The kandar are the children of the trees. Powerful. Immutable. Nine hundred eternal beings who need no sleep nor sustenance, created at the beginning of time to guard the nine human Earths.
That was never meant to change.
The youngest of five sisters, Tchardin is about to be acknowledged as queen of the kandar. She must lead them in their Creator-given Purpose–to guide and inspire the humans–but her people have been exiled to their homeworld for generations. None of them have seen the Earths. Not one of them has met a human.
Tchardin can think of no way to end their exile until a strange longing calls her from beyond the shore of their island. Most of her sisters tell her to ignore it, to take her place as queen and focus on the kandar. One suggests she answer it, as it might be the key to finally returning her people to their Purpose.
My Rating: 7/10
Daughters of Tith is a science fiction novel that explores the themes of destiny, identity, and cultural change in a society that feels utterly unlike human society. The story is told from the perspective of the five daughters of Tith, including Tchardin, the youngest of the five and the soon-to-be queen of the kandar, a powerful and eternal race created to guard the nine human Earths. Having been exiled to their homeworld for generations, the kandar have lost touch with their Purpose – to guide and inspire humanity. The kandar there have no way to escape the island, nor any will to, for they are eternal beings with no need to eat or sleep or do much of anything, really. One kandar, however, is unsatisfied with this stagnation, and the story is propelled forward by her actions.
J. Patricia Anderson does a fantastic job of building the kandar culture, making it feel truly alien to human cultures. Though this does lead to a heavy learning curve at the beginning, if you persevere you'll be rewarded with a rich, immersive world. The exploration of the setting and the kandar culture is definitely one of this book's strong points. An island in an infinite plane of water, giant trees that birth eternal beings, different Earths, each offering a unique setting and challenge for the kandar. There's so much fascinating worldbuilding going on here, and the world seems to have a good deal of depth.
The book does take some time to pick up the pace in the beginning, owing to the need to set up all that worldbuilding, and, at times, the focus on characters searching for one another among the trees can slow down the story. However, the payoff is worth it when the action picks up with thrilling displays of the kandar's power. The slow reveal of the antagonist led to one of my favorite scenes in the entire book.
Though the novel, like any other, has its shortcomings, Daughters of Tith is an imaginative exploration of a unique fantasy race with a deep connection to the Earths they are charged with guarding. I give it a solid 7/10 for readers who enjoy intricate world-building, a slow-burning character-driven plot, and a good dose of mystery. This novel is perfect for fans of science fiction and fantasy who are seeking a fresh and engaging read with an otherworldly feel.
/* Thanks to the author for providing an eARC of the book in exchange for an honest review! */