About the Book
But For The Mountains
by Erin Riha
Publisher: REUTS Publications
Release Date: June 3rd 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy
Arden Thatcher wasn’t meant to be chosen.
But when her name is announced, she’s presented with something she never thought she’d have: a future away from her abuser. Shuttled off to attend the prestigious National Women’s Institute, Arden will receive Nordania’s highest honor, studying with other elite candidates to become leaders, diplomats, and ambassadors on the world stage.
Only, the institute’s not quite what she expected. Paraded around in gown after gown, the tests seem less about educating and more about a different competition, with a very specific prize at stake—the Nordanian Prime Minister’s son. Despite the dean’s protestations that angling for an engagement leads to expulsion, Arden sees the truth. There’s a secret bubbling beneath the institute’s refined surface, and those who refuse to play along may well wind up dead.
With the danger escalating, and the return of her abuser on the horizon, Arden’s shiny future becomes a gilded cage. And this time, she’s going to need powerful allies to escape.
Political intrigue, swoon-worthy romance, and a dash of dystopian flare, But for the Mountains begs the question, how do you change the world when you’re not allowed to try?
About the Author
Erin Riha writes young adult fantasy novels about ambitious girls who don’t know they’re not supposed to exceed expectations. She has an undergraduate degree in Political Science, a Law Degree, and a deep reverence for the power of using exactly the right word in exactly the right moment. She lives in wonderfully weird Portland, Oregon, with her super dreamy husband, where they’re raising a future train engineer and a future chicken whisperer. When not writing, she’s a music director for a teen theater company, traveling the world, or dreaming of traveling the world.Her debut novel, BUT FOR THE MOUNTAINS, was published by REUTS Publications June 2, 2020.
I was immediately drawn into the story. The story was fast-paced and the stakes were high, both things which kept reading until the end.
Arden was relatable and engaging. I also liked the love triangle aspect in the story. Though I sometimes find love triangles annoying, it worked with this story, and it was well-written.
When I first heard about this book, the title intrigued me. I love that moment when the title finally makes sense, and I loved this particular quote from the book:
“A familiar voice called to her and said, ‘What has taken you so long to find what you seek?’ She replied, ‘But for the mountains I would have found it sooner.’ The voice replied, ‘Look at yourself. Look at the mountain. Look at the crevices, the blood stains, the gashes, the bruises. They are your character, your story. But for the mountains you would not have found yourself.”
This book will appeal to fans of The Selection (though fair warning, this book is a bit darker than The Selection) and The Jewel by Amy Ewing.