Monday Recommendation: The Book of Ti’Ana

Years ago I got hooked into a video game series called Myst. They were pretty much puzzle games and I usually just watched my sisters attempt to figure them out. The first one was Myst and the second Riven. I really didn’t play them that much cause at the age I was then they were rather confusing and sometimes freaked me out.
The third one was Exile and I was actually the only one to complete it. There were two more games I believe, but I never got the opportunity to play them.

So, a few years ago I remembered the games and was looking online for some stuff when I stumbled upon actual books written off the series (by the game creators). I had to buy them and I fell in love.

Today my recommendation is The Book of Ti’Ana by Rand and Robyn Miller

This is (chronologically) the first book in the trilogy. The other two books are The Book of Atrus and The Book of D’ni. Both are enjoyable as well, but this one was my favorite.

Anna lives with her father in a desert region where he is a surveyor. They find a cave, but because of health issues with him they never fully explore it. When her father dies, Anna decides to set out and explore the cave on her own. She ends up finding an entire civilization beneath the earth.

They are the D’ni, a very old, but advanced race. They had previously sent out an expedition to create a shaft to the earth’s surface and make contact with the surface dwellers. They ended up canceling the break through, but that was how Anna was able to get into their world.

She is taken prisoner, but she learns quickly and when her trial comes she is able to talk in their own language. She is called Ti’Ana and a councilman decides to offer his home to her. They want to learn more about her and the surface, but they are also wary thinking that her arrival could end up being disastrous to their way of life.

The D’ni actually live for hundreds of years. Aitrus, over 100 yrs old, is still a young D’ni and the son of the councilman that took in Ti’Ana. He starts teaching her to read and write and letting her know things that he would be in trouble for if it was found out.

The part that I loved most is their linking books. The D’ni are able to write books that will link them to other worlds. They’re able to survive underground because they have countless worlds to link to; they have farm worlds or ones with livestock etc. The whole idea of the linking books was amazing.

The D’ni actually write the books, but they say they do not create the worlds. The worlds already exist, and when they write the books it links to the world that matches it.  Though if they change things in the book it can affect the world as well. Only certain books/paper and ink though is capable of being used to create a linking book.

Aitrus works with Ti’Ana on writing a book and they spend their time visiting the world it links to, surveying it and taking notes on the place.

Later, Ti’Ana marries a D’ni and they have a son named Ghen. There are different guilds that make up D’ni, such as the guild of surveyors, writers, ink makers, etc. According to D’ni tradition Ghen is taken away after a few years to live with the guild that he will be a part of. That creates an estrangement between mother and son since he blames her.

Also Aitrus’ former best friend, Veovis, hates Ti’Ana and thinks she should never have been allowed to stay in D’ni. Trouble erupts in D’ni fueled by hate and lies, and in the end D’ni falls.

I only gave that much info because the other two books take place after the fall of D’ni, and even though The Book of Atrus is supposed to be book 1, it makes more sense to read this one so you get all the back story and are able to understand who people are and what they’re talking about. I also really liked the characters in this one much more than in the other two books.

The story is just very intriguing and so different. The beginning can be a bit slow to get through, but once you get past that it really picks up and is a great read! The characters are wonderful, the good guys you love and the bad guys you hate – hate – hate! (anyway the main villain) and the worlds that are created are amazing.

I hated the ending. I hated the ending. Yes, I really hated the ending :p It was even worse since I had gotten so wrapped up in the story and then when I got to the end it was like NO! you can’t end like this! Sadly it did, but I still love the book. Sometimes bad endings are better than the perfect happily ever afters.

If you do read this and enjoy it I would say to also read The Book of Atrus. Atrus is the son of Ghen and the story is predominantly about those two. It was also enjoyable. The final book I didn’t like quite as well but it’s still really good. I still wish there were more books in the series.

Also, for me, these are all re-reads.



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