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Book Review: Eleventh Cycle

Table of Contents

“It has been a thousand years since the last Seed abandoned their duty. The mists are closing in. Finally, the Morning Bell tolls. A new Seed is born, but is it too late?

The rot eats away at mortals. The Witnesses pray so that they may not turn into one of the forgotten. And the constricting mists infect the lands with fear.

But there is more to this tale than just the Elders and their Seeds. Four mortals will have a part to play in Minethria’s fate. A farmer girl with only love in her eyes. A warrior born to the life of a refugee. A highborn stuck between the realm of gods and men. And a woman running into front lines and away from home.

Will the cycle finally be completed? Or will the mist swallow all?

A seed is born and the evil is slain, so doth another cycle commence. Yet the last Seed born hath turned traitor, and the mists, which had been pushed back, returneth.”

Title: Eleventh Cycle

Series: Mistland #1

Author: Kian N. Ardalan

Page Count: 779

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Date Read: May 29th, 2023

To be honest, The Eleventh Cycle has been on my radar for a few months now. I have heard quite the buzz for it around the only book community from friends who were reading it as ARC copies or shortly after release. This one quickly got added to my SPFBO-9 personal TBR list, also being added to my top 20 to read first from this list. May ended up a bit ahead of schedule so I reached all the way to my initial schedule for this one in December to dive into it this month.
I opted for the audiobook version of this and I’m glad I did. It allowed me to enjoy the narration of both Jessica Threet and Evan Jordan. I felt both did an amazing job with this one bringing enough life and uniqueness to so many interesting characters. I was experiencing this story alongside another SPFBO-9 participant but they were very different from each other allowing me to do so. As soon as I wrapped the other one up visually I focused fully on Eleventh Cycle as an emersion read both audio and visual.
The pacing was done well for my preferences. I do believe this may have been partly due to the narrators doing such an excellent job. Book one in an epic story such as this one can seem to get off to a bit of a slow start for me at times but this one kept my interest early and often.
The world building was very interesting to me. There are certainly some typical fantasy elements to make me feel comfortable but also some very unique bits brought into this story from the world. We are introduced to different regions, races, religions and over all beliefs. As I mentioned earlier this read was very different from the other I had going in parallel. Eleventh Cycle was definitely more dark and brutal. I could definitely see some parts of this world and story being difficult for others to read and enjoy. But to me it really helped paint a picture of this world and its characters and what they are going through.
And as we mention characters, their development in Eleventh Cycle was just awesome! We find ourselves running through so many emotions with these characters along the way. As I said, some of these characters go through some brutally traumatic situations to set the tone of their character arcs. I think one thing to mention about some of these possible trigger moments is where some books it feels needless, I through it really drove home what happens to our characters during their discovery through book one. With that being said, it’s such an interesting concept for me to see the complete opposite from The Seed who is basically a blank slate and who is simply trying to learn about this world and understand it’s purpose.
Overall this was an enjoyable read for me. I will more than likely be continuing this one with audio as long as Jessica and Evan continue to narrate our characters. If not, it may switch to a visual read for future installments of Mistland by Kian N. Ardalan.
I’d recommend this one to readers that don’t mind some dark and brutal aspects to their fantasy reads. I do believe readers diving into this one are going to need a bit of thick skin at times though. If you can handle it, I feel it would be well worth the time for this experience.

World Building 4.5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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