- Title: Tears of Alphega
- Series: The Wisprian World, #1
- Author: W.N. Cleckler
- Release date & Publisher: July 2018 from Whisper Press
- Length: 354 pages
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 yes
Hi everyone! I have no excuse for taking so long so post this particular review on the blog! The author sent me the gorgeous foil edition a while back in exchange for an Instagram feature and review. Anyway, with my apologies, here we go! Let me first say that even though I read this weeks ago, I remember is fairly vividly which is saying a LOT already!
Here is the longer description from Goodreads, which helps summarize a book that is quite difficult to summarize:
The Wisprian World is set in the era before the Ice and Stone Age, before the fall of Adam, before “the beginning”. The earth became formless and empty…meaning it previously had form and wasn’t empty. Before Eden was spoken into existence, Wispria was whispered into being. This series is certain to make it’s mark and impact on your life- whether you love daring adventure, alternative-histories, theological viewpoints, stories of hope, new heroes & villains, or tales of redemption, The Wisprian World book series is for you. With intriguing characters that are sure to touch your heart and challenge your spirit, also locations and insights of a world forgotten that’s paving the way for an entirely new viewpoint and theory as to whom may have preceded us, then you are in for an other-worldly gift.
Meet people who are just like us, the likes of whom may have lived long before us, who had extraordinary circumstances arrive at their doorstep while living out their simple, daily activities. Read about the sixteen year-old Cantiq sisters, Harmody and Melony, who are fishing for their dinner when a mysterious solar eclipse-like event changes the very nature of their existence. Join a young man, Sage, grieving the loss of a father he accidentally murdered who meets that strangest pair of travelers who will in turn save his life from himself and those who oppose him. All of this is seen and told from the viewpoint of Alphega watching over his beloved creation and crying tears of divine empowerment to sustain his people against overwhelming and grave dangers and foul creatures out to obliterate them.
This book really does truly have a little bit of something for everyone. Yes it is alternate theology but it is also an epic fantasy. Good vs evil prototypes and a false idol starting a war against Alphega/heaven. This book is the start of that adventure – what caused that eclipse? A group of highly unique characters come together under extreme circumstances to learn about the imposter, rally a group of seven blessed adventurers, and hopefully book two will start the war.
What I liked the most is how much Cleckler obviously loves these characters. He puts them through hell, their villages pillaged by violent rapey demons, death of family in front of their eyes, devastation of forces, and other very dark things, but also gives them courage, the will to fight, interesting back stories, help from the animal world, and the support structure they need to move forward. There is a magical horse turned unicorn, a bear who’s loyalty knows no bounds, and then Alphega who sees the pain of the characters and grants them a tear, or they find a piece of the magical stone gate that shattered that gives them an additional ability. Each character has carefully drawn artwork as well and it’s obvious that each one was written with great thought. They aren’t perfect characters, they are flawed but learn from their mistakes and are also given time to grieve appropriately for said mistakes, and tend to go forward stronger.
Speaking of the art, it is absolutely lovely. The map, chapter head letters, and character artwork is all exquisitely well done. Here is a direct link to the authors Instagram for an example of the character art! https://www.instagram.com/p/B9j3GVzgTEy/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
At first it was a bit hard to tell where the book was heading, and then I realized that we were meeting the characters. I wasn’t sure if it was more a collection of short stories or what, as the opening chapters lacked a tad bit of cohesion, and that is where my star rating came in. Once the characters some together the quest is quite awesome and I love how they all have to do their part and keep pulling for each other.
Potential Easter Eggs: There may be a nod to Star Trek: TNG, because Lore is Data’s evil archetype. I didn’t see any specific references but when I hear “Lore” in an archetypal sense, I think of the androids, especially when he was trying to play the real Data. Also a potential nod to a book in Skyrim (my character has a library) where tears formed an artifact, but I will never find it or recall the name. Lastly there is some secret message hidden in the pages but I have NO idea where it is or what I’m looking for, if anyone reads this and finds it, please tell me!!
I do definitely recommend this to fans of anything from theology to epic fantasy, you will LOVE the magic and lore and I definitely prefer the religious over/undertones to some of the other messages I get these days!
Thank you so much again to the author for the book, I am anxiously awaiting the next installment!