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Book Review – Eladria by Rory B Mackay

By Rohan @rohanforsale

eladria coverIntroduction: Eladria is a science fiction and fantasy tale with strong mystical subtext. Everything kicks off when the ruling royal family of the planet Tahnadra is suddenly and savagely overthrown by the zealous religious order known as the Ha’shon. The teenage princess Eladria must flee her home on the royal moon which orbits Tahnadra and make her way to the planet’s surface in order to escape the clutches of the brutal and misguided Ha’shon. The escape from the moon is thrilling and reminiscent of the fighter craft scenes in such iconic sci fi fare as Star Wars, or anime’s like Cowboy Bebop. Upon crash landing on Tahnadra, Eladria – and her lifelong servant and close friend Zinn – begin their epic journey to reclaim the throne and defeat the Ha’shon against impossible odds. However along the way Eladria will meet characters and face challenges that will alter her perception of the conflict with the Ha’shon, and with reality itself as she slowly discovers that things are not what they seem. The story is well paced and kept me eager to read on as new characters and plot elements are introduced right when they should be. I blasted through Eladria’s 380 pages in just a few reading sessions and am eager for more from Rory Mackay!

What It’s About: Eladria is full to bursting with what one would expect of a fantasy and sci fi story. Fearsome mythical creatures? Check. Fighter craft? Check. Fantastical locations? Check. Magic and powers? Check. I could go on. However beyond that, and what I think makes Eladria unique in the genre, is it’s focus on mysticism and philosophy. The author has managed to pack in elements of Buddhism, Taoism, Advaita Vedanta (non dualism), shamanism, Qi Gong and more into the story. And incredibly he’s managed to do this in a way that is seamless to the narrative and does not come off as preachy or long winded. I enjoyed this immensely being interesting in these topics already, however I’m sure those unfamiliar with them would barely notice their presence and would merely enjoy the immense wisdom of some of the characters who are privy to this kind of sagacious insight. The usual themes are present, good and evil, ignorance and insight, peace and war. The characters are mostly archetypal  which is by no means a bad thing considering the genre and setting. Eladria is grounded in familiar territory however it manages to tell a captivating and thrilling tale with philosophical substance that will especially please the reader who likes to think and be challenged.

Who Should Read It: I would say Eladria leans slightly further toward traditional fantasy than it does to science fiction, so keep that in mind. Fantasy nuts will have no reason to dislike the book as it contains all that you would expect with a few twists on the genre (and a few big ones in the plot!). Sci fi fans should expect a good many fantasy elements along with the pulse rifles and jet fighters. Those interesting in mysticism, spirituality, metaphysics and philosophy will have an extra reason to check it out, and will enjoy it all the more. With that said the book can be enjoyed as a straight up fantasy adventure as well. In terms of age I don’t think there is anything within that is too violent, disturbing or adult in nature, and there is certainly no profanity. The language is simple without being boring, and did not have me reaching for my dictionary every five minutes. With those points in mind I’d say anyone old enough to read Harry Potter could read and enjoy Eladria. The only prohibiting factor might be the wisdom; the themes of perception, non duality, self realization, transcendence and so on. But even that is presented in a pretty easy to understand manner.

The book with soundtrack CD and Eladria bookmark.

The book with soundtrack CD and Eladria bookmark.

Closing Comments: Eladria is an accomplished debut novel by an author who puts a lot of thought into his work, both in terms of plotting and the strong underlying themes and metaphors. It is ultimately a book about peace, compassion and the necessity to face, accept and heal the darker parts of ourselves; our insecurities, our prejudices, our cultural assumptions, our limiting thoughts and our hatreds. Those looking for a sci fi and fantasy romp will not be disappointing, and those looking for that and more will very much enjoy Eladria as I did. I am happy to award Eladria by Rory B Mackay 5/5 stars!

ps. A special mention should be made about the Eladria soundtrack that the author wrote and produced himself and his releasing for free to those who purchase the book. I’ve heard it myself and really enjoyed it. The tracks range from ambient, atmospheric electronica to rousing orchestral scores that perfect fit their respective chapters from the book. Well worth checking out.


Eladria will be released on the 31st of May and can be pre-ordered in physical form or as an eBook from Rory’s Website HERE

It can also be pre-ordered, or purchased after the 31st, from the stores including the folowing:


iBook Store

Barnes & Noble

Rory’s links:

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