I jumped right into my reading list the moment I got my batch. This is my most favorite time of SPFBO 😀 As of now I’ve finished four books and have started on a fifth. I’m still feeling out my batch, so unless I DNF your book you’re still in the race for now. When I get to the end I’ll look over all the books I’ve finished and I’ll start to make more cuts.
I’m trying something new and I’ll just give a snapshot at the beginning:
- Genre: Epic Fantasy
- Magic: Integral to Story
- POVs: wizardess, thief, dwarf, storyteller, acrobat
- Read: 100%
- Status: Still in the race
I’ve read works by this author before and enjoyed them, I was excited that this one is accompanied by an audiobook since I absorb those like it’s my job.
So far this one is the closest in my batch resembling classic epic fantasy. There’s a broad world that was only just beginning to be explored. There’s wizards and dwarves and mayhem. It starts out with a short prologue laying the foundation for the tone and world-building. You know right away even just from the title that magic is going to play a central role in this world.
The world is split into eight major cities that are ruled by Wizard Lords. These Wizard Lords are long-lived, inhuman in many ways, and merciless by in large. The story follows the daughter of one of these Wizard Lords and multiple POVs who are working on killing him. This is going to be no easy task. Wizard Lords can heal themselves (and they’re the only ones who can do that) they can rip people in half with their magic, and they are unrivaled in the sheer magnitude of their power.
It took a while for everything to come together for this one, but once it did I was reading it pretty quickly. Since there are multiple POVs it takes while to get to know each one, and as soon as you think you’ve got the full cast, up pops another POV. The benefit for me here is that I wasn’t liking one of the early and main POVs but I really enjoyed many that came later. In particular, I liked Rawk the outcast Dwarf who is able to shape stone with his hands. He has such a unique perspective on the world and is so new to everything I liked him right away. Rhoa’s backstory was teased out slowly, when her past was fleshed out a bit I really started to invest in her success. I never really warmed up to Jace, that said, most people love a snarky rogue conman/thief, so I imagine I would be in the minority for this view.
There were a few things that didn’t go over well with me. There is a lot of time spent staring at chests in this book which is apparent almost from chapter one and it persists through to the very end. I tend to be forgiving of it a couple times, and then I start to get progressively annoyed by it. There are also multiple instances of seeing the same scene from a different character’s perspective and getting told the same thing twice. There were a few instances of overused words, or more ‘stand out’ words like “azure” being used close together.
Overall the prose was light and breezy, this is an epic fantasy with a ton of magic and action in spots and it kept moving fairly quickly once it got started.
I very much so enjoyed the mystery revolving around the Makers and who they turned out to be. It’s thought they have all gone from the world and left behind giant works of art and architecture that can’t be duplicated in modern times. I also liked that some of the questions surrounding the Makers were answered and we got to meet one.
One of the characters was a “storyteller” as a profession and wandered the world collecting stories and reciting them for others in exchange for a room to sleep in and a meal. He was an easy-breezy way to get some extra world-building without it feeling forced. I actually like this kind of info-dumping if done well.
This book does wrap up its storyline and leaves room for more books to come. If you don’t like books that end on cliffhangers or with major plots unresolved, there’s no need to worry about this one.
Overall, I felt like this was a fun easy read that kept me entertained. I had a few hangups that were mostly personal things. If you like old school fantasy with a ton of magic, multi pov, wide scoped plot, and an eclectic group of people on a mission, this could be for you.
- Plot: 12/15
- Characters: 11/15
- World-Building: 12/15
- Writing: 11/15
- Pacing: 10/15
- Originality: 10/15
- Personal Enjoyment: 7/10
Final Score: 73/100 -> 7.3/10 for SPFBO