Rift Cycle is a four-book series by Halo Scot. It is a post-apocalyptic story that takes place in the far future. The world is broken, the last of humanity has been forced to live in Antarctica, the only livable habit remaining on earth. But due to a series of events before the story, the axis of the earth has changed and now Antarctica is mostly a desert wasteland. These same events also caused a rift to appear that tore open a portal between planes of existence. This led to humans receiving powers based on the season they were born. This also led to ancient Gods coming to Earth to force worship and eventually, through the course of the story, war.
The story is told from the point of view of two characters. In the first book, Edge of the Breach, it is easy to see how individually they view themselves as the protagonist of the story and the other their antagonist. Both are aware of the reader following the story and will constantly break the fourth wall to remind the reader.
We met Sira Rune, as she lays in a hospital dying from cancer at a very young age. Both her brother and her wait for death to come from them. But then suddenly, her brother passes, and she is miraculously cured of cancer. Later we learn this, in part, has to do with them being born under the Winter Solstice. A rare occurrence that happens once per generation. Her power is that of a Shield. She is naturally inclined to be a warrior and protector.
Her counterpart is Julian Kyder, he has a tragic and dark back story. Before I go further, let me warn you, this is a dark series. Probably one of the darkest I have ever read. Kyder’s story doesn’t start with hope the way Sira’s does. He was the child of rape. His mother was abusive and took out her rage against her rapist on Kyder, who reminds her of the person who attacked her years ago.
Kyder was born under summer solstice and has the power of a mage. As time passes, he becomes so powerful that he appears to be a God to his followers. His character is brutal and vengeful. Even as a child and a teenager we see the extent of his wraith and cruelty. Yet he does have a code, he refuses to ever be a rapist like his father.
Throughout the four books, we follow the two of them from childhood into adulthood. We spend quite a bit of time with them as children and the events that affect their lives and the choices they make because of it. Neither has a perfectly happy life. Even Rune is given an onslaught of pain over the years. But she clings on to hope and the possibility of a better tomorrow that had been instilled in her by her mother.
The two cross paths and while Kyder instinctively wants to avoid Rune, she feels a draw towards him. Even though, she recognizes what kind of man he is.
Throughout the second book, Echoes of Blood, we see Rune work her way through the military ranks and Kyder has creates a mafia-like gang. Though a criminal, he uses his resources to help the people of the city. Though, he will remind the reader, it is not a kindness, but a necessity for his bigger plan.
I don’t want to say too much about the two remaining books, Eye of the Brave and Elegy of the Void, as that would give away too many spoilers. Sufficient to say they were intense. Reading the books, I was instantly cheering on Rune, she was a good person who, though was broken several times was about to find a to piece herself together and not become a monster. She had a strength in her, that she was able to recognize and used it. Though sometimes she needed to be reminded of it.
In the beginning, I was horrified and disgusted by Kyder, but as I got to know him through the course of the story, I began to understand his decisions and why he did what he did. Do I believe he was in the right to do what he did, not necessary, but then, if I had been in those situations, would I have chosen any different?
Scot did an amazing job creating this world and telling a complete story. Not just throughout the four books, but each book was a complete story on its own. Without giving away too much, even with the conclusion of the Elegy of the Void, I was left wondering what could be next for the pair.
If you can handle dark images and extremely graphic descriptions of violence, then I would suggest reading this book. If you are on the fence, check out the warning on the book’s listing page and see how you feel after. I do not regret reading this book and cannot wait to see what Scot produces next.
Rift Cycle available on Amazon
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