I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
A young woman chosen by her people to become a part of a hero program must battle demons both within and around her and find a way of helping the refugees she comes from in author H.H. Moss’s “One for Ahl”, the first book in the Ahlian Chronicles series.
When refugees from the war-torn country of Ahl face extreme discrimination, Jane is nominated to represent her people in Listuan’s hero program, which trains a handful of idolized saviors for each generation. However, instead of bringing peace to the refugees, Jane is possessed by a demon of forgotten origins and targeted by a powerful abuser. Pulled into conflicts both ancient and young, Jane must fight for control and search for her purpose, all without understanding her past.
This was a truly masterful fantasy world the author crafted. The world-building that went into making the world of Ahl and all its accompanying lands was breathtaking thanks to the rich imagery the author utilized in their writing. The mystery behind Jane and her connection to Astrid and her role in the world she was forced into as a whole were great to see explored in this narrative and kept the reader engaged as the action and fantasy world grew naturally.
The heart of the narrative rested in the themes the author explored and the dynamic character developments that occur. The themes of social inequality, destiny, mental health awareness, and LGBTQ character development made this book truly impactful, yet felt natural to the world-building and story beats that the book held. It also added to the protagonist’s evolution, as Jane’s mental health and the impact of the dangers the magical and supernatural world around her have on her mind is extensively explored, and the LGBTQ background of these characters plays naturally to the world in a refreshing way.
If The Hunger Games included fantasy and supernatural elements, then author H.H. Moss’s “One for Ahl” is a must-read LGBTQ-driven fantasy novel and a great first book in the author’s “The Ahlian Chronicles Series. The twists and turns in the narrative and the cliffhanger ending will have fans enraptured by the author’s narrative, and the rich setting and natural progression of the mounting tension in the story will have readers hanging onto the author’s every word. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!
About the Author
Hannah H. Moss (she/they) has been writing stories for as long as she can remember, from her hyperlexic childhood continuing into her adult life. She writes to process the traumas and personal growths resultant of entering adulthood in a less than ideal world.
While Moss currently lives in California with her husband, their daughter, and the family cat, they move often and consider Kanagawa, Japan, their favorite “home” of many.