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The Spear Cuts Through Water

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The Moon Throne is controlled by a despotic emperor and his monstrous sons, known as the Three Terrors. All four hold the countryside hostage, oppressing everyone in their kingdom with the powers inherited from the god beneath the palace. Accompanied by the guard Jun and outcast Keema, the god escapes from her own children, the triplet Terrors. The trio begins a five-day pilgrimage in search of freedom and a way to end the Moon Throne, a journey more dangerous than any of them could have imagined.

This novel begins in second person - a grandmother telling a story based on myths. Within the dream court, stories and plays are played out, telling the story of the Emperor and the Terrors. It's a fascinating way to start, as the second-person POV can be very difficult to pull off. It works very well here and gives a very personal experience reading the book. You feel like the narrative pulls you in, especially as the story grows more layers and characters. The Terrors have enemies enough, and various tribes and villages seek to kill them. The goddess and Empress is old and dying, with little bursts of power, so she can't fix all their problems. Jun is the First Terror's favorite son, and no longer wants to kill and maim in the name of the Moon Throne. Keema has one arm and a tendency to make vows that he keeps until his death. The two young men are also saddled with a tortoise that isn't as psychic as its brethren, but who wishes to roam free again. This just so happens to be in the same direction as the Empress must go, but the treacherous land and people aren't beholden to Her at all. If anything, the Terrors are determined to do whatever it takes to lock her up again.

As a goddess, the Empress doesn't care about people, feelings or problems that don't impact Her directly. The Emperor and the Terrors are the same way, and the power they hold means this inhuman unconcern leads to the death of commoners. It's fascinating that we have their ghosts speaking as well as the living characters, and we have the history of our unnamed "you" as well. The story of the Holy Week pilgrimage is one that has the hallmarks of mythology we might learn in school, and I was sucked deeply into this tale. I had to see if Keema and Jun made it to the end, as I cared about their journey and how it would affect them. The Empress was distant and kind of like a plot device, the magical macguffin that everyone was fighting for. Later, when we see more of her past and she takes action herself, we see her as an actual character.
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this was the first time i've read something by simon jimenez and wow. almost had this at a 3.75 because of my extreme frustration in the beginning, but it soon picked up for me and left me extremely immersed, flabbergasted, and astonished. will definitely be picking up the vanished birds soon.

my overall thoughts:

- this is definitely an ambitious book, objectively unlike any in the fantasy genre. do not come into this book expecting a run-of-the-mill fantasy or you will be disappointed. it is definitely not for everyone as it requires a certain level of patience and open-mindedness that a lot of people just do not have. there were times when i got frustrated and had to re-read a few times to fully understand it, but once i did... wow.
- the story design and the character work are so memorable and stunning. there are so many layers to this book - but it all flows very naturally and nothing ever feels out of place. the world is so meticulously crafted, the characters so rich and complex, and the love story... maybe i am a romantic after all. no review could ever articulate the absolute adventure i had while reading this book, honestly, it was such a ride. the third act especially had me on the edge of my seat. i think it's something that people are only able to understand if they check it out for themselves. 
- the writing was stunning. this was my first introduction to simon jimenez and i was not disappointed. he has such a mastery of language and it shows in his prose. every line, every fragment of a sentence left me so immersed. i was honestly blown away

the docking of a star is mainly just due to me not enjoying it to its full potential right now, but i'm sure that will change. simon jimenez has cemented himself as a formidable force in the literary industry and i am so excited to see what he does next.
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A carefully crafted story close to my heart. Simon Jimenez just has a way with words. An attention grabber right from its first page.
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"Once, the Moon and the Water were in love..."

I wasn't prepared for this novel. After loving *The Vanished Birds*, I kind of thought I knew I was getting into. I did not.

However, I actually ended up loving so much of this book. It was beautiful and weird and so, so unique. I've seen other reviewers say that readers will need patience and an open mind to really get into this book, and that is 100% true. 

At first, the story was so strange and the world felt so mysterious and massive that I was afraid I would really DNF this. I wanted to like it, though, so I pressed on and just let myself be along for the ride. I'm so very glad I did. And now I feel heartbroken that it's over.
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Thank you Simon Jimenez and Random House Publishers for the opportunity to read an ARC of The Spear Cuts Through Water. All the opinions that follow are my own. 

I was very excited to read this book after reading the synopsis on NetGalley. However, I did not end up finish this book. The synopsis failed to mention this story is told in second person perspective—which was a bit jarring to read as most books I’ve read are not written this way. While I can appreciate the core of the story, I was unable to enjoy it based on the perspective it was written in. It was confusing and took me out of the story. 

If you enjoy second person perspective, I think you’ll love this book. It just wasn’t for me.
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The Spear Cuts Through Water
by Simon Jimenez
Fantasy
ARC

A story told by a grandmother to their grandkid, and you're the grandkid... And after that unexciting exchange, I started to realize I was not liking this book. The so-called 'main storyline' started around 4 or 5% but it was too contaminated by the slow and dull beginning, and there were numerous 2nd person interruptions.

I feel bad and I hate doing it, but I gave up at 7%. There are no descriptions or anything that pulled me into this book. And the 2nd person, meaning you were the main character...'you went here, your dad did this' etc., didn't do a thing for me. Maybe if there were more descriptions, action, and life given to these characters there might have been something there.

My brain must work differently, where I need more action, descriptions, or life in stories that I read so I'm pulled right in, wanting to know what happens. I kept expecting this book to end as if it was only a ten-page short story. It's not a short story.

I dreaded reading this book after the 2% mark and became afraid that if I forced myself to keep reading, I'd never pick up another book again. It was that tedious.

I'm not going to force myself trying to figure out why people have been giving this book 4 and 5 stars. I need more out of my books.

1 Star
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I am slightly conflicted on my rating for this book. It is an ambitious story and well done but certain stylistic choices were not my favorite. The story is framed as just that. A story being told to a young person and then a story seen in that person’s dreams. The story follows two young men, Jun and Keema, from very different backgrounds on a quest across five days. Certain parts are told in the dream theater and some in the more present-day young person’s life. Some parts come across a little contrived in one part but no spoilers. I really liked the world building and for such a long book, told over only five days, I got pulled into the story and the two character’s arc. The use of italics for people’s thoughts almost in the way of a chorus was practically well done. However, I would be remiss if I did not mention that this is a very violent book. It is gory; there are lots of dismemberments, torture, and cannibalism. Between the gore and the dense, prose this book is not for everyone but I give it a four for a very ambitious novel that overall, has a satisfying arc.
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NOTE: The Blog review will be Live on the 23rd of August

It’s honestly best - in my opinion - to take this book with the most basic of description and dive in. In fact, I’m going to try and keep my review as spoiler free as I can because I want so many people to do just that and to experience this the way I did.

The Spear Cuts Through Water is a fantasy epic that tells the story of an Empire’s fall at the hand of two young men and an escaped Goddess. The themes here explore belonging, redemption, family, hate and love, and what it is people will do for what they believe. It is also structured in such a way that you feel and see so much, even at times the thoughts of the people around - you truly sink into the story. It is by no means a traditionally structured or told story, so keep that in mind when you pick this up. It’s done so masterfully that it only adds to the story (though I know some struggle with unusual narrative styles).

The world itself is vivid, dark, rich, and so layered. I honestly was so engrossed in the world and the aspects of it that I was heartbroken to leave. I cried on finishing this, and nearly turned around and picked it back up. You feel the heat, the dark nights, the fear of the people. The smells (thanks Defect) and the sounds.

The characters as well are nuanced and flawed. There is only one character in this story I’d consider in anyway a traditionally ‘good’ character. The rest, Jun especially, were incredible renderings of ideas and people. The Goddess for example, I spent the first half of the book assuming I knew her story. It seems so obvious and clear what happened and I was righteously angry for her. But then when she wrenches the narrative voice and tells you the truth? I read the book with my mouth gaping. I hated her but loved her even more.

Melding a story between time and perspectives I truly think Simon Jimenez has created a classic and something everyone should at least try. This is going to be one of my favorites of the year, and something that is going to sit on my shelves in a place of honor. Do yourself a favor and read this book.

5 sad, lonely Tortoises out of 5
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“People died so that we could live. Others suffered so that we may prosper. This is the way of the world. To believe otherwise is to never grow up.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Plot: Simon Jimenez’s The Spear Cuts Through Water is an epic fantasy crafted with storytelling that is not like anything I’ve ever read before. To put it simply, this story follows two men on a quest to transport a god almost at the end of its life across the land in an effort to end the Moon Throne’s reign. However, this story is so intricately woven, that it is nearly impossible to detail every amazing thing about it. There are tyrannical rulers with god-like powers, various animal castes that play their own roles in the story, and an expansive cast of characters.
It is also important to note how this story is told. The read starts in second person, with “you” being an unnamed character being told a story by a family member. Jimenez weaves throughout first, second, and third person in such a magnificent way. “You” are taken to the Inverted Theater, the place where the basis of the story unfolds. We also see inside the thoughts of various side characters, sometimes even unnamed ones. 

My opinions: While this book will not be for everyone (I wasn’t too sure about it before reading it myself), it is an absolute masterpiece of artwork. I have never read an adult epic fantasy before, and while I had to take my time with this book, I found myself constantly thinking about the story. It is incredibly slow paced for a large portion, but because of the attention to characters, it never dragged for me. No matter where I left off, or for however long I waited until picking it back up, I immediately knew where I had left off. This isn’t set up to have chapters like I am used to; it is mainly 5 or 6 long chapters. Despite being worried that it would hinder the story for me, the method of writing/storytelling made it impossible for me to forget where the story had left off.
Reading The Spear Cuts Through Water was an experience, in the best way possible. As is mentioned in the description, it is not like anything I’ve ever read before, and it will always stand out in my memory. While there is a large cast of characters, the two I would consider the main characters (Jun and Keema) were developed so well they felt real. We really get to see how the atrocities they have and are facing affect them and how they react. Jun is being eaten up by the guilt he feels about his past, permanently marked physically and emotionally by his past. Keema is an outcast, looked at as a cripple for having only one arm, but he is determined to never give up without a fight. 
The land is ruled by the Moon Throne and feared by everyone. The ruler’s sons are known as Terrors. They are tyrannical and, with the use of their god-like powers, rule with a harsh hand. The novel does a great job of showing the atrocities that the people face at their hands, with some being too scared to take a stand and others plotting rebellions. One quote even says:
“I’d assumed you were meeting with people not as… wealthy.”
“Of course we are… We want to win.”

By using all three points of view, you really come to understand the characters- their fears, emotions, guilt, determination, etc. It is a pretty descriptive story; there is plenty of violence, gore, and sexually explicit scenes. At times, it can be tough to read about the bloodshed, but I personally don’t struggle with reading these things. Despite how uncomfortable it could be to read them, I think it was part of what made the story stronger- to show the worst parts of this world. 
We are told at the beginning this is a love story, and despite not understanding that sentiment, it all starts to fall into place. The ending wrapped everything up and learning everything about the characters and the world felt like a satisfying accomplishment that I enjoyed deeply. The ending was beautiful and touching.
This book was the most challenging thing I have ever read, but it was so worth it. I am still unsure of how Simon Jimenez’s mind was able to encapsulate this story in such a strangely unique way and make it work so well. 

Who I Recommend Reads: I can definitely understand that this book will not be for everyone. You need the patience to stick with the characters to really get the plot and to understand the workings of the world. If you are in to slow paced and/or character based works, I think you’ll be more inclined to like this one. It is an epic fantasy, so the plot is pretty out there. If you like to annotate, I think this book would be a great one for it. 

Trigger Warnings: violence, gore, sexually explicit content, torture, ableism, cannibalism, dismemberment
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I waited fervently for this ARC to be available, because I loved The Vanished Birds so damn much I couldn't stop talking about it to all my book friends. When I started reading this book, though, it struck me immediately how different it felt from my first love. I believe in honesty, and will say that I almost bounced off this one from the beginning because of how different it is. I've never been a very literary reader despite reading literary fiction, so when confronted with a clearly very literary book I immediately get discouraged and think most of it will go over my head and I'll never understand what's going on. I stuck with it, though, because it's an ARC and I felt obligated to finish what I start, and noticed that after I let the book begin and got used to the different way it tells its story, I was completely sucked in. It's a bit of a dense book, but if you just give it space to tell its story (and the beginning was a bit slow), it's not a hard read. I loved this book.

I'm going to be brief with the summary because it's a hard book to summarize. A country is led by a tyrannical family, and a quest to rescue a dying god out from under these rulers brings two warriors together to bring an end to their rule. There's lots of magical twists and turns along the way, but your lola wasn't kidding when she said that this was a love story at its core.

The story's told using basically all points of view at one point or another. As the story with the main characters is being told, you're also being given little snippets of what people around the main characters are thinking at the same time in a weirdly non-disruptive way. It's also told as if you're in a theater watching the story unfold as a play at times too, the Inverted Theater your lola told you stories about. It can be disorienting in the beginning, but it really grew on me. Things get incredibly wild towards the end, so if you're looking for a straight fantasy tale, this probably won't be for you. It's fantasy, but surreal fantasy. It's also an incredibly dark story, so if gore bothers you, maybe pass on this.

I never thought literary fantasy would be a thing I'd enjoy so much, but here we are. This was a gorgeous, compelling read that I highly recommend.
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Let’s talk about this book… It gets 3 stars it was mostly me.  I feel like I needed trigger warnings but to which triggers I ,don’t want to list because giving the story away.. 
It was beautifully done.  Almost like a song.  There are 3 stories inside.  All interesting 2 are about family one is about a theatrical event.  The 2 stories about the family I found sad, depressing and completely frustrated..  The line of the theatrical event was interesting it did coincide with one of the stories.  The way it was written you could have been there.  
There are events in the book that caused me great anxiety.  I really don’t want to feel so upset that I cant get over it.  I want to feel wow that was amazing.  I did not feel that,  I was mostly sad and upset about some of the storyline.  At some points it felt long winded and I just wanted it to be over.  
So if you like lyrically written books ,family dynasty, war this could be the book for you.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Del Rey for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

On a craft level and a story level, The Spear Cuts Through Water is a book of all time for me. This is wonderfully written and delightfully experimental, weaving multiple threads together. The use of point of view was just so incredibly well done, as was the framing of the story. I really enjoyed seeing how every thread and layer was interconnected with one another, and the world building in this was so intricate that my internal monologue while reading was just saying “oh my god” in varying tones. The character work in this was also exquisite, and being given every scope imaginable was just? Perfectly done? I loved getting to hear anyone and everyone’s thoughts as the story progressed, from the Moon and Keema and Jun down to the most insignificant villager they meet along the way. This was so risky and ambitious and it came together so, so well.

I went into this not really knowing what to expect, but I whatever expectations I had were just utterly exceeded. The few things I did know about this book—an emperor, a god escaping captivity, a quest to bring down the empire, use of the second person—were things that are catnip for me to begin with, but the way that Jimenez fleshes out all of these bare bones ideas is stunning. This was weird and epic and lush and, in addition to being one of the most original and creative things I’ve ever read in my life, a deeply heartfelt love letter to storytelling and storytelling traditions. 

I do think that even though this novel contains a lot of classic epic fantasy tropes and ideas it will have a specific audience, as it does require a fair bit of patience and the willingness to simply not know what the hell is going on for a while. Still, the payoff is so worth it, especially because Jimenez has such command of his prose that every line is a banger, my god.
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This book will not be for everyone, but I think it is undoubtedly an excellent and truly unique piece of art. The focus here is on the prose and style of storytelling, so while I was very interested in the world, plot, and characters, they were in the backseat. That's not to say any of those aspects were weak, on the contrary, they were all very well done, but I personally couldn't get past the style to really enjoy reading any of them. 

This book is for you if you enjoy:
-Unconventional framing devices
-Beautiful and thoughtful prose
-Eccentric world-building
-Books that make you think

Overall, my enjoyment of this was not quite what I was expecting going in, but I really respect this as a piece of work and think it 100% accomplishes what it sets out to do. The Vanished Birds was one of my favorite reads of last year, and I will definitely be picking up anything else Simon Jimenez releases in the future. If it sounds at all interesting to you, I really urge you to try it, because I can almost guarantee it will be the most unique reading experience of your life.
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I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm giving this a 3-star because, despite the fact that I very much didn't like it, I think a ton of people will and I'll understand why they feel that way. Allow me to explain.

The Spear Cuts Through Water has a VERY distinct writing style, told mostly in 2nd person with some sections in 1st or 3rd as ALMOST EVERY CHARACTER WE MEET gets some time to narrate. The structure of this is also unique, foregoing real chapters in favor of a few long sections broken into short vignettes. That's as good of a job as I can do describing it anyway. 

This books is very much focused on the writing, placing it on the same level as, if not prioritizing it over, the story. If you love lyrical, experimental, highly stylized prose, than you'll probably be cool with this, but I found it highly distracting.

TL;DR = I think people will either love this or not be able to handle the writing.
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I picked this up with absolutely no expectations other than some friends being abnormally excited it on Twitter, and damn were they right. This is, hands down, some of the most creative, evocatively written, and experimental SFF I have read in a really long time.

The Spear Cuts Through Water balances 2.1 storylines. The first storyline is directed as a fictitious unnamed reader, an attendance of the Inverted Theater where the main storyline is told. We don’t learn much about this reader, the world they live in has a war, they have many brothers and a deadbeat father, and their lola, their grandmother, would tell them stories about the Old World, including the one being told today. The second storyline is more the main story, where two companions Jun and Keema meet by chance to escort a god across the lands to take down the tyrannical Moon Throne. The 0.1 comes from the short little interjections from the supporting cast, giving the reader an outside perspective on events as they happen in the second storyline.

What’s so creative about this story is how it’s told. I’ve never seen a book so seamlessly blend 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person narration and use those stylistic choices to elevate the way the story of conveyed. The unnamed reader’s tale is told in 2nd person, with lines like ‘you remember your lola saying…’ or ‘you sit at the theater…’. 3rd person is the main narrative, with an epic fantasy-level storyline. The fun part is the 1st person, which are the little interjections throughout the 3rd person sections, marked in the paragraph in italics. It certainly took a while to get used to, but I think it’s such an incredibly cool feature. As the main story is told, we hear single from minor characters with minor roles, a cook, a guard, a dying soldier, about the current events. On paper, this really shouldn’t work but for some reason, it does.

I say the main narrative, our throne toppling narrative, has a epic-fantasy-esque vibe to it, yet this is one of the rare occasions in epic fantasy that I’d say the plot plays second fiddle to the characters themselves. As one of the characters says in the story, ‘this is a love story’. Every event that occurs, every big reveal, all fuels the absolutely incredible character work Jimenez puts into this story. Really, this is a story about the connections that Jun and Keema make together, from strangers to a partnership that transcends simple romance.

And while I saw that the first emphasis lies in the character work, I don’t want to downplay the beauty of the writing and the worldbuilding. Jimenez has this incredible mastery of prose that every line, every sentence had to be paused and witnessed. And through the writing, this mythos-like worldbuilding is born. The Spear Cuts Through Water is one of the few books that actively make me want to pick up the audiobook. The storytelling format is already very suitable for an oral narration and I really want to see how the narrator incorporates the experimental structure of the writing.

Overall, I rate this book a 4.5/5. This is very much not a turn your brain off and read book. Jimenez really forces the reader to work for their story, to understand how all the pieces come together, but it is so so so rewarding. An absolute masterpiece in prose and character work.
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I'm not exactly sure which aspect of this book wasn't for me. I think it could be the way the writing was woven together with the story and the prose and the poems. I just didn't get a good enough sense of the characters and the world, but I did like the blend of historical fiction and fantasy (that's one of my favorite sub-genres). Overall, this was okay: I liked the pacing, and the plot, but this specific combination just didn't click for me. I would love to take a dive into this author's backlist, or check out their next work, though!
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this eARC.

In a land plagued by the long tyrannical rule of the Moon Throne, the emperor and his sons, the Three Terrors, wreak continual havoc. In a desperate attempt to find a way to end the Moon Throne forever, a god escapes from her captivity with the help of Jun and Keema, and their ensuing five day pilgrimage is wrought with danger and mystery.

There’s so much to say about this book that I can’t really figure out how to say any of it. I guess the first place to start is that this book is a long 544 pages. So much is crammed into each paragraph that you really do feel the length of each and every page while you read. That said, I do think the length of this book is well-earned. Jimenez is an astute storyteller, and does not waste your time with filler content. Every moment of this book is essential to the overall story, whether it feels that way or not.

I do wish I had taken notes, because a lot of the perceived slog of this book’s length is due to trying to figure out what, exactly, is going on. There are parts in second person, in first person, in third person. There is a performance on stage and a story being orally recounted to a grandchild and the actual plot of the adventure. There is dialogue denoted by quotation marks and dialogue and internal thoughts denoted by italics. It feels, for most of the book, that you are holding this messy, barely-containable mass of stuff that doesn’t make sense. It’s hard to see where it all connects and how the pieces play together and what it all means.

But the name of this game is certainly patience and attention, because holy cow, the last 20% of this book is so worth it. Almost like magic, the story transforms from this jumbled mess of disconnected bits into a breathtaking saga spanning generations. It is truly masterful.

And, at its core, this is a love story, and there is so much to love about that love story and the ways in which it is so much beyond a simple love story. 

To sum up, this is a long, somewhat laborious, but ultimately breathtakingly unique, beautiful piece of art. Jimenez really does weave magic on the page and I cannot wait to see what else he has up his sleeves.
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I was skeptical when I first started this book. It had a very unique writing style, with interjections showing the thoughts of various characters, both significant and insignificant. It had a frame story that was sometimes a little difficult to follow. It switched from 2nd to 3rd person frequently. It didn't seem to have "chapters" in the traditional sense. And I wasn't sure whether I liked it.

As I read, though, I found myself more and more drawn in by the story. The frame story bit wasn't the highlight for me, although someone with intergenerational trauma and a family who had recently been immigrants to a country like the US would probably relate and get more out of it than I. What I loved was the story that was being put on for us like a play, of two warriors seeking meaning, redemption, and absolution in a brutal world as they tried to help a goddess destroy the throne she helped create. The two main characters, Keema and Jun, had distinctive personalities and voices, and seeing them grow in themselves as their relationship with each other deepened was a delight. Although there was a lot going on that was very large scale in the realms of both mythology and politics, Keema and Jun's journey never failed to feel personal, relatable, and important. 

The Spear Cuts Through Water works on a number of levels. If you want it to be a story about heritage and how mythology and trauma is passed down through generations, it can be that. If you want to enjoy it purely as a brutal and vivid fantasy adventure, it can be that. If you want to revel in the world building, inventive and grotesque as it is, you can. If you want to relish in the tender complexity of the relationships between characters, you can do that too. If you want to use it to think about larger themes of family, power, corruption, religion, injustice, etc, that's all there too. While I agree with the book itself that it's ultimately a love story, it is so much more than that. 

I often fall into the trap of being vague in reviews because I don't want to reveal too much to the reader before they read it. I still don't want to do that, but I will try to pull out a few details that I found interesting to help tantalize prospective readers (I myself requested the book purely because of the cover and the title, knowing nothing of what it was about). The fantasy part of the story is set in the Old Country, where the moon fell from the sky and birthed a dynasty of magical and brutal emperors. These emperors use telepathically connected tortoises to communicate and maintain their control over their empire. A lot of people get beheaded, exploded, eaten, drowned, trampled, and otherwise killed in a number of brutal ways. Two men grow closer even as they struggle with their own demons; when they get too emotional and don't know how to handle it (or are scared of what acknowledging it would lead to), they wrestle. Everyone has excellent titles, like The Three Terrors or Araya the Drunk. There's all sorts of magic, and one sort is dancing. The threads of the frame story, which initially feels a little jarring, ultimately weave together with the threads of the fantasy story to form a rich tapestry that you feel even if you don't fully understand it. There are no people who are just "good" people; the world isn't forgiving enough for that, and yet some people continue to seek and give forgiveness. There are bits involving unintentional mind reading that are both funny and intensely sensual. You get to see the point of view of a bear! 

This is just scratching the surface of what The Spear Cuts Through Water includes, but I wanted to provide some of the things that if I had read them, would make me want to seek out this book, which ended up being the kind of book that I read over half of in a single day and almost a single sitting because I couldn't stand to wrench myself out of the world and the story.
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I am a totally new reader to Jimenez’s work.  I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this author, would I be disappointed, or would I be impressed?
To my amazement, Jimenez has done the remarkable construction of building a masterpiece. 
The story follows two warriors on a journey as they are tasked with guiding an ancient God across a deteriorating kingdom.  Ruled by the authoritarian, atrocious royals who command the powers of the God.  Jimenez introduces us to the mysterious person out of 3 in this mysterious, magical tale.
The story tells of Keema of the Daware tribe and Jun of the Red Peacocks, who have the quest to bring down the suns. 
Keema is an orphaned, one-armed warrior desperately seeking human connection. 
Jun is tormented by the memories of his past.  The voices of the dead, the horrors that he committed in the name of his father’s Army while he was a soldier.
Jimenez gives you sections, rather than chapters which makes the story exceptionally long.
However!  You will not even notice, since you will be so engrossed in the unfolding of this novel.  The novel is told over 5 days while the evil emperor Smiling Sun and his wretched sons, First, Second and Third Terrorize everyone. 
Keema and Jun have to deliver a special package from the west to the east, these chapters are one for each day. 
Jimenez is mind blowing with his ability to be so flexible with his language, which makes this his greatest asset.  Many authors cannot command an audience in the second or third POV.  However!  Jimenez does so with the ease of an expert magician.  His word building is incredibly powerful and feels effortless and smooth.  There is no flowery word dumping whatsoever in the book, nor any fluffy language just to add context.
Jimenez fantastical journey is amazing with his talking tortoises.  Then there are the Terrifying Terrors, each one so powerful. 
 All want power and the one thing that they cannot have.  What they cannot have is that they are each neglected but want more power.  Since they cannot have the attention, they a searching for, they will seek power instead.
However!  The 3rd Terror is seeking something the other 2 are not.  He is seeking love, but love is just as deadly, if not even more dangerous.  Which makes him the most terrifying.
Jimenez has outdone himself on this novel.
The book was emotionally touching, a roller coaster of emotions that will leave your heart in pieces. 
Not a dry eye throughout the entire end of the novel.
Loved this novel and would thoroughly recommend this book to any and everyone.  If you are looking for an amazing read, this is for you.
Jimenez is a “WORDSMITH” at his craft!
Kudos to this superior author for this REMARKABLE BOOK!!!

Thank you to NetGalley, Simon Jimenez, and Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine.  Del Rey for this free eARC.  My review is of my own volition.
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I wanted to love this book. I really enjoyed Simon Jimenez's Vanished Birds so I hoped I would also love this one. The frustrating thing is that I can't pin down exactly what it is that didn't work for me. I enjoyed how the story switches between points of view and I loved the idea of the inverted theater and those watching being part of things. However, I never connected to the characters and what they were going through as much as I would have liked. I'll be anticipating Simon Jimenez's next book and while this one didn't work for me, it definitely could for you.
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