Foreword Reviews

Birth of the Anima

Ancient Language of the Earth: Book 1

In Kelsey K. Sather’s powerful epic fantasy novel Birth of the Anima, generations of women fight to restore the planet to her natural balance.

More than two thousand years ago, Avni, the fifth Anima, helped to save her people from dire servitude. She was followed centuries later by Bazi, who stopped a renewed incursion of occupiers. Bazi was followed by Oili, a princess whose destiny was greater than being someone else’s bride; and Oili was followed by Erie, who married above her station and had to flee her home.

Across millennia, these women assume the redemptive role of the Anima, an elemental feminine force with the power to defeat rapacious conquerors. Even when their enemies operate under different banners, each serves the same purpose: to sow disorder, and to separate people from the natural freedoms that are every being’s inheritance.

Closer to the present, after the Imperium has claimed most land masses on the planet and squelched magic, a doctoral student, Freda, finds a scroll during an archaeological dig. It hints at the Anima’s origins, and its secrets propel her into a quest to learn the truth about the ancient ways. She may even become the twelfth and final Anima herself—if fate doesn’t have other plans.

The novel plays upon a painful dichotomy of empowered womanhood: even the Anima, who has the ability to change the world, makes considerable sacrifices to fill her role. The novel’s women want to be mothers, lovers, daughters—even just free; the forces that they stand against prevent them from pursuing individual happiness, though. Generation upon generation, their wrenching sacrifices grow.

Though for the last Anima “the future remains unwritten,” Birth of the Anima is a feminist fantasy novel with a serious hook.

Reviewed by Michelle Anne Schingler

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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