I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.River Gate by Kay L. Moody
Series: The Elements of Kamdaria #5
Published by Marten Press on 2020-03-10
Length: 200 pages
Reviewing eARC from Author
Reading Challenges: 2020 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge, 2020 New Release Challenge, COYER All Year 2020
The people of Kamdaria are angry.
The empire is full of unrest. The aristocratic citizens of the Crown are angry at the emperor for lying about their enemy. The middle-class citizens of the Gate are angry at the state of their once great empire. And the poor, desperate citizens of the Storm are beginning to awake after years of oppression.
If Talise doesn't gain back their loyalty soon, it might be lost forever.
River Gate by Kay L. Moody is the fifth installment of her novella series The Elements of Kamdaria. I have needed this book like I need air since finishing the first four in December. The series follows Talise, a Master Shaper from the Storm, as she works directly under the emperor to protect the people of Kamdaria. Please note: I will do my best to make this review as spoiler free as possible. However there may be spoilers to previous installments in this review.
Talise is angry and hurt at the beginning of River Gate. Aaden is on a mission, infiltrating the rebel faction that kidnapped Talise in the previous installment. She begged him not to go, but he still went, and now she questions his loyalty to her and the emperor. Talise isn’t one to trust easily. She has few friends, however those she counts as friends she’s fiercely loyal to….at her own detriment. During the previous books, we learn an important secret about Talise. That secret plays a big role in River Gate. It is no longer a secret, and Talise must come to terms with her new role.
This secret along with the secret the emperor kept comes to light. The citizens’ reaction is the catalyst for this story. Talise is sent by the emperor to the Gate (the middle ring of Kamdaria, where most of the citizens live) to win back the loyalty of the people lest they side with the rebel faction. I found this element of the story fascinating. It is the first glimpse the readers have gotten of the socioeconomic status of Kamdaria. We’ve been given hints along the way of how bad it is, but this is the first time we see it through Talise’s eyes. I love this world-building as it adds so much to the story and gives weight to what the rebels are doing.
Overall I really enjoyed River Gate, finishing it in just over a day. Each installment of the series is just over a hundred pages, making for quick, action-packed reads. River Gate is no exception. While the author had introduced us to Talise’s friends Claye and Wendy in the previous installments, they play a larger role here. I loved learning more about both of them and their interactions with Talise, Claye in particular. If you enjoy dystopia and fantasy, I highly recommend you grab a copy of this one.