A brilliant first book in the new Ascendance series
Exhilarating and original, Every Sky A Grave tells an epic tale of truth and power on the greatest canvas there is: outer space.
For fans of Anne Leckie and Star Wars comes an explosive and ambitious story about the power of words set far in the future, far away – but with a message about truth that hits home.
Mankind has spread out and conquered the galaxy by mastering the fundamental language of the universe. With the right training, the right application of words, truth itself can be rearranged.
Language is literally power.
Peace reigns now. Order reigns.
For if a planet deviates too far from what the authorities plan, an agent is sent out to correct that. To quietly and with great skill, end that world.
One such agent is Elyth – a true believer.
But on a clandestine mission to stop an uprising before it can truly begin, Elyth comes to realise she hasn’t been told the whole truth herself. There’s so much she doesn’t know. How can there be people whose truth is different to that of the authorities?
Elyth’s faith in the powers that be is shaken just when she needs it most. While on her mission, a dark and unknown presence makes itself known at the edges of the galaxy – and it cannot be controlled, for nobody knows its name…
Well, this book took my by surprise a bit, initially, I thought it would lean heavily on the sci-fi but this was so much more.
Elyth, an advocate of the First House is tasked with an honourable and terrible job. She must go to planets, learn all she can about them, their ecosystems, the people and then she must set about the natural destruction of the plant using words.
Words in this universes are powerful and Elyth and her sisters are the bearers of a language known as the ‘Deep Language’. This language gives them the power to change the course of things, to encourage natural faults to open and to complete their mission and bring about the end of a world. The end of the world isn’t necessarily a sudden thing, but Elyth brings about natural changes that could take millions of years into the near future.
The First House and its Paragon are the observers of worlds and when they deem that they are beyond help, the advocates are sent to put the world down. The Deep Language is closely guarded and there are variants of this being taught by the untrained and causing damage to planets which is spreading, all from one man and the First House wants to stop this spreading before more worlds are lost.
What I love about this is that despite holding such power to destroy, Elyth is so compassionate and mourns the loss of each planet she ends. She feels it deeply and upon returning home, each advocate is forced into 30 days of recovery where they document their mission and then, more for themselves than anything, they document their own personal experiences. Each planet Elyth is assigned to, she keeps a vial of dirt in remembrance.
Elyth’s recovery is cut short due to an urgent meeting and she must be deployed once again on a secret mission. The Paragon herself has deemed Elyth the most worthy for this task, to travel to the planet Qel and understand what is going on there. Upon her arrival, things do not go smoothly. Her ship crashes and she is injured. Alone on a planet and being pursued, she has little options but to try and take the upper hand by making contact with her pursuers. With them, she learns about this mysterious eth ammuin who is spoken about with such reverence and wonders if this person is the source of her house’s worries for the planet Qel.
From here Elyth’s very beliefs are challenged and shocking truths revealed. Elyth, once the destroyer of worlds may be the very person needed to save a world.
I loved this book, it was so clever and well thought out. The use of language as a weapon was cleverly done and Elyth is a wonderful lead character, to see her grow over the book from a devout follower of her house to a strong, resilient woman, fighting for the truth was something to behold.
Jay Posey has created an immersive, beautifully written, action-packed and thought-provoking novel that I cannot wait to read more of. Elyth has worked her way into my heart and her journey is just beginning. A brilliant start to the Ascendance series.
“It doesn’t really matter what sky you’re under. You’re always staring up into the same thing”
Thank you so much to Becca at HarperFiction for the eArc!