Apple Boy by Isobel Starling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There’s a lot going on here!
And it’s not concluded at the end of this first book in Isobel Starling’s new fantasy series either, but there is the start of a complex narrative which I’m eager to learn more of.
I believe the three books together will bring different characters’ backgrounds and stories so far into one over-reaching plot that will conclude once all is done.
First up was Adam and Winter and they’re very cute together and delightfully stumble their way not only into a relationship but also into an epic adventure.
It’s really hard to review this without giving the key parts away, which I’m not going to do, but let’s just say I was kept interested from start to finish even when it all got a little bit complicated.
The book itself is gorgeous, with internal illustrations and a stunning world map, there’s also a handy glossary at the start with a decent chunk of background information on each of the realms.
Like all good fantasy novels, it leaves as much unanswered as it does concluded so I can’t wait to see where the story goes next.
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Shadowmancer by Devin Harnois
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Only my second time reading this author and there’re lots of things to be positive about including a very interesting premise and look at magic.
I enjoyed the majority of this book but felt, overall, that it was a little bit rushed and the romance element in particular felt like it needed just a little bit more time taking with it.
The conflicts all came from Marius’ unusual magic type, something supposedly very powerful and dangerous but he himself was such a sweet-hearted man that all this opposed to him seemed to collapse like dominoes after just a little bit of time.
That’s my one real criticism as the word building is encouraging, the six characters of the Paladin Guild are nicely developed and the two main characters have a good amount of time devoted to them.
I think with perhaps just a few chapters more to dig deeper into the genuine fears before they were overturned would have paid off.
Now, as there are more books in the series, it may be that we get more of that development as the big plot with the bad guys in this one kind of ended rather abruptly.
I’ll be keeping an eye out for book two and I love the cover style on this book.
#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.
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