The Black Tides of Heaven: Tensorate, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Mokoya and Akeha, the twin children of the Protector, were sold to the Grand Monastery as infants. While Mokoya developed her strange prophetic gift, Akeha was always the one who could see the strings that moved adults to action. While Mokoya received visions of what would be, Akeha realized what could be. What's more, they saw the sickness at the heart of their mother's Protectorate.
A rebellion is growing. The Machinists discover new levers to move the world every day, while the Tensors fight to put them down and preserve the power of the state. Unwilling to continue as a pawn in their mother's twisted schemes, Akeha leaves the Tensorate behind and falls in with the rebels. But every step Akeha takes towards the Machinists is a step away from Mokoya. Can Akeha find peace without shattering the bond they share with their twin?
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|Listening Length||5 hours and 21 minutes|
|Audible.ca Release Date||June 25 2019|
|Publisher||HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #80,543 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#133 in LGBTQ2S+ Science Fiction & Fantasy
#504 in LGBTQ2S+ Literature & Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,513 in Action & Adventure Fantasy
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It's a tall order to cram 30-odd years of backstory into a novella, and at times it feels this is at the expense of some detailing that would help explain the world - but the focus is on Akeha's struggles to figure out where they fit and on the increasing strain the twins' bond comes under. This isn't, ultimately, an epic story of Machinist rebellion against Tensor rule (in spite of the gloriously evocative setting), but a personal story of resistance and the emotional entanglements that drive us - and I have a soft spot for personal stories told in big epic settings. Good stuff.
Both novellas are set in the world of the Tensorate, which is a place where people can manipulate energy to do all sorts of things (known as the Slack) and which is ruled by the mother of our two main characters. She's a distinctly ruthless individual, for example giving birth to Akeha and Mokoya in order to give them to the temple which had provided her with support during an attempted rebellion, in 'payment' for help received. After that, in The Black Tides of Heaven, she shows minimal interest in their welfare until Mokoya begins to demonstrate prophetic powers and the rest of this novella is the aftermath of that dynamic.
Anyway, the world-building is something I liked very much about both these, including the use of gender terms - this is a world where people declare they are male or female when they feel certain about it, using they/them until that point. In the second novella, Mokoya spends some time trying to figure out her relationship with the power she thought she'd lost and also testing the boundaries of what she can do with the Slack. All in all, I enjoyed them and would very much like to read more set in this universe.
Downloading the second book as we speak!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 9, 2018