3 out of 4 stars
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Those Deep Below, by John W. Noyes, is the first book of the Inca Empire series. Categorized as a historical fiction novel, this book is based on the Inca Empire.
When Rezi sings, her voice has the power to enthrall anyone who is listening. Her voice has a great effect on the ailing King, giving him the strength to carry out some of his duties again. However, her voice has also caught the eye of the jealous Queen. When Rezi is kidnapped and hidden away inside a cell room, the entire kingdom thinks she ran away leaving the King so devastated that he succumbs to his sickness. Unfortunately for the King's household, all 4,000 members are forced to go below to be buried alive with the King in his massive tomb. In the tomb, tension rises as people begin to get restless while others are plotting to escape or to seize control. As Rezi tries to find a way out she must also deal with the Queen’s torments and abuse.
The author did a good job of describing the settings without giving too many details or overshadowing the main events of the story. I was also able to clearly visualize the events as they unfolded because of the vivid descriptions the author used to describe the scenes. Enough background information was given to introduce the story, and the plot moved at a good pace. Although I found some of the scenes to be violent and graphic, I enjoyed the buildup of tension and suspense between each scene.
Moreover, what I liked the most about this book was the portrayal of the characters. They were brought to life through the author’s use of imagery. All of the characters were crafted into believable and well-developed characters. I love books with strong female protagonists, which is definitely what Rezi is. She remained strong throughout the endless abuse from the Queen and was able to overcome multiple obstacles. Besides Rezi, I thought that the witty and sarcastic banter between Achachila, Misi, and Mantaqway was amusing.
There were a couple of intense scenes with graphic torture and abuse, so I would not recommend this book to younger readers. There were a lot of dark and violent moments in this book, which can make even adults uncomfortable. However, I feel like those violent scenes helped to showcase the personalities of some of the characters.
Overall, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. There were a couple of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, which made me take away a star. Besides the errors, this book was an enjoyable read. I would recommend this book to those who like reading action-packed historical fiction novels.
Those Deep Below
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