World Building: 4/5
“Majra is a vivid and complex world rooted in Central Asian culture similar in detail and style to JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
The main character, Aris, is a quiet young man living in Serzhen, a dessert country filled with brilliant tales and crafty artists. Unfortunately, Serzhen is also filled with invaders from a country called Marja sent to “civilize” Aris’ people. When Aris’ grandfather stirs up trouble with Marja’s soldiers, Aris soon finds himself catapulted into the center of the Serzhen-Majra conflict. As if that’s not enough, he meets Eyla, the rambunctious, troublemaking daughter of a powerful family, who looks to drag Aris into her antics against the invaders.
The land of Serzhen is rich in custom, folklore, and conflicts that make the story come alive. Every character plays a unique role and brings an interesting point of the view to the conflicts they all face. From Aris and Elya, to the supporting and minor characters, everyone has an important role and they play off each other beautifully.
Simon’s writing deserves a mention as well. Majra is expertly crafted and holds all the charm and wonder of classic faerie tales. Even the dialogue is crafted with brilliant detail and clever wit that fits perfectly into its surrounding culture.
Unfortunately, much like Tolkien’s work, Majra felt too long. There were quite a few scenes and dialogue exchanges that went around in circles rather than forward with the story. Even with those dragged-on parts, I still enjoyed the over all book.
If you’re a fan of epic fantasy, distant lands, new cultures, or just brilliantly crafted fiction, swing by Amazon and give Majra a read for yourself.”
As posted on tabbyafae.com on April 13, 2016