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Reviewed by Joseph Ogbonna for Readers' Favorite
The first book in Rebecca Holmes’ Equilibria series, Beyond the Gloaming Pass, is an emotional high fantasy adventure. Celessilian friends Molindra and Rubriel moved from their native country in search of “greener pastures” but ended up working hard and earning little. Despite having scant knowledge of her parents, Rubriel is a multi-talented woman who does anything lawful to exist. Molindra, however, operates as an unlicensed mage, although she struggles to control her raw energy, having been disowned by her parents. The strength of their friendship is put to the test when Mr. Vesner, a wealthy merchant, offers a hefty payout to whoever dares to explore the haunted land of Langlythe. Molindra seizes the opportunity. This is the first time she takes responsibility for her future, but Rubriel is unconvinced, as she deems it too dangerous. Molindra goes anyway, and Rubriel, out of compassion, pursues her through the hostile territory of Langlythe. However, they soon find themselves on opposing sides of a bitter conflict that spirals out of control. Will they be able to work out their differences and overcome obstacles together, or will they be forced to live their lives apart and with regret?
Beyond the Gloaming Pass by Rebecca Holmes did not just keep me glued to my seat. It dominated my thoughts throughout the period I spent reading it. Rebecca takes us on a voyage into a realm where light and dark collide, and I reconsidered the meaning of friendship. The writing is flawless, and so is the plot. Right from the adventure-courting map of the Eastern Continent, it draws you in and keeps you fixated on a fantasy world that most authors would struggle to replicate. Fantasy does not get much better than this! I also liked how the author used descriptions of the terrain, such as rocks and caves, to enhance the story’s imagery. Amidst the entertainment, important lessons also appealed to my sense of morality, especially as I have grown up in a culture where monetary gifts are the norm. But Beyond the Gloaming Pass has made me realize (again) that genuine friendship is sacrifice. If you enjoy high-fantasy adventures, this book is for you, but don’t start reading until you’re less busy because this particular book is addictive.