Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Trials of Koli - M.R. Carey

The Trials of Koli is the second book in the Rampart Trilogy by M.R. Carey. I read the first book, The Book of Koli , earlier this year. (my review) I've been eagerly awaiting the next tale.

I don't read a lot of sci fi or fantasy, but if the setting  is post apocalyptic, it's one I definitely want to read. I am fascinated by the imaginings of what the world might be like if....

In Carey's book, it is sometime in the future and the human race has been decimated. Small pockets of survivors live in their own fortified villages and encampments. Society has reverted to a much earlier time with survival being the goal. Nature has turned on humans, with predator plants and trees. Tech from the past is revered. And more.

Koli from Mythen Rood is the protagonist in this trilogy. Without spoiling things for a new reader, Koli has left his village and is travelling with his compatriots towards a signal. Who could be still broadcasting? Is it simply a computer still functioning somewhere? Or could it be a group farther along in rebuilding than those in Koli's sphere?

The great thing about post apocalyptic books is you have no idea what to expect. The plot could go anywhere - and I really like being unable to predict a book. 

Koli is a great protagonist. He's still young and not as jaded as his elders. He sees and thinks and still hopes. It is his voice that drove the first book. I was happily surprised to find in this second book that there is an alternating narrative - that of Koli's friend Spinner, back in Mythen Rood. She too is facing trials - mostly from within even as Koli weathers what is outside the gates and beyond.

Danger is ever present and the book is action filled. I stayed up late quickly turning pages. And the ending? Nicely set up for the The Fall of Koli, the final entry in this trilogy, due out in March 2021. That's a bit of an ominous title isn't it? I'm quite eager to see how the journey ends. 

The Trials of Koli was addictive reading for me. I enjoyed the speculative writing of Carey... and tried to keep my mind from wondering 'what if' in these crazy times...  Read an excerpt of The Trials of Koli.

And I leave you with this quote from Spinner:

"There ought to be a rule in the telling of stories, my husband complained to me once, after I had brought him some dismay with a sad one. You ought to say before you start whether things will be brought in the end to a good or a bad case. That way them that are listening can gird themselves up somewhat, and be ready when the ending comes.

I told him I was sorry for the hurt to his heart and promised to give him fair warning next time. But I thought more thereafter, and in the end I came to this thinking on the subject. There can’t be any rules in the telling of stories. They’ve got to go where they go, which is not always where you would want them to. And as to the happiness or the sadness of it, that depends on where you’re standing. A happiness for one is sometimes a sadness to another. Or it might only be a happiness when you squint one eye. Or you might not know, even after it’s all done, whether it came out well or badly."

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