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Book Review: A Psalm for the Wild-Built

by | Apr 17, 2023 | Book Reviews, Cozy Fantasy, Fantasy, Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 stars
Age Rating: 13+

Warm your heart with a tale of tea, connection, and the power of kindness. In our A Psalm for the Wild-Built review, we welcome you to the comforting embrace of Panga, where tea monks and robots come together on an extraordinary journey of self-discovery and mutual understanding. Settle into your coziest reading nook and let this endearing story wrap you in its gentle warmth, sparking inspiration and a sense of hope.

The Monk and Robot Series

With the gentle touch and thoughtful prose that characterizes Becky Chambers’ writing, A Psalm for the Wild-Built transports us to a world where kindness takes center stage, and humanity flourishes in harmony with nature. This enchanting novel marks the beginning of the Monk and Robot series, which invites readers to ponder the essence of consciousness and the power of stories born from abundance rather than scarcity.

Set in the captivating world of Panga, the narrative unfolds centuries after the robots achieved self-awareness, abandoning their tools and disappearing into the wilderness. Our protagonist, Sibling Dex, is a nonbinary tea monk whose purpose is to traverse the land, lending a listening ear and a soothing cup of tea to those in need.

Fate takes a surprising turn when Dex crosses paths with Splendid Speckled Mosscap, a robot on a mission to discover what humans genuinely desire. As they journey together, their partnership challenges their assumptions about the world and themselves, ultimately offering profound insights into the power of connection and understanding.

Moving Beyond Dystopian Narratives

A Psalm for the Wild-Built is a heartwarming, contemplative exploration of consciousness and the undeniable impact of choosing kindness over cruelty. As Dex and Mosscap journey together, their heartfelt conversations delve into the complexities of human and robot societies, history, ecology, and philosophy.

In stark contrast to the typical dystopian narratives, this series embraces optimism and the power of compassion. Dex’s world has transcended the factory age, leaving behind its sorrows and disappointments to evolve into a more peaceful and equitable society where people live in balance with the natural world.

We see humanity working in harmony with nature rather than against it, and a deep connection and reverence for the Earth was fostered. This is evident in the novel’s hopeful depiction of a society that values conservation, regeneration, and a symbiotic relationship with its environment.

Yet, there are moments in the novel that feel strikingly familiar and curiously discordant, like when Dex uses their pocket computer to check social media—a habit deeply ingrained in our modern anxieties. These instances remind us that while Panga may be a different world, it still holds echoes of the present that resonate with readers, offering a connection between their world and ours. 

The Simple Pleasures of Life

At the heart of A Psalm for the Wild-Built lies the magic of heartfelt conversation and the simple joy of sharing a cup of tea. Dex and the undeniably adorable Mosscap embark on a journey together, filled with moments of profound introspection and playful banter. This delightful narrative showcases the significance of truly being present and embracing the inherent value of existence. 

Through their captivating exchanges, we experience the beautiful blossoming of friendship, understanding, and compassion between two seemingly different beings, reminding us of the power of connection.

Finding Solace in A Psalm for the Wild-Built

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers is a refreshing and heartwarming addition to the realm of cozy fantasy, offering readers a soothing balm amidst the world’s chaos. Its emphasis on kindness, compassion, and the beauty of the natural world makes it a must-read for those searching for hope and solace. 

So, find your coziest cup of tea, enter a much-needed escape from the harsh realities of our modern world, and discover a newfound appreciation for life’s simple joys.

If you found this review helpful, you can check out the book at Bookshop.org here and support local bookstores along the way!