Clan of the Skyriders is a romance story set in a dystopian world. The book has a fascinating world, with a small society with people ‘bred’ to perfection, and who ride giant birds. It also gives two very different perspectives; Efalaa, who questions their ways, and Morgunn, who beliefs in them without wavering. This book will please fans of a slow friends-to-lovers romance.
The Clan is preparing for a feast, when a natural disaster strikes, threatening their way of life. The survivors need to find a way to rebuild for the Clan to survive. Efalaa longs for her freedom, away from the Clan, and the natural disaster might offer her a way out. On the other hand, it would mean she leaves Morgunn behind, a man she cares more for than she’s willing to admit to herself.
“My eyes stung with tears, and I didn’t trust myself to speak, so I followed him at a distance while he meticulously inspected ground and bushes.”
Clan of the Skyriders is a romance story; however, I felt the beginning of the book gave some different expectations. If I hadn’t known it to be a romance, I’m not sure I would’ve gotten it from the beginning.
One reason is Efalaa, who questions the ways of the Clan, in particular the ‘purposeful breeding’. This is where two Clan members are chosen to mate to produce offspring with the desired qualities for a specific occupation. This questioning of Efalaa made me believe that perhaps she would fight for that, and they would change their ways. I had to readjust my expectations after it became clear that this wouldn’t be the case.
The natural disaster also raised the expectation that the Clan would face hardship struggling against the elements. The story fulfilled part of this expectation, but most of the hardship centers around Efalaa. She is, in my opinion, the main driver of this story. The storyline about the rebuilding of the Clan and the village from Morgunn’s point of view was often uneventful and not that interesting to me.
“If I stayed in stayed in the Clan, my body and my life would never be mine.”
However, Efalaa’s storyline did have a lot going on and kept me reading. I loved Efalaa’s character. She has a mind of her own, always tries to protect others, and is a real fighter. She’s experienced great hardships in her life and carries them around with her. It was great to see her able to open up more and more and deal with the things she suffered.
The other point of view character was Morgunn. I have mixed feelings about him. While he’s generally a good guy, and kind to the people in his Clan, he’s also just… clueless. He doesn’t seem to understand the darker sides to purposeful breeding, or why Efalaa would be so against it. He considers they are all equals in the Clan (and in many ways, they are) and doesn’t see how the breeding might be a different experience for a woman. So, basically, he’s a well-portrayed man, filled with the best intentions, but not fully understanding.
“Like a prisoner returned to her cell after a failed escape, I gave up hope. Lost in the maze of my own mind, bound by rope and habit to submit and endure, I awaited the inevitable, hating myself and wishing for death.”
The world in Clan of the Skyriders was well-thought-out, and many great details enriched it. The society of the Clan reminded me a bit of a communistic community (truly communistic, not the messed-up kind with dictators). They all have their duties, such as Farmer, Hunter, and Cooks, and they all get the same amount of food, clothing, and shelter. There is one Chief, who makes the decisions for the Clan. As mentioned before, men and women are chosen to mate with each other, only to produce a child with the right traits for a certain occupation, and only when it is needed. They don’t want to overpopulate their community. It’s a fascinating system, and it was fun to learn more about it.
All in all, I enjoyed reading this book. It does have a nice friends-to-lovers romance, and especially Efalaa’s storyline was engaging. What’s also nice, is that while Clan of the Skyriders is the first of a series, it can also be read as a stand-alone. If you’re a fan of romance, where the characters struggle for survival, set in an interesting and detailed world, I think you’ll really enjoy this book.
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If you’ve read this book and/or any other books in the series, please let me know your thoughts!