4 out of 5 Stars
I caught sight of this book on an advertisement and the cover drew me right in. I wasn’t disappointed. This book had a good amount of action and character development that kept me hooked throughout.
First, I loved how the magic was handled in this book. It was different, developed, yet not fully unearthed by the characters. It grew along with the story, which was quite nice.
I found the interaction of the races very interesting. I won’t spoil it, but there’s some great meanings in there if you pay attention. The world was developed nicely and had a good feel of fullness and history. The writing itself was very enjoyable.
So, fast-paced read, good writing, and nice world. How about those characters?
I will say that Ian and Malaq were my favorites. The other characters were a wide range and had flaws as well as admirable traits. It was a diverse cast and one I immensely enjoyed. Malaq had a fun, suave personality to him. I liked his humor and all around demeanor. I think I was drawn to Ian because 1) he was a magic user and I tend to like mages 2) he had a tortured side to him which is always alluring to me 3) he could be a badass! He was also a vulnerable character, one who was caught up in something bigger than himself and kept messing up because of it. I liked that he didn’t have all the answers, that he made mistakes. I will say, he had a huge weakness for women. Not a bad thing, it just started feeling… I don’t know, too predictable maybe? It wasn’t like it was the same girl that kept duping him, it was several. So it lost something there for me. Not sure how else to explain it. It wasn’t horrible by any means, it was just something I grew to expect. Oh, there’s a girl? You’re in trouble, Ian.
There were a few surprises at the end. I loved that I learned of the world as Ian did. I never rolled my eyes through a boring history lesson. It was worked in nicely to the conversations, musings, and interactions of the characters. For me, this is a huge bonus.
Overall, great read for anyone who likes epic adult fantasy. I’ll definitely be picking up the second book and following any future works by Schneider.