The Ritual Review

The Ritual

By Mitchell Lüthi

 A devastating plague is sweeping the continentof Greater Virren… 
Its origin is unknown, its dominance of the land nearcomplete. In times of grim desperation, pestilence has given way tosuperstition, and the citizenry are now more divided than ever. 

Yetthe city of Rothenburg remains inexplicably untouched… 
The Council has grown convinced of their immunity, even astheir neighbours are consumed before them. As the world teeters on the brink ofcollapse, a zealous religious order has re-emerged. They claim to havediscovered the source of the plague… but can they be trusted? 

Theplague will never reach Rothenberg… 
Katarina Lorenz, a noble of the city and veteran of the civilwar that shook the continent, remains unconvinced. She conspires to leave thecity with her companion Tannhauser, to find out what’s really going on beyondits walls. 

THE RITUAL is the first in a trilogy of gripping high-fantasynovelettes. The debut possesses all the beloved hallmarks fans of the genrewill recognize, but is distinguished by its gritty atmosphere and confrontationwith some of the most unsettling chapters of human history. 

This short novella grabbed my attention with a stellarcover.  I know we are not supposed tojudge a book by its cover, but I totally do. I am drawn to bold and vibrant covers and this one pulled me in. Once Iread the synopsis I knew I had to read this book.

This was a 4/5 star read for me.  The book opens up by introducing us toKatarina.  We are introduced to her town,Rothenberg, and quickly we realize that Katarina was going to be a fierce andstrong women destined to do some great things in this story.  This is just book one in a trilogy and I canalready see the compassion that drives Katarina along with desire to learn thetruth and do what she thinks is necessary to save herself and her town. 

I still currently have mixed feelings about her friend,Tannhauser.  He has shown some hesitationand I’m not sure if he will be up to doing what is necessary, but I also lovethat in the end he goes with Katarina and follows all her plans even when he isunsure about them.  His love for hisfriend and his faith in her is all he needs and he follows her direction.  I feel that this will be good or bad.  He will be there to slow down Katarina andmake sure she thinks through her plans, which would be good and helpful to keepher out of trouble, but also I am fearful that in the end his hesitation mayget in the way of the journey that will be necessary. 

This story was a unique story, which I feel is gettingharder to do these days.  I am eager toread more and find out what happens. There were a few times I got a little confused or lost in the story and theflow was just a bit off, but over all I found this a great story that wasdeveloped well.  Things moved a longquickly (and that’s to be expected with a 47 page novella).

I love reading stories where the characters are willing topush boundaries and seek to learn the truth and to do what they believe isright.  This story did not disappoint,Katarina was exactly what I like in a main character.  I felt so empowered and hopeful after readingThe Ritual.  In true trilogyfashion this book also left me wanting more!