Book Review – Becoming a Warrior by Moose Tyler
This book was an incredible read. This gripping historical fantasy follows the journey of Amaria, a young woman from an Amazonian tribe descended from a warrior bloodline. Amaria is beginning her final training quests that, should she succeed, will deem her worthy of picking up her shield and becoming a true warrior of the tribe.
Fast paced and packed full of action, but with enough moments of stillness to reflect upon Amaria’s journey and growth. It is also immensely readable, with a beautiful blend of the historical and the mythological. It dealt with real issues and some nail-biting battle moments, but there is also an innate simplicity of style that made this book not at all dense and rather difficult to put down.
The author was particularly skilful in capturing the essence of Amaria’s difficult age. At 16, she is clearly frustrated at often being treated as a ‘suckling’ and yearns to be treated as an adult, but than has moments of immaturity and recklessness, especially in her decision making, that lead to very real consequences in the book and shows that she still has much growing to do.
One of the other most colourful characters in the novel is Wanje, a sage and mentor who has taught warriors for generations. She seems particularly strict with Amaria, but you also see her kind heart and her willing for Amaria to succeed colourfully brought to life.
Another aspect I really enjoyed was to dive into a culture completely different to my own. As a white Christian living in the west, it was a fascinating experience to delve into the deeply spiritual community and learn about their views of the world and of men, most shown in Amaria’s deepening faith in Mother Nature and the power of belief. There was also fun parallels to spot between the theology/religious practices in the book, with festivals and rituals that were undeniably familiar.
The author uses extremely evocative description throughout, so that I really felt I was with Amaria on her journey. I could almost feel my own shoulders burning after a brutal training session, or feel her anxiety when the threat of war begins to loom. Not to mention really rooting for her on each of the quests she goes on and sympathising greatly with her frustrations and struggles along the way. So much so that by the end I was almost on the edge of my seat!
I loved this book and look forward to reading more of the author’s work – personally I hope there is a sequel, as I would love to continue Amaria’s journey.
Till next time,