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Irenicon: Book 1 of the Wave Trilogy    by Aidan Harte order for
by Aidan Harte
Order:  USA  Can
Jo Fletcher Books, 2014 (2014)
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

If the foundation of Christianity was erased during Herod's slaughter, how would the world evolve differently? This seems to be jumping off point to the unique world that Aidan Harte has created in Irenicon, the first of the Wave Trilogy.

Concordians and Rasenneisi have been at war for a long time, every since the Wave came and cut Rasenna in two, dividing it into a north and south side with the Irenicon in the middle, a river filled with the mythical buio or psuedonaiads. The Bardini in the North and the Morello in the South have since begun fighting, making Rasenna an easy target for the Concordians. First, though, Concord sends in Captain Giovanni, an engineer tasked with bridging the Irenicon. His work draws the attention of Sophia, a young Contessa and the ward of the head of the Bardini.

Giovanni manages to unite workers from the North and South as they build the bridge until the heads of the two sides begin killing workers. Determined to become a strong leader, Sophia sneaks into the Bapistry to learn Water style from one of the nuns. She masters it but is still no match when the Concordians come to take over Rasenna. It will take all she and Giovanni have if they are to create peace much less just survive.

Harte has put a lot of thought into the world he has built, but perhaps it is a little too much. Some of the minutiae slows the narrative, as does a myriad of characters who are not always that easy to keep straight as many are not as fleshed out as they should be in such a well-built world. The politics are also not the clearest, although things become more transparent as aspects are learned here and there throughout the story. The fantasy elements are also interesting, but tend to be overshadowed by fighting.

Aidan Harte has created a very detailed and interesting world in which a lot could happen. And a lot does happen in Irenicon, making it an in depth read. Do not expect to rush through this one, but do await the next installment.

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