By Aliya Whiteley
** Publication Date 16 March 2021 **
Skyward Inn is a locals bar run by Jem, a local Protectorate born, and Isley, a Qitan. Jem met Isley when she was enlisted and stationed on Qita to spread a message of peace. When Jem’s time served had ended, Isley returned home with her to the Protectorate. The Protectorate is technology free. Living by the “old rules.” The Protectorate locals learn to accept Isley as one of their own.
Some time later, an infection is taking over the Protectorate in all regions. Quarantines and no-cross borders are set up to contain the infection, but it just keeps spreading. Jem’s region appears to be infection free. Until strangers appear on an isolated and abandoned farm that Jem’s son Fosse often visits. Fosse is told that these strangers can perform “magic.” Fosse is prevented from seeing the “magic” until it’s far too late.
A fascinating concept and novel. I don’t know whether to classify as dystopian or fantasy or a little of both. Whiteley does a fine job of creating this Qitan world and immersing us in it through Jem’s memories. While I enjoyed the book, at times I felt a bit lost and confused by what was happening. Not sure if this was intended or not. Regardless, it is very well written and a good read.