Review: The Bane of Jushosh

The Bane of Jushosh by Tiffany M. Rhys

3 stars – it was okay; too long

I’ve beta-read this before but didn’t mind rereading it as an ARC.

Read: Jan. 30 – Feb. 8, 2023.

To read my review of Book 1, click here.
To read my review of Book 2, click here.

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To buy your own copy of this book, click here.

Upping the Stakes

War with Jushosh looms over Aeryn Aodh, gift-bearer of Marmidon, and he must fight to protect his newly acquired kingdom. As he sets out to fight at the front, his brother William leaves their home to escape the Mednekai and Sirds, who wish to take him back. Ancient powers are clashing. Can Aeryn harness the gift and save Marmidon from the coming Calamity?

This story did a great job as a follow-up of book two, but I found it dragged on a bit too long for my taste. As a minimalist writer and editor, I would’ve cut it down a lot more, but I can understand the author’s style being different from mine.

The book was written in limited third person point of view, and once again (like the other books) switches between characters. In this one, we get chapters from Aeryn, Kaley, William, and Sirds for the most part, and the story follows storylines for each. I like that we got to keep up with each of them, and it seemed balanced—Aeryn got a majority of attention as the main character, but the others weren’t neglected.

It’s also clearly targeted toward male readers. Not only is the cast mainly male, but the female characters were often treated as fragile by the main character. Honestly, I don’t like Aeryn all that much. I found him hypocritical. It feels like he doesn’t believe women can defend themselves. He doesn’t want his loved ones involved in battles, which is understandable, but it comes across as him thinking them incapable. He, however, jumps into every fight and is constantly overexerting himself to the point of uselessness in battle (needing to be rescued or causing himself great injury). He has a lot of pressure put on his shoulders as the gift-bearer, but he doesn’t accept help much from those around him, and this flaw is never addressed in the book. Other books typically have a main character working through a flaw of theirs within the book, or at least acknowledging it so it doesn’t become a character model for impressionable readers. However, Aeryn remains the “heroic” main character who continues to win despite this flaw, which I feel is prominently displayed, and I worry that it gives the idea that this is the ideal way to act.

Another thing I didn’t like is the pregnancy storyline that the author chose to go with in this book. It never really does much to any story in my opinion (unless it is the main focus of the book, which I don’t read). The only time that this kind of storyline appealed to me was in the Hunger Games book, Catching Fire, where it was a ruse. In this book, it just seems like a reason to sideline a strong female character by making her a damsel in distress. That, combined with the fact that the only other female characters in the book are Aeryn’s mother, Lady Dessuthiel (who rarely shows up and is mostly just mentioned by other characters), and a healer for the Mednekai, this book gives a strong aura of the patriarchy, despite being written by a female author. I suppose it has to do with our differing views of strong female characters in fiction, but this isn’t the type of writing I enjoy.

Some things I really liked about the book were once again that a map was included, and there is an extensive glossary for the weaves and other terms used, though I can see that it will be much more useful for people with physical copies (so they can flip back and forth as they read).

I thought the action scenes were well-written and would’ve liked to see more action from the strong female characters that I know exist in this world. I’m hoping they get more attention in the next book. The weaving increased in complexity, which is very cool. I was a little lost at times with the weaves, so I highly recommend flipping to the glossary anytime there may be confusion.

By the end, I was satisfied with the story, and while I recommend this book to fans of the series, I’m still on the fence about whether to read book four. I really struggled through reading this one; it’s just not for me.

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2 responses to “Review: The Bane of Jushosh”

  1. […] Click here to read my review of book 3 (SPOILER WARNING!) […]

  2. […] Click here to read my review of book 3 (SPOILER WARNING!) […]

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