Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Review Tuesday: Bound to Tradition -The Initiation #ReviewTuesday #crosscultural #drama

Bound to Tradition The Initiation cover

Bound to Tradition: The Initiation by A P von K’Ory

Khira and Erik might be devoted soul mates, bound by the deepest love imaginable, but their marriage is anything but easy. Both are brilliant and headstrong, supremely self-confident, willing to take risks to achieve their personal goals and desires. Erik in particular has a passionate, mercurial strength that makes him both the consummate lover and the deadliest of enemies. Khira’s power might be softer and more feminine, but it is equally inexorable. Initiated into the age-old secrets of the Luo women, she knows that men are no more than “muscled infants” who must be kept happy and content at all costs in order to guarantee the survival of the Fertile Planet. Ultimately she trusts her own wisdom more than she does his. In the tradition of her tribe, women are the Goddesses responsible for men and for all of Creation.

When Khira’s and Erik’s goals are aligned, the couple is irresistible. When, despite their mutual love, they feel compelled to make choices they know their partner will reject, they sow the seeds of tragedy.

Bound to Tradition: The Initiation is the second volume in A P von K’Ory’s fascinating trilogy about Khira’s and Erik’s intense and conflicted relationship. In this volume, Khira matures to womanhood. She becomes a mother as well as a shrewd business partner in Erik’s far flung empire. Wealthy, stylish, accomplished and sophisticated, she appears to be fully integrated into her husband’s Western world. However, beneath the surface, she is still a child of Luoland, a woman deeply committed to the traditions of her ancient people. As she struggles to live both in both cultures, rifts appear that endanger not only her marriage but her very existence.

I really enjoyed this novel. Khira becomes more complex and believable as she grows into her roles as wife and mother. The author vividly portrays the sharp conflict between Khira’s ancestral values and those of her husband. As each of them hides things from the other, I felt their relationship becoming a powder keg, about to explode. Indeed, the dramatic final chapters of the novel bore out my expectations.

I wished that I knew more about Kenyan history while reading The Initiation. The book assumes a certain level of familiarity with the politics and the factions of the country and its neighbors, which I just don’t have. I also felt that the book might have spent too much time on the Lindqvist Group’s various business gambits. I understand that the author wants to show us how much Khira has learned from her tycoon husband, but I was not that interested in the detailed descriptions of their wheeling and dealing.

Overall, these are minor issues. The book pulled me along, buoyed on strong emotions. The ending left me shocked and drained. That’s not a complaint, but rather, an indication of how engaged I was with the characters.

I’m very glad I have the third volume of the trilogy on my e-reader, so I can find out what happens next.


apky said...

Thanks so much for this wonderful review, Lisabet. Sorry I'm only commenting now but I'm still pretty slow.

The Trilogy remains my favourite books and a strong bond to co-working with H on the creation of the books.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Akinyi, dear - that's why the book seems so genuine.

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