Alec Hutson weaves a superb science-fantasy tale in Shadows of Dust, taking you on a journey through the stars atop a giant...flying turtle. It sounds strange, but it works so wonderfully well.
Kerin is a streamsurfer, an individual who surfs through space on Drifter (the giant turtle mentioned above), a starbeast who has been with his family for many generations.
Starbeasts share a special bond with their surfers/captains that allows them to speak directly to one another’s consciousness.
Surfing alongside Kerin is Nala, a kyrathi, a feline humanoid battlemage, and my favorite character!!! Seriously, she’s awesome and I wish there were a story focused around her.
Kerin used to be part of a streamsurfer guild but has since been kicked out. In an attempt to earn some funds to stay alive and aloft (and to feed Drifter) he takes a job that lands he and his crew in some serious trouble...and with a new ‘crew mate’ who has suffered a strange and powerful magical alteration that leads Kerin on a journey to a planet he hasn’t been to in decades in hopes of a cure.
Along the way you learn more about this fascinating world Hutson has created, and some of its inhabitants and magics. It all meshes together well and further made me want more books in this world (there’s a lot to explore here and could easily make for a large volume of books, whether they be standalones or series — I’m down for either).
I loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who likes science-fantasy or just fantasy in general...or if you just like well written and imaginative stories.