The Temple of Doubt

The Temple of Doubt
Age Range
Release Date
August 04, 2015
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It’s been two six-days since a falling star crashed into the marshes beyond Port Sapphire, putting the wilds of Kuldor off-limits to fifteen-year-old Hadara. She feels this loss deeply and is eager to join her mother beyond the city limits to gather illegal herbs and throw off the yoke of her tedious religious schooling. Medicines of any sort are heresy to the people of Port Sapphire, who must rely on magic provided by the god Nihil for aid. And if people die from that magic, their own lack of faith is surely to blame. At least, that’s what Hadara has been taught—and has so far refused to believe. Hadara and her mother have ignored the priests’ many warnings about their herb gathering, secure in knowing their tropical island is far from Nihil’s critical gaze. Then two powerful high priests arrive from Nihil’s home city to investigate the fallen star, insisting it harbors an unseen demon. This sets off speculation that an evil force is already at work in Port Sapphire and brings one of the holy men to Hadara’s doorstep. When he chooses Hadara as a guide into the wilds, she sets off a chain of events that will upend everything she’s been taught about the sacred and the profane. The Temple of Doubt is the first installment in a series that follows a teenager who is given a greater destiny and purpose than she could’ve ever imagined.

Editor review

1 review
The Temple of Doubt
(Updated: September 29, 2015)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Fifteen-year-old Hadara is strong, feisty, and questions a faith that demands obedience and allegiance. Her other sister Amaniel is the exact opposite and knows the scriptures of their god Nihil and also is the perfect image of an obedient subject. Then a falling star crashes into the marshes. Then some high priests come to her village, looking for the star as they fear it contains a demon. When Hadara's sharp tongue ends up getting her unwanted attention, and chosen to be a guide into the marsh, her whole life as she knows it is changed.

What worked: This is one unique and totally different world than I've ever read before. Levy does a great job of world building that includes a rich world complete with a religion. The landscape is vivid with great descriptions of the forbidden marsh to the high priests of Nihil.

I liked Hadara because she shows spirit and isn't afraid to speak up. Yes, obedience is held sacred in this world but Hadara questions the rules of the temple and even the idea of being obedient. I liked how her more obedient sister is shown as a contrast. It would have been easy to leave it there but Levy shows that even though the sisters are different? They still love each other.

The attraction Hadara has for one of the foreign warriors doesn't happen right off the bat. If it did, it would have been unbelievable. Valeo isn't like the other guards who invade her world but shows some kindness to her and her family.

Hadara and her mother fear the invaders and priests more than the fallen star because her village considers the homeopathic way of treating illnesses, wrong and punishable by death. This sounds how the priests use control over the people. It's a sign of not being faithful if you use another way beside prayer to Nihil and the gods if you're ill. Hadara sees the consequences first hand when those around her don't seek outside help. Her courage to continue her training under her mother is one plus of this novel. Especially since her own grandmother was tried and punished for continuing to use herbs for illnesses.

I did have a hard time with some of the proverbs and sayings that headed each chapter. The language of this people is complex and rich. I just thought at times it jarred the flow of the story.

The ending was kind of abrupt too. I know there's two other books in this series which I feel will show us more of what happens to Hadara. I also can't help but feel there will be a few more surprises in store for her too.

Intriguing premise of a girl that questions her faith and the consequence that follow. Rich world building that give fantasy readers a whole new world to explore.
Good Points
1. Unique world
2. Intriguing premise of a girl that questions her faith and the consequences that follow
3. Rich world building complete with a religion
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