Review: The Unremembered (Author’s Definitive Edition)
I received a review copy of THE UNREMEMBERED: Author’s Definitive Edition (Amazon), in advance of the second novel in the series, TRIAL OF INTENTIONS. It’s an epic fantasy from Peter Orullian, and the plot follows Tahn as he travels with his allies, family, and friends to learn how to stand and defeat an evil from ancient times.
I had never read the original printing, so I was excited to dig in to this book.
The start was a bit rough. There was no real background to the setting and I was just thrust into the lives of several characters with no real explanation as to their actions. But after the first few pages, I was hooked. I ended up reading the novel in a single sitting.
THE UNREMEMBERED follows a group of friends and family who are traveling throughout the world to get to a single location in order to fight back against evil beings and a dark god about to be released. The plot itself is worn, having been explored in The Wheel of Time, The Lord of the Rings, and more. However, Orullian does what I can’t say I’ve experienced before. He deftly combines music into his novel. I don’t mean that the plot simply involves music–many novels have done that. I mean the whole book. Music and music theory drive parts of the plot (in fact a majority of it). It informs the characters, it is the basis of various systems of magic, and it is part of the lives these characters live, and of their world. Music can save the world, or damn it. It works incredibly well. You can see the author’s grasp and love for music throughout the book, and it’s fantastic.
I won’t discuss the individual characters in detail, since there are a million. But they easily fit into this world that Orullian has created, and their actions and words always match their drives and personalities. Orullian crafted a world and a system that felt incredibly unique, and was full of mysteries and ideas I found intriguing and captivating. I was initially worried with the glut of characters that were introduced, but Orullian juggled them all masterfully.
It works. I can not lavish enough praise on Orullian’s mastery of language. I simply can’t recall a writer who had such a grasp and focus on vocabulary, pacing, and description in recent memory. I turned every page, impressed by the wordsmithing in the book. The characters leap of the page. Their actions, philosophies, and thoughts are understandable, easy to relate to, and driven in interesting and distinct new ways.
Frankly, to me, this is a work of art on par with the masters of the genre, Jordan, Rothfuss, Tolkien, and more.
- Recommended Age: 13+
- Language: As far as I recall, all in universe, or very mild.
- Violence: It's an epic fantasy. Things die.
- Sex: There is discussion of rape, prostitution and such. Never graphic but present.
Note: When you get this novel, buy the Author’s Definitive Edition. From my conversations with the few people who have read both versions, this new edition of THE UNREMEMBERED has fixed nearly every issue they had with the original. Also, in what must be a first for the “Definitive” edition, this edition is also significantly SHORTER than the original version, which we also reviewed when it first came out (EBR Review).