Spoiler-Free Review of Thrice by Andrew D. Meredith
A captivating story of family, and survival. Thrice is book one in the Needle and Leaf series by Andrew D. Meredith. A self-published fantasy, filled with Slavic folklore, and quickly pulls you into the story.
Jovan is a 35-year-old Needler, a man who makes needles for a living. He lives with his 4-year-old son who seems older than his years but has such an innocence to him. When Jovan and Leaf are forced to leave their home and start a new life elsewhere, they quickly learn of the dangers that come for them. While Leaf is young, he possesses great power in his soul-searing magic and there are those who would use him for it. Jovan must keep his son safe and seek out those that would do him and his son harm.
This doesn’t waste time throwing readers into the world, characters, and circumstances of Thrice. Though the introduction is quick, I found it easy to settle into the characters and their circumstances. This is largely due to Andrew D. Meredith’s ability in creating an immersive read. Overall, this made the introduction feel comfortable, while still giving readers a feeling of familiarity with the characters and their personalities.
While Leaf has an innocent and happy nature about him, Jovan is rough around the edges, stern, though kind in many ways. The dynamic between these two and the bond of their relationship was endearing to read. Not only that, but I found their relationship is built in a way that invests you in their story. We’re also introduced to some great side characters, some of which quickly became a favourite for me.
The worldbuilding and folklores were reminiscent of The Winternight Trilogy and Spinning Silver, however, featured more action. There were also changes within the atmosphere throughout the book but overall leaves you with scenes that are eerie, heartwarming, or suspenseful. We also see a variety of different religions set within this world and the characters we meet.
Meanwhile, the magic system was easy to grasp and calls on the user’s own soul or spirit. Leaving consequences to the magic wielder and a limitation to the magic they can cast. This created some interesting scenes and high stakes.
I read the physical book while listening to the audiobook. Narrated by the author himself in fact and he did a great job at bringing the different characters to life.
From one adventure to the next, Thrice felt episodic but keeps the focus of the plot in sight. With mystery, action, magic, high stakes, a complex plot, lore, and found family, there was lots to enjoy in this.
This is a great accessible fantasy read and I look forward to continuing with the series.
Expected Publication: 11 November 2021
Author: Andrew D. Meredith
Series: Needle and Leaf (Book 1)
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Rating: 4 Stars