The kandar are the children of the trees. Powerful. Immutable. Nine hundred eternal beings who need no sleep nor sustenance, created at the beginning of time to guard the nine human Earths.
That was never meant to change.
The youngest of five sisters, Tchardin is about to be acknowledged as queen of the kandar. She must lead them in their Creator-given Purpose–to guide and inspire the humans–but her people have been exiled to their homeworld for generations. None of them have seen the Earths. Not one of them has met a human.
Tchardin can think of no way to end their exile until a strange longing calls her from beyond the shore of their island. Most of her sisters tell her to ignore it, to take her place as queen and focus on the kandar. One suggests she answer it, as it might be the key to finally returning her people to their Purpose.
Daughters of Tith is the ambitious first novel in the high fantasy series Children of the Trees, written by J. Patricia Anderson; a book which shines due to its immense amount of detail put to the world-building and how different it is. Through the eyes of the five daughters of Tith, we will explore themes such as destiny, identity and non-human societies and their relationship with humans.
Tchardin is the youngest of the five daughters, and soon-to-be, queen of the kandar, an eternal race created with the purpose of guardian the nine human Earths; however, the kandar have been exiled for generations in their homeworld, not having a way to return to the Earth, being devoid of Purpose. They have been stuck in this situation for generations; stagnation has become the tonic for them, but finally one of them has grown unsatisfied with the situation, Damarin. And her actions will be the impulse change needed, involving Tchardin into her plans, and taking us in an exploration that will become an excellent tour of Anderson's worldbuilding.
And let me tell you, talking about Daughters of Tith is talking about the worldbuilding and the insane amount of detail Anderson has put in it; the nine Earths are fully developed and we experience them mostly through the eyes of Tchardin, and it is so different from anything I've read. Each discovery brings more questions that you want to answer, and that slowly reveals more about the kandar and their Purpose; from the Water Side to the Land Side, to the different Earths, each location is different and brings light to the mysteries behind the plot.
While worldbuilding is the main strength, it is true that such an extensive labour brings a slow pace to the plot, which sometimes can feel a bit heavy in the exposition; said that, it is true that once you are immersed, the pages just simply flow, helped by an excellent prose that increases the sensation of enchantment and mysticism around the whole story.
Daughters of the Tith is a really different book, a perfect proposal for those looking for a high fantasy in the style of Le Guin; I'm personally in awe to read more about the kandar and their past. Anderson is an author to watch.