on February 17th, 2019
Genres: Epic, Fantasy
The Councilate controls everything except the truth. I have nothing save my discovery—but with this shall I destroy an empire.
Tai Kulga lost the rebellion and his best friend on the same day, stripping him of his will to live even as a strange power flooded his bones. When the friend returns as a spirit guide, it feels like a second chance—but his friend is not who he was, and the Councilate is not done oppressing his people. When trouble with lawkeepers lands Tai’s surviving friends in a prison camp, he must go underground to find the last of the rebels and convince them to break his friends free.
Along the way he meets Ellumia Aygla, runaway Councilate daughter posing as an accountant to escape her family and the avarice of the capital. Curious about the link between spirit guides and magic, her insights earn her a place among the rebels, and along with Tai’s power help turn the tide against the colonialists.
But as the rebels begin to repeat the Councilate’s mistakes, Tai and Ellumia must confront their own pasts and prejudices, before the brewing war turns them into the monsters they fight.
This is the second book I’ve picked up from my group in the SPFBO5 competition, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The judges definitely have their work cut out for them.
Because I’m a character reader, I’m always more interested in them than the world building. This book was no exception.
Then we have Ella, a woman who escaped her abusive home and is pretty much under disguise. She was also a great character, good in her motives, best of intentions type, and one you rooted for even more than Tai. What I loved about her was she took care of herself. No one came to rescue her. She had to fight her way out of all her unfortunate situations, and I loved her resolve. She’s also got some cool magic. Basically she can slow time for everything around her except for herself. It made for some fun scenes.
Which brings me to the battles. With adding “brawlers”, a type of magic that enhanced physical strengths, and with the flying and slowing of time, the fight scenes were definitely enjoyable, if not a tad hard to follow a few times. And because I love me some fun magic, this did not disappoint.
As for the world, it was nicely developed. Those looking for world building should not be disappointed. Those, like me, that could take it or leave it shouldn’t be bogged down by it. I wasn’t. It read fast, and aside from some typos, the prose flowed smoothly.
Overall, a very enjoyable read!