January 2021 Review: Wild Adventure on the Northern Frontier

Seventh City

Author: Emily Hayse

Publisher: Emily Hayse

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2


Here it is. The Realm Awards 2020 Book of the Year.


From its beautiful cover to a world that immediately draws the reader in to the knowledge that an indie author took the Realm Awards highest prize, I knew this was a book I had to read and subsequently review.


When the invaders capture Maki’s brother, her only recourse is to masquerade as a stable boy and travel with her enemy across the rugged terrain. Her village in ashes behind her, she longs only to free her brother Tsanu and escape before the invaders grow wise that his tales of the legendary seventh city of Inik Katsuk, rumored to be a city of gold, are nothing more than a story. Danger lurks at every turn whether from the elements or the rough, hardened men with whom she travels.

What awaits all of them is far more than any expect.


I can see why Hayse’s novel received the top award. It is rare that I feel so pulled into the world of a book. From the first page, I felt as though I had grown up in Tansilet. I sensed the danger and intrigue of their raid on the invaders camp. I found myself disgusted by the behavior of men who did not know how to properly survive in the northern frontier. I cheered every time the land proved the better over those who sought to conquer it.


Novels written in first person have never been my favorite. Often jarring to read, it takes skill from the writer to use the immerse perspective of first person in a way that doesn’t feel foreign on the eyes. Hayse does this with perfection. Before long, I forgot I was reading in first person, and that is saying something.


I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good adventure story. Young readers will appreciate Maki’s struggle to prove her value and worth to the world of men around her. She is scrappy and tough. I most connected to her courage in the face of losing her brother. The level of bravery that can be conjured when a family member is in danger has always left me in awe. People are able to go well beyond themselves when the circumstances call for it.


If you love light fantasy or mythical adventures, pick up a copy of Seventh City. Not only will you be grabbing a highly enjoyable read, but you will also be supporting a quality indie author.


It is a clean read. There is no language or sex. Violence is present, but light, and mostly related to surviving the wilderness. There is a hint of romance, but it is minor. Readers young and old will appreciate the immersive storytelling.


Available on Amazon or your local bookstore (support local business!).


No disclaimer. I did not receive anything from the author, nor was I requested to write this review.

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