A fascinating blend of sea-faring adventure, intrigue, and romance, Norinian Uprising by Joy Slaughter offers a delightful reading experience to fans of fantasy, a spellbinding opening to The Turmoil of Gavony series. Brynna Dasveld is a Norinian accountant who joins the chancellor's administration and her career path seems to start off pretty well. When she discovers suspicious details in the inventory of the one person who dominates the shipping business, she is determined to get to the bottom of it. But Commodore Cadoc Andersyn is not an easy person to catch, succeeding to thwart Brynna's every attempt to steal the one document that can help her prove his misdeeds. She doesn't know that her success in destroying Cadoc will leave her nation vulnerable and exposed to many enemies.
There is a lot to relish in this novel, starting with the author's exquisite writing, the bold plot points, and the dialogues crafted with confidence. The author is consistent in capturing the unique way of speaking of the characters through dialogue. For instance, First Officer Cecily Layton reports the presence of other ships thus: “Nearly spittin’ distance, sir. If they be in distress, that be the place for ‘em to go.” The author fills the writing with intelligently written dialogues that build the drama, deepen characterization and enrich the already stunningly imagined world. The descriptions are terrific, like when Trinan's features are captured: “His handsome, clean-shaven face held his lips taut with chronic tension, and fine lines encircled his piercing blue eyes, evidence of how quick they were too narrow in judgment.” Joy Slaughter creates characters that readers will love — from the main characters like Brynna, Nora, Meela, and Trinan to the supporting cast like Marcus, Safiyya, Nyok. These characters are extensively developed and the narrative is written through their different points of view. This original and exciting first entry into the fantasy series is full of lush writing and a rich fantasy landscape. It is suspenseful with many subplots that culminate in a moment of dance — a romantic dance that seems to sum up everything and that offers a promise for the next book in the series. Gareth's words will stay with readers as they wait for the next book: “Death is no reason not to dance. Dance now. Dance while you can. Dance until you shatter.”