Xhea has no magic. Born without the power that everyone else takes for granted, Xhea is an outcast no way to earn a living, buy food, or change the life that fate has dealt her. Yet she has a unique talent: the ability to see ghosts and the tethers that bind them to the living world, which she uses to scratch out a bare existence in the ruins beneath the City's floating Towers. When a rich City man comes to her with a young woman's ghost tethered to his chest, Xhea has no idea that this ghost will change everything. The ghost, Shai, is a Radiant, a rare person who generates so much power that the Towers use it to fuel their magic, heedless of the pain such use causes. Shai's home Tower is desperate to get the ghost back and force her into a body, any body, so that it can regain its position, while the Tower's rivals seek the ghost to use her magic for their own ends. Caught between a multitude of enemies and desperate to save Shai, Xhea thinks herself powerless until a strange magic wakes within her. Magic dark and slow, like rising smoke, like seeping oil. A magic whose very touch brings death. With two extremely strong female protagonists, Radiant is a story of fighting for what you believe in and finding strength that you never thought you had.
©2014 Karina Sumner-Smith (P)2014 Audible Inc.
Best thing I've listened to in a long while. The story was interesting with wonderful world building; the characters were realistic and the main characters enthralling. The narrator had a flexible and pleasant voice that made for easy listening and the writing was very poetic. Highly recommended!
immersive, provocative, exciting
The moment in which the protagonist swears her protection and devotion to another. This not only marks a watershed in her life, but forever cements what is one of the more profound relationships I've ever come across in genre fiction.
The tone of her voice is perfect for the protagonist. Most of the time I thought she was bang on in her interpretation of the dialogue and narrative, but occasionally I felt her to be a little too monotone.
Like Game of Thrones, Radiant foregrounds systems of power and control that privilege some at the expense of others. The exploitation of Radiants was truly horrifying. Try as I might, I could not dismiss this as only fiction - it resonates too powerfully with human history.
Part way through, I realized that this was the first genre novel I have come across where the main protagonists are both female, and the key relationship is one of friendship, not romance - a refreshing, and deeply insightful variation. Radiant defies generic categories, mixing elements of magic, zombie-culture, post apocalyptic literature, quest-based story-telling and science fiction in a truly engaging tale. You won't be able to put it down once you start, and it will stay with you afterwards. I can't wait for the next two!
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