This ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review by Gollancz.
Some information about this book:
- Genre: Fantasy
- Release date: May 20th 2020
- Page count: 608
- Series: The Legacy of the Mercenary Kings #1
This is an excellent debut from Martell who has created a unique world, mysterious characters, his own law system and a deep and yet, undefined completely magical system.
The world building has been done really well and it’s easy enough in your head to picture the areas that Martell is describing whilst the protagonist is in them. I really feel that Martell has only shown us the top of the iceberg with this world he has began creating and in excited to see what characters and other creatures live here.
The characters in this book are good, varied enough to be considered different and for the most part, deep and interesting. Whilst some of the less used characters lack a bit of personality I would put this down to the fact that Martell hasn’t had them in the limelight enough to develop them. He also might be saving them for another appearance in the inevitable sequel.
As for the magic system, I love it. It’s interesting and confusing at the same time. Once you get your head around it, there really aren’t any limits to what people can do. It’s almost if someone asked a kid what the coolest magic abilities would be and they’ve said things like ‘wood magic, smoke magic, sound magic’ and then Martell has included them. I am super interested to see who else can use fabrications and in what capacity. The cost for using magic too much is also very unique and varied. You use magic and lose memory? Cool.
The story is twisting and turning, keeping you guessing the whole way through. You feel for the main protagonist’s situation and also watch him grow from a boy to a man mentally. It’s also got some shock moments which you don’t see coming which I love. This is a fantasy/political/murder mystery all rolled into one.
Rating 4/5 – If you’re on the fence about this I would dive right in. I really enjoyed this book and thought the story was really good. It’s a great debut from someone who is clearly not finished carving out this world and I’m excited to see what happens next.
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