Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Bellica for the second time. Bellica is written by Katje van Loon, a local author and friend of mine. It follows the story of Yarrow Achi deZameera Zarqon, bellica of the First Regiment of the military of Athering. Athering is a matriarchy, a place where being a “tomboy” means you prefer to wear a peplos (like a dress) and you appear weak. Yarrow is happy with her position as bellica (the highest rank in Athering’s military); however, few people in Athering are happy that her twin sister Zardria is set to inherit the crown. In the midst of slowly stirring rebellion, there are love stories aching to be told (or, at least acknowledged by their main characters) and hands of Goddesses reaching out to guide Fate.
Bellica is filled with vivid characters, and I greatly enjoyed reading their different viewpoints. I was also angry when certain characters died, even if it was necessary to the story. This novel overflows with intrigue, passion, and magek. (Like magic but linked to the mysterious race known as the Magi.)
As a good (and frustrating : ) author does, Katje van Loon tantalizes with numerous questions left unanswered by the end of the book. For example, what is the origin of the part-Magi, part-Terran characters? Or, what is the history of the Magi weaponry the Naratus and the Magisphere?
Overall, this book was a captivating read, and I will read it again.