The Write Reads on Tour- Ariva: Heart of the Sky by DH Willison

It takes great courage to stand against a ferocious mythic monster.
It takes far greater to stand WITH one who’s at her most vulnerable.
Tremors rock the land. Wild magic and creatures from the abyss ravage a formerly bountiful forest, while a creeping magic ailment spreads among the harpies. A fragile peace between harpy and human teeters on the brink.
Darin and Rinloh, oddest couple in all the land. They must become the oddest of heroes to save the land.
Heart of the Sky. A charming blend of whimsy, terror, and a lot of heart.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. Arvia: Heart of the Sky will be available for purchase starting tomorrow.

I’m excited to join the Write Reads tour with my review of Arvia: Heart of the Sky. This is an enjoyable book, full of heart, humor, and a small dash of romance. The relationships built and the begrudging friendships developed are well done and take pride of place with the adventure framing a story that is ultimately about more than harpies. Although it’s great seeing a book about harpies!

Darin and Rinloh are not strangers to struggle. First of all, is their relationship. Most couples have obstacles to overcome, but Darin’s and Rinloh’s are a bit more unique. You see, Darin is a human and Rinloh is, um, not. She’s a harpy. What’s more, harpies in Arvia are quite a lot bigger than humans and generally see humans as snacks instead of friends. In fact, everything is bigger and more dangerous than Darin, coming from Earth, is used to. Including the danger.

One of the great things about this book is that, even though harpies are higher up on the evolutionary ladder, Rinloh is much more affected by the mysterious tremors suddenly rocking the land than the humans are. She has to rely on Darin who is used to being the weaker of the two. Not only that, the harpies have to band together, putting aside their differences and petty squabbles. See what I mean about Heart of the Sky focusing on relationships at its heart?

Author DH Willison writes with confidence, crafting a tale that is snappy and without unnecessary pauses. The chapters are long enough to move the narrative, switching between Rinloh’s and Darin’s points of view, but never overly wordy. The dreaded info dump is skillfully avoided, while the important background information is given in bite-sized pieces at exactly the right time for the story.

The characters were all great, with Darin being my favorite. I had to laugh a little when he tried to compare his past experiences on Earth with the critters found on Ariva. Everyone’s surprised but condescending reactions to his observations were just so fun. He also never gave up on Rinloh or on somehow helping, despite being rather ill- equipped for the setting he finds himself in.

Rinloh was a lot of fun and her inner monlogue was so darn honest! Who doesn’t hate their job or coworkers sometimes (although most people’s jobs don’t involve attacking creatures with way too many teeth)? Her charcter grew a lot throughout the book as she had to learn to rely on others. I think sometimes that’s a hard pill to swallow.

While you can just go ahead and jump in here (this is book 3), go ahead and grab the entire series. You’re in for a treat. Arvia: Heart of the Sky is a fun and playful book, with a sutble look at different relationship dynamics hiding beneath harpy-sized charm.

Highly recommended.

About the author:

D.H. Willison is a reader, writer, game enthusiast and developer, engineer, and history buff. He’s lived or worked in over a dozen countries, learning different cultures, viewpoints, and attitudes, which have influenced his writing, contributing to one of his major themes: alternate and creative conflict resolution. The same situations can be viewed by different cultures quite differently. Sometimes it leads to conflict, sometimes to hilarity. Both make for a great story.

He’s also never missed a chance to visit historic sites, from castle dungeons, to catacombs, to the holds of tall ships, to the tunnels of the Maginot Line. It might be considered research, except for the minor fact that his tales are all set on the whimsical and terrifying world of Arvia. Where giant mythic monsters are often more easily overcome with empathy than explosions.

Subscribe to his newsletter for art, stories, and humorous articles (some of which are actually intended to be humorous).




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