*I received a free DRC of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Book 3 of 12:
Thus Spake Oneness. It is the name of the sacred tome that houses many philosophical and spiritual tenets to solve many life problems.
After deciphering the ancient tongue of Ei’lara, Ni’vim, a pensive and unsure avian girl, now wants to uphold her father’s vow by getting excerpts of the sacred tome. She currently dwells with her mentor, Shanyrria, an aged wizard with a dark secret.
During Ni’vim’s mission, she uncovers Shanyrria’s past, leading to a cascade of crises and conflicts with her mentor.
Qeazor and a shadowy presence within Shanyrria influence her. Now, the sinister darkness in her threatens to destroy everything around her—
However, if Ni’vim gets the sacred tome’s philosophical teachings, they might provide solutions to quell the evil within her mentor.
Can Ni’vim grow from the turmoil, become wiser, overcome all demonic forces, and help her mentor dispel the darkness in her?
Or will Shanyrria become a darkness incarnate that would bring ruin to all things?
If you haven’t been following my reviews of book 1 and book 2 in this series, I strongly urge you to read these in order as this is one continuous tale broken up into separate volumes for easier digestion.
This volume dives straight back into main character, Ni’vim’s continuing journey to complete the spiritual text Thus Spake Oneness. She continues her lessons in language, history, philosophy and spiritual thought with her mentor, Shanyrria, facing various physical and spiritual tests along the way. But it becomes very clear to the reader, and eventually to Ni’vim, that Shanyrria is facing trials of her own.
The lessons Ni’vim (and the reader) studies in this book are mainly based around the idea of freedom – what it means and how one can achieve it. The text considers essentialism (the notion that our base selves are fixed and immutable) versus our free will to change and grow from our experiences. Ni’vim must work out how to conquer sins such as pride, greed and wrath by facing avatars (Kosh’ree) with these qualities in battle and succeeding.
Meanwhile, we follow Shanyrria’s own battle with her hidden past, which results in a climactic battle in which the student must save and free the teacher (with a trigger warning for suicidal ideation, as Shanyrria attempts to sacrifice herself to escape her sins). It really highlights just how far Ni’vim has developed already, although she still retains the familiar qualities of impatience, impulsivity and quick temper that we have seen from the start.
As before, the text is peppered with relevant quotations, along with diagrams, symbols and illustrations, all geared towards helping Ni’vim and readers understand the complex thoughts presented. You may need a pen and paper to process what you’re reading as you go along! Also, there is bonus content at the end of the book, in the form of background lore, arc summaries and thematic explanations, which is really helpful for both worldbuilding and understanding the philosophical and religious concepts that underpin the narrative.
Even as the language seems to be become more ornate and archaic with each instalment of this series, the story becomes better balanced in terms of the action and intrigue plot elements and character development integrated with the academic materials – we see that Ni’vim must marry theory with practical experience in order to progress, and this in turn makes a smoother fiction experience for the reader.
That is not to say that this is an easy-read, because it is not, but it is a complex and thought provoking series of books which rewards the full engagement and close attention of readers looking for a deep, mentally stimulating reading experience and are open to spiritual education.
“You know, Ni’vim… free will is a decision of the moment. However, our ability to act on the present is a confluence of our past deeds and misdeeds. A person who is depressed lives perpetually in the past.”– Aquila Goh, Darkness Unveiled
“And one who is anxious lived in the future. So, I’ve heard.” I slammed my hands together.
“For the spontaneity of free will to fully manifest in the present, you must let go of the past and the future.”
PURCHASE LINK: Darkness Unveiled ON AMAZON
About the author
Experience is the essence of reality, not understanding. To grasp the beauty of life, one must become one with it and the cosmos.
Aquila, the mystic author of The Eternal Reflection novels, knows this and thus sees more to life than materialism.
Thus, he hopes to help humanity by imparting his spiritual philosophy through his novels.
He has an M.A. in Existential Sociology. A spiritualist, he explores many philosophies, religions, and meditation to explore mysticism, spirituality, and creative states.
When he is free, he plays video games, watches documentaries, reads, and streams Tetris.
He lives in Singapore, is single, and is in his 30s.
He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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