Review: ‘Chasing the Horizon’ (‘Horizons’, #1) by Zenith Aislin

Time keeps eroding at the world
But I’m glad I don’t have to travel alone

Rating:

4/5 paper planes

What’s This Book About?

Genre: YA fantasy romance (LGBTQIA+)

Publication: 19 June 2020

Synopsis: In fair Aeroterra where we lay our scene
Two star-crossed terrans flee
On whose flights learn what it is to be free.

Konnor, heir of Seslin, is locked away inside their family castle. Now of age, it’s harder than ever to hide that they’re a sacra, an inferior type of terran according to Konnor’s family.

Daxton, heir of Torria, lives free from responsibility despite raids plaguing their borders. Dax’s family tries to reel them in by arranging a marriage to the Seslin heir – a complete stranger to Dax.

Dax and Konnor both run from home and a marriage they’re not ready for. When they cross paths, an undeniable draw between them derails their plans and brings them closer to the fate they tried so hard to avoid.

What I Thought:

A quick and engrossing soulmate romance, I binged almost all of this in one sitting. I haven’t read a soulmate story in so long that I wasn’t used to how quickly they fell in love, but given the idea of soulmates it makes sense, and even Konnor and Daxton themselves were shocked by how quickly their feelings developed.

The setting of Aerroterra is vibrant and I’d like to read more stories set in this fantasy world connected by airships. I particularly enjoyed the country of Tekoland, completely made up of floating islands hovering above the ‘Void’ (basically Hell). I really appreciated that all the characters were agender, and the way this influences the words and systems they use for blood relatives and childbearing (wow the anthropology nerd in me is showing). All pronouns are ‘ve’ (they), ‘vim’ (them) and ‘vis’ (their), and the terms for parent (‘mati’), child (‘fili’) and royal heir (‘zyn’) are similarly genderless – Aislin included a handy glossary at the start of the book. An ‘enfe’ is someone who is able to get pregnant, while an ‘alenfe’ has little to no change of pregnancy, and a ‘sacra’ is someone sitting in the middle, who I interpret as being intersex or non-binary coded individuals. I didn’t understand why ‘sacra’ are so looked down upon in Seslin, aside from the fact that they’re simply different, which is sadly not that far off from reality in some parts of our own world.

Regarding the romance, I was initially dubious about Dax, but I eventually warmed up to him – the Forest of Lights scene was tender and lovely.

“That’s amouranium. It’s very rare. It’s a lover’s stone and it’s believed that all amouranium stones were once in pairs but were separated over time. Your true love will find the other half and the draw of the stones will bring you together.”
I definitely feel like there’s more left in Konnor and Dax’s story – when I reached the end, I kept pressing for the next page!

The ending is rather abrupt, but then I remembered that there’s going to be sequel, which is good as I have so many questions! I hope they’ll be answered as otherwise the plotline will feel quite unresolved, what with raising suspicions about one of the secondary characters, creepy sun-cult priests, oddly faded Tekkoland terrans, unaddressed border unrest and a mysterious power burgeoning inside one of our protagonists. There were several surprises that elicited a satisfyingly dramatic gasp from me, though I kept expecting more of a climactic near-end catastrophe. I look forward to when the sequel will be announced!

Thank you to Enchanted Woods Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Thanks for reading! Is this book on your TBR? Let me know any thoughts below!

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