Book: Invocatie (De Demon van Felswyck 1) by Jurgen Snoeren
Release Date: 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
In de straten van Felswyck is er geen dief zo bedreven als Feri. Maar als ze op een avond met haar metgezellen in een laboratorium inbreekt, laat haar zorgvuldige voorbereiding haar helaas in de steek. De eigenaar van het laboratorium, de waanzinnige Kephris, keert eerder terug dan gepland. Feri weet ternauwernood te ontsnappen aan de man, maar niet voordat ze getuige is van iets vreselijks: Kephris roept een demon op van pure kraft. Een wezen dat nu de levens van iedereen in Felswyck én de Westelijke Territoria bedreigt. Kort daarna wordt Feri opgepakt door de mannen van de stamheer en gedwongen Kephris op te sporen. Hij is de enige die de demon weer ongedaan kan maken. Maar dan breekt een burgeroorlog uit en lijkt alle hoop verloren Kephris ooit te vinden.
Loosely translated to English
On the streets of Felswyck there is no thief as diligent as Feri. But when she breaks into a lab one night with her companions, her careful planning fails her. The owner of the lab, the crazy Kephris, returns back earlier than planned. Feri barely escapes, but without without witnessing something horrible: Kephris summons a demon from pure kraft. A being that now threatens the lives of everyone in Felswyck and the western Territoria. Shortly after Feri is arrested by men of the ruler of Felswyck and Fels, and is being forced to track Kephris down. He is the only one who can undo the creation of the demon. But a civil war breaks out and all hope to find Kephris seems lost…
I am so sad. Why you ask? Because I would have loved this book had it not had some aspects that I think are problematic. I was unsure of this big tome of a book from a Dutch author in the fantasy genre no less. And while I had some starting problems, once the book got going I was swept up in it.
The story is told through three people. Feri who is mentioned in the synopsis and who is a thief. Isse who is the daughter of the ruler of Fels and bisexual. And Osser who is of mixed race and working as a spy for the Avicenni. Small background here. The Felswegan are the original habitants of the Fels that is an island before being taken over by the Avicenni who came from the main land. They are very distantly related to one another. And here lies the problematic part. The Avicenni are white and conquerors and we only get point of views from them. While Osser might be of mixed race, his affliction lies with the Avicenni. They look down upon the Felswegan to a point, them even being called savages once. Osser is also considered less for being mixed race. Their viewpoint became obnoxious very quickly and there was no calling out of these view points on the page. I do think there are plenty of hints in the text that shows that the Felswegan are smart and more than the Avicenni think but it takes a long while to build up, through Osser, and it certainly is not enough to push away the negativity.
I would also like to point out that I think this book has scenes that can be triggering for sexual assault victims and those who have lost a loved one through suicide (through hanging). If my father was a reader I would keep this book very far away from him for the way that they talk about hanging people.
Yet I still liked it. Had this above not been done like that I could have loved this book. It has a lot of things that I want. Strong females. Characters that have flaws, yet that you still feel drawn to learn more about their story. I kept telling myself just one more chapter but then I would start another one. I do have to say that you need to commit to this book. The start is slow. It takes a while to get going and to understand the world. But once I did I flew through the rest of the book.
It is very political in parts, but there is also plenty of action going on to break up those parts. I do have a bit of a tid bit with the timeline. Feri’s and Isse’s timeline run next to each other but Osser’s chapters often backtracked in time which I thought was a bit annoying to be honest. He would be just in a scene with Feri and then we would go back in time to something that happened before that.
I quite enjoyed the side characters. I thought Marcus was a great balance to Feri. Esric also seemed really interesting and I hope we get to see him soon. Allis and Nes are such hard asses, but it was great to see a bit of a different side to Allis nearing the ending.