Birth of the Anima, Kelsey K. Sather’s debut novel, is an ambitious ecological myth in the vein of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth books, with extensive lore and dozens upon dozens of characters that interweave throughout the narrative. Actually, it reads out less like a singular narrative and more like an anthology of interconnected short stories surrounding the twelve generations of the Anima, women who receive beast-like abilities and the gift of communicating with the natural world. These women are tasked with ending the wanton destruction of the planet by the human hands of the Imperium, the global empire that takes all it can, regardless of who or what pays the price.
Where this book shines is in its lyrical prose describing the natural world. Sather has created an expansive land with a rich history and diverse biomes, including rivers, mountains, forests, and valleys. It is almost as if Sather is not just describing the natural world, but is putting the soul of the land on the page.