs. 

Although the political circumstances can be felt throughout the novel, it's not a book about political manoeuvring. There are hints and suggestions about what happened and how things stand at the statecraft levels, a few explanations of the war and its key figures, and several of the characters are major political players, but that's not the focus of the novel. Rather it focuses on the smaller players, those not seen as great movers and shakers, or figures of destiny, but who can have a very important and surprising role to play.

One of the core themes of The Sun and the Void is the price of power. This plays out in each of the different character arcs in different ways, and really pulls together the narratives and the characters. What are we prepared to do to get what we want, and what is it we actually want? There's a real complexity to it reflected here. No one wants power just for the sake of it. They want to belong. They want to be loved. They want to be healthy again. They want lost loves returned to them. They want to be respected. The motivations for each character were very skilfully presented, as was the price to be paid. It would be easy to see this as a book with very few good characters, but the truth is more complex than that. People are seduced into doing very dark deeds through various means, and the road into darkness is one that can be very hard to see when you're on it. The slow descent into some very dark places is really captivating. At times it was easy to see what they could not, and at times the reader was also kept guessing, as the novel slowly and steadily moves each piece into position for an exciting climax. 

I loved the magical system and its links with theology too. One particular favourite was the different views people can have of their own religion, best seen in the way Maior's understanding of her religion is so vastly different to that Eva experienced in her home town. As a practicing Catholic with very progressive views myself I really appreciated her take on it over the "Burn the witch!" philosophy of the archbishop.

I also loved the romantic elements, which were also complex and understated. There are a lot of feelings packed into this novel, and the characters themselves seem to struggle to fully understand them for quite a lot of it, which makes for a fascinating spectacle. 

There's a feeling of fate or destiny as people are slowly brought together and what unfolds is thrilling, dynamic and powerful, with a satisfying conclusion to the novel and a few tantalising hints at what might yet unfold.

A bold and visionary new fantasy novel I highly recommend!


The Sun and the Void by Gabriela Romero Lacruz is out now, published by Daphne Press.

I was given a review copy in exchange for an honest review and participation in this Black Crow PR blog tour.


Popular Posts