Title: Soleri (2017)
Author: Michael Johnston
Series: Soleri #1
Soleri follows five characters who must negotiate an ever-changing web of deceit and conflict as they each vie for power in the sprawling Soleri empire. The story and setting were reminiscent of Game of Thrones but with tighter pacing and an Egyptian flair.
This marks author Michael Johnston’s first solo novel and it’s certainly an impressive debut — it’s equal parts epic and intimate, as we’re dealing with a small set of characters with political ambitions on a large scale. The writing is clear, concise, and moves the narrative along at a nice pace.
I sped through the first half of this novel before encountering a ~100 page stretch in the second half that really felt stagnate and lost my interest. Johnston employs an unsustainable barrage of fun plot twists in the first half that probably should have been spread more evenly throughout the book. It was not until the final few chapters that I was brought back to what was so good about the novel to begin with — twisty, intriguing family dynamics against the backdrop of an interesting world with a rich history.
★★★½ out of 5