Title: Children of Maya
Author: Christopher Vastag
Publisher: Fenris Publishing
First Publication: 2021
Book Summary: Children of Maya by Christopher Vastag
In the land of Kaskilia, a rabbit changeling slave named Maria sows plans for rebellion. To overthrow the murderous cult of Khaytan and the zealous king who spreads it teachings, Maria must rally predator and prey alike by reminding the people what true faith looks like.
Brought together by the goddess Maya Herself, Maria finds an unlikely ally in the king’s son, Prince Reginald. Maria and Reginald must reconcile their differing visions of an ideal Kaskilia and their growing, forbidden attraction to one another while evading the bloodthirsty Absolvers of Khaytan’s Covenant.
In a culture where she is seen as little more than food, can Maria find a way to lead her people to freedom without losing her humanity?
Book Review: Children of Maya by Christopher Vastag
I have been meaning to write this review for so long, as I read this book twice within a month and am just now getting around to typing it up! This does not mean, however, that I have nothing to say about Children of Maya, because believe you me, I do. The story isn’t flowery or over-the-top; it’s fast-paced, enjoyable, and filled with interesting character development. In addition to the fun plot (which it was), these characters are so instantly likable that I could not possibly dislike the book.
In Children of Maya by Christopher Vastag, we are transported to a fantasy land, Kaskilia, populated by changelings who can switch between human and animal form. The kingdom Kaskilia was ruled by an evil wolf changeling. There is no justice in the kingdom, as a tyrannical wolf changeling who considers the changelings of ‘prey species’ only as slaves, or as food. Changeling slave Maria plots rebellion against her the ruler.
The only way for Maria to eradicate the murderous cult of Khaytan and the zealous king who spreads its teachings is for her to remind everyone about the true meaning of faith. The goddess Maya brings Maria and Prince Reginald together, bringing them into conflict. Both Reginald and Maria will have to reconcile their different visions of an ideal Kaskilia and their growing romantic tension while evading the bloodthirsty Absolvers of Khaytan’s Covenant. Will Maria be able to lead her people to freedom in a culture where she is considered little more than food?
At first glance the world may seem like a million other urban-fantasy worlds that have been created, but I’m incredibly impressed with the world that Christopher Vastag has created. It attempts to integrate the changeling creatures and powers of urban fantasy into a more mundane world. The politics in, and between, these creatures makes for some awesome stories. Christopher is an amazing world builder. The author does an outstanding job introducing all the characters and building the world. We are kept on our tows trying to find all the players and figure out what’s going on while hopping everyone is safe.
The characters are wonderful and surprising and multi-dimensional. At the core of this novel, of course, and the main ingredient in its appeal, is the well-drawn, round-character figure of Maya herself. She’s a kind-hearted person who genuinely cares about others and their needs, and who attracts friendship by being a friend. And Maria is a likeable character who knows how to stand on her own feet – she doesn’t rely on others for protection & is determined to be in control of her own life. I like the fact that she stands up for herself against the rulers even though she is physically weaker than they are. All of the other major characters, and even most of the secondary ones, are well developed and vivid; the author’s prose flows easily, and incorporates just the right amount of description.
The writing is luring, engaging, and well-crafted enough to keep me interested from cover to cover and beyond. The plot is astonishing with twists and turns weaved into a well thought and planned story. There’s no pretense and romance was well balanced and done entirely correctly with properly distributed amounts of hints, behaviors and incredible, undeniable chemistry. Children of Maya by Christopher Vastag is an interesting and believable story with characters that are appealing and sympathetic and relatable. The suspense and mystery, surprises and red herrings that are totally unexpected when revealed. What a great addition to the urban fantasy genre. If you like this genre, with shapeshifting creatures, you should pick this up.