Book Review – One Will Die by CT Ortega

I have previously read CT Ortega’s debut novel, The Writer and The Throne and really enjoyed it, so I jumped at the chance to review his new novel, One Will Die.


Two different lives…
Two different hopes…
Only one will survive…

Tanel, a quiet poet born into the battle-driven clan of Mil’chama. The heavily trained boy struggles to find his way, wishing for a more peaceful existence.

Vinn, a young man tired of watching his people suffer because they’re ill-prepared to defend themselves. The warrior at heart has had enough and is ready to fight back.

As the two stand on the opposing sides of the battlefield, face to face, one of these coming-of-age stories will have an early end.

One will die at the hands of the other.

This was a superb read and just the blurb had me hooked. The story is based around two characters, Tanel and Vinn. Each is from a different community with
contrasting beliefs and ways of life. However, they have more in common than they know. They were both born into the wrong world and each is craving what the other one has.

The writing style of Ortega’s was once again gripping from the start and it was very difficult to put this down. The characters were very realistic, each with their own fears, aspirations and dreams which you discover as you progress through the story.

The writing is full of so much emotion and life that it difficult not to start relating to the characters and empathising with them. From the one who wants peace to other who believes that peace is not the way to progress, you find out both their good and not so good sides but if anything it helps you understand them better rather than dislike them.

From the start of the book we know that one will die and it is that tension that runs through you for the duration of the book and keeps you in suspense until you discover which one it is and in what situation.

One factor this book did illustrate clearly and in my opinion, did it really well is the importance and effect of words. They show us that actions make a point but that words can often be more powerful and as a writer and reader I completely agree with that. To me, the topic is both vital to humanity and an important lesson for them to learn. The pen is indeed stronger than the sword.

As the story progresses we see both boys grow and develop after suffering events and tragedies and we see their differing reactions. They are both brave and courageous but their actions to illustrate this are very different at times from each other which gives us a nice contrast between the two.

To truly depict and illustrate the boy’s personalities and journeys we were provided with a dual narrative structure with alternating narratives for each chapter which was superbly done. It helped to bring the characters to life as well as tell us more about their life, their family and who they are vs who they want to be.

Although Tanel and Vinn were the main stars, the character I was most intrigued by was little Nief. At first we see him as an innocent, little boy but then we see him change and evolve into something else. For me, he was the ultimate symbol of war and what it does to innocence. Nevertheless I just wanted to pick him up and give him a hug, even after certain events occur. He is created in such a way that I was often on the edge of my seat to find out if we would see him again and discover what has happened since he has been gone.

I loved the parallels of the two communities with his first book. One world was very reminiscent of the beliefs and way of life of the asgardians and the other had more in common with the Olympians from Saggilmut.

Although short, the story was crammed full of so much action, life, emotion and war that you were never bored.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and cannot wait for the next one to come out. I have been following this author since I first heard about him and can say I have not been disappointed by any of his novels so far.

One Will Die is out on 1st October!

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – an action-packed, emotional tale full of so much life, would highly recommend.

Much love 💘

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