The Trials of Koli
by M.R. Carey
It’s my stop on the “TheTrials of Koli” blog tour! Thanks very much to Compulsive Readers, Orbit Books and author M.R. Carey who have kindly provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
If you’d like to learn more about this book and/or the Rampart Trilogy, check out the other blogs on the tour, see what people have to say on Goodreads and head over to the author’s Twitter page. If this sounds like your kind of thing, you’ll find the book on Kindle and paperback on Amazon UK.
The Trials of Koli is the second novel in M R. Carey’s breathtakingly original Rampart trilogy, set in a strange and deadly world of our own making.
Beyond the walls of Koli’s small village lies a fearsome landscape filled with choker trees, vicious beasts and shunned men. As an exile, Koli’s been forced to journey out into this mysterious, hostile world. But he heard a story, once. A story about lost London, and the mysterious tech of the Old Times that may still be there. If Koli can find it, there may still be a way for him to redeem himself – by saving what’s left of humankind.
While I’m sure the second book would probably work as a standalone read, it’s best enjoyed as part of the series to get a full understanding and appreciation for the story. In book one, we followed Koli Woodsmith on his journey from child to man. As with all children of age, Koli and his friends Haijon and Spinner are tested in a traditional ceremony in which the whole village turn up to see if you have the ability to awaken a piece of ancient technology.
Without giving too much away, Koli has now become an exile, forced to leave his home town and to take on the name of Koli Faceless. This gives us the perfect opportunity to learn more about the world in which he lives and the people in the surrounding towns and villages.
Every few chapters the story flicked to the view of Spinner, Koli’s childhood friend. Spinner is still in Mythen Rood and as Koli continues his journey, Spinner is there to keep us up to date with what’s happening back at home. In my opinion, Spinner’s voice was a great addition to this book. The first book had focused solely on Koli and I had assumed that this book would have been the same. I was pleasantly surprised to hear from Spinner, not only because it meant we could resume the story of the residents of Mythen Rood, but also because provided a sense of urgency and danger to keep you on your toes.
I really enjoyed this story and it was a great sequel to the first book, filling in gaps and answering questions that we were previously unknowns. I particularly liked hearing more about the carnivorous trees and plants that surround Mythen Rood, especially the introduction of choker trees, whose seeds will immediately take root in a person’s body should they make contact with the skin… scary, right?!
A blend of sci-fi, adventure and fantasy, this was a really engaging read. If you made me choose, I’d probably say that the first was my favourite of the two, but another cliff hanger at the end means I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen in the final book.
Overall rating: The Rampart Trilogy is shaping up to be a fantastic series of dystopian fantasy. The second in the trilogy, “The Trials of Koli” was a really enjoyable read, exploring an already well-established world in even more detail. This was a strong 4 stars for me!
Don’t forget to check out the reviews of other blogs on the tour and if this sounds like your kind of book, support the author by picking up a copy on Amazon UK or in your local bookshop.