Worth reading 😎

A blend of sci-fi & fantasy that has plenty of action, adventure, magic, & romance, Karda makes you wish you had your own flying hawk-horse!

Karda: Adalta Vol. I is a blend of science-fiction and fantasy that speaks to the adventurer in all of us. Marta Rowan is responsible for scouting out planets for potential resources and trade relationships for an inter-galactic agency called the Consortium. She finds herself on Adalta, a planet with primitive technologies that was settled 500 years prior by human colonists escaping a collapsing Earth.  To blend in with Adaltan society, Marta joins an elite class of women who patrol the continent. But she soon discovers all is not calm on Adalta.

Marta’s mission of subterfuge puts her at odds with her desires to live a new life on Adalta. She forms a bond with a Karda, Sidhari, who is from a species of flying, horse-like creatures with hawk heads and talons. Drawn between her duties to the Consortium and the love she holds for Adalta, Marta’s desires help establish her as a character trying to do what is right while struggling to figure out what she wants.

A political struggle bubbles beneath the surface and moves Marta’s story along while eerie, magical incidents hint at a growing danger in the shadows. Throughout the book, the reader peeks into the mind of the sinister Readen Me’Vere as he taps into an evil, alien power to seize control of the continent.

The author, Sherill Nilson, creates an interesting world that plays with the boundaries of sci-fi fantasy, but the intriguing set-up for the larger world is obscured by the “primitive” Adaltan society. The idea of a lost colony of humans that reject the perceived ills of their former home was an interesting approach. However, the plotline involving the Consortium’s push to forcefully introduce technology fell by the wayside. But at the same time, the magical aspects of Adalta felt underdeveloped and fuzzy. 

Because this is the first book in a trilogy, it acted as a setup for a much larger conflict that was far more captivating, but we didn't actually get to see. The build-up to the action was so slow and it took a while for the threads of the story to come together. Marta and Sidhari did not spend as much time together as they should have. Although the bond between Mi’hiru and Karda is supposed to be remarkable, the reader doesn’t really get to feel this incredible relationship.

Overall, readers who enjoy stories like Eragon and the Dragonriders of Pern will enjoy Karda and the world of Adalta. Karda utilizes classic fantasy ideas as the foundation of the story, but Nilson places her own touches on this unique world. Although intended for adults, and there are some scenes that are not suitable for younger readers, older teens can also enjoy this high-flying, magical planet.

Reviewed by

I am a passionate, life-long reader, and I've made writing and editing a part of my professional life. I love reviewing pieces to see what works, what doesn't work, and how it can be fixed. I'm even considering going back to school to continue my mission of sharing reading with the world.


About the author

I'm a former horse breeder and cattle rancher turned Fantasy writer, mother of three, and have spent most of my post motherhood between Oklahoma, New Mexico and San Francisco reading tarot cards, building a straw bale house, and getting my Ph.D. Karda, first in the Adalta trilogy, is my first book. view profile

Published on June 20, 2018

Published by

140000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Fantasy

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