Review: The Moreva of Astoreth by Roxane Bland

Synopsis: In the world-building tradition of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Moreva of Astoreth is a blend of science fiction, romance, and adventure in a unique, richly imagined imperialistic society in which gods and science are indelibly intertwined. It is the story of the priestess, scientist, and healer Moreva Tehi, the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful deity who is banished for a year to a volatile far corner of the planet for neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.

I feel that author does a great job of the building the back drop for the worlds of Devi, Hakoi and Morevi. When we first meet Tehi, she is arrogant and uncaring. After finding out what the Ohra ritual is, I could understand why she  didn’t like performing it. The characters are well developed. Tehi was not a likable character in the beginning but her time in Syren changes her for the better. She becomes able to accept and love herself which in turn changes her perspective about others. As a priestess, she has a strict lifestyle at the temple that doesn’t truly suit her. How can you be a priestess of love but you don’t know what love is? Teger is a strong handsome leader who Tehi falls in love with. Hyme is a wise old healer who becomes a close friend and role model to Tehi.

I will admit I was worried about the story length but the story line is so good I didn’t notice it at all. Tehi finds herself and then realizes she has to find a way to be able to come back to her love, Teger. Teger also reveals to Tehi a shocking secret that rocks her world but ultimately helps her to understand the Mjoran hatred of Devi. The only complaint I have is I don’t think the cover gives the book justice. Overall, a wonderful tale of personal growth and love mixed with science fiction and fantasy.

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