This book is part of Fantasy Book Review’s grouping and there isn’t any feedback on it yet. I didn’t know what to expect going into this, I knew it was short, only 164 pages so I was worried I wouldn’t be able to connect with the characters or get to know them enough, but this book was actually character focused not plot focused so I did in the end really like Sparrow.
This is a more medieval kind of world, with Lords and Ladies, Knights and Wizards, and a Wizard shows up to a Knights castle asking to take up shop and work for him. The Knight, named Jake, is super hesitant at first because his father didn’t trust wizards, but eventually agrees.
The Wizard, Sparrow, gets off on the wrong foot with the Knight and the end up fighting when he first arrives, and working through those problems and starting a budding friendship was what the first 40% of the book focused on outside of world building and magic.
There isn’t really an antagonist in this book, we do see battle a few times but it’s not a fleshed out battle with lots of time spent on why they are at war, the Knight gets called to war so he goes, and that’s about the end of it.
There are a few small obstacles that need to be overcome, but most of them are interpersonal problems, like is this girl the right girl to marry and things like that.
- Sparrow – The wizard, reclusive, buttoned up, smart, wirey and small he’s not a very imposing figure at first, but he’s pretty powerful. He takes his vows and his relationship with Jake seriously.
- Jake – the Knight who just inherited his fathers castle, and is looking for someone to marry when a wizard shows up on his door step. He’s like on the cusp of maturity, he’s 25 and he still has left over anger issues. He’ll recognize when he’s gone too far, but he still does it. He does have a fair amount of growth over the course of a rather short book though
- Eloise – Jakes love interest, but her motives are unknown even though she seems nice enough
What was really interesting and different about the relationship between Sparrow and Jake is that it was borderline romantic at points. There was lots of kissing on the forehead, lots of pulling each other to each others chests, lots of embracing and hugging, a lot of talking about feelings and that kind of thing. It almost read as a romance, but it wasn’t a romance, the main character *may* be bisexual but he was more overtly straight having a lot of thoughts about women through the book.
The pacing was kind of slower since there wasn’t a ton of plot going on, like I said above this book is character driven and we get to see a lot of dialogue and relationship stuff more so than battle and fight scenes. The prose were simple and straight forward and sped the story along, and the book went really quickly. Many plot points that came up as obstacles were there and dealt with quickly kind of speeding you along a series of mini resolutions as opposed to a build up for one big resolution.
The world building was very light, there wasn’t much geography mentioned, or anything outside of the King as far as government. There was a little bit on how the magic system worked, wizards can “read your color” which is sort of like aura reading where your personality displays a color, and people use that for a matchmaking tool when getting married. The magic was classic mystery style without a lot of explanation.
- People who like simple stories
- People who like warm light hearted stories
- People who enjoy an easy to like cast
- People who don’t like a lot of violence in their stories
- People who like character driven stories
- People who like shorter stories, 164 pages
- People who like bromances