For this review and more, visit Such A Novel Idea.
Corr Syl is one of the more interesting books I've read this year. The premise isn't unlike many fantasy books: a young warrior has to defend his homeland, mixed in with some adventures and battles. The book was highly thought-provoking and engaging, and although it isn't for everyone, it is something I rather enjoyed.
Within this story, there are two life groups: those descended from humans and those descended from animals and other species found on our planet. Here's an explanation from the book's appendix:
"Danog characters belong to a single species, Homo sapiens. They have all the variability in staure, coloring, and facial features found on our Earth.
Tsaeb characters include numerous intelligent species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and arthropods. Mammals and reptiles have evolved toward similar forms, but they retain some of their original features, especially their coloration and skin covering. Birds and spiders retain their original forms though many have hands, and some are larger than their progenitors." -- Appendix A. People & Places, Corr Syl The Warrior by Dr. Garry Rogers
I wish I would have read this first, because I spent much of the first section trying to grasp the foreign world Dr. Rogers had created. There is a lot of detail in this book, which can make the reading slow and tedious, but I think also lends to a carefully-crafted and well thought out world. The Tsaeb, in addition to being highly intelligent and evolved, have some incredible abilities (like pheromone control to mask the scent of their blood and the ability to manipulate cells to repair themselves) which adds another fascinating dynamic to the tale.
When we begin the story, Corr is a warrior (descended from rabbits) who has just completed training and wants to travel the world, not unlike many young adults on the cusp of adulthood. Instead, Corr is thrust into action (albeit reluctantly) to continue treaties with the Danog. The Danog (a.k.a. humans) didn't seem to evolve in the ways of consuming the earth's resources and living in a way that selfishly impacts the environment around them. However, both species have lived in peace on their own parts of the world, that is until there is intrusions upon the border. This action spurs Corr and Rhya (a.k.a. warrior rabbit and girl Corr happens to notice quite often) on their quest.
The story does have a slow start, but once you hit the second part, things begin to pick up and the book becomes very engaging. With the details of the world-building and the complex plot, you will want to refer to the appendix when necessary. There is more than just a story about war or adventure: the book provides symbolism and ideals that will leave the reader digesting the complex layers of the tale. While the author classifies this work as ecofiction (and yes, it very much fits into this classification), I believe fans of fantasy and science fiction will enjoy the book. Be sure to click that link and read a great interview with Dr. Rogers at another tour stop.
In a style reminiscent of The Chronicles of Narnia and Animal Farm, Corr Syl The Warrior is a powerful allegory of our impact on the world around us.
My Rating: 3.5/5