The true sign that a webcomic is great is that, when you get to the most recent update, you find yourself clicking the "next" button, praying that there is more. That's how I felt reading Trial of the Sun, a webcomic about a sworn maiden, pledged to military service, who must embark on a deadly quest for his family.

Trial of the Sun is by Jeinu (who also created the webcomic Miamaska) and it stars Davrey Eliano, a sworn maiden who is pledged to military service and treated by law and society as male. This suits Eli just fine, and he looks forward to fulfilling the military service his family owes the land. But life in Saltrust is stranger than it at first appears. Eli's people are devoted to the goddess Amari, and Amari isn't an abstract ideal — she is a being that people see and interact with. And she happens to arrive in Saltrust just as Eli learns his father and uncle have been injured in a riot.

The people of Eli's world — humans, elves, the bird creatures known as lamiak — live in relative security inside the Saltblood Barrier, a wall that ensures their goddess' protection. Outside the wall is a wasteland, filled with monsters and twisted gods. But Eli may not know the serenity of Amari's protection much longer as his family's circumstances suddenly change.

The world that Jeinu has created is an intriguing one, but it's the characters that make Trial of the Sun something special. Eli comes from a large and well respected family, one filled with strong personalities and a romantic backstory. And while, outwardly, Eli is haughty and fanatically religious, he nurtures doubts about his abilities — and may very soon have his faith in his goddess challenged. Plus, the reader is treated to a bit of inside knowledge that Eli doesn't have, involving an inept cloistered elf and an Ark containing a mysterious force, one that has lain dormant for generations.

It all coalesces into a very human fantasy drama, one where we're curious to see not just what happens to our protagonists, but also how they'll react to adversity.

[Trial of the Sun]