I went into this book not really knowing what to expect, but I knew it was going to be just what I needed. It was so fast paced and the main character is so snarky and sarcastic and I love him so much! After reading this, I promptly went and bought the rest of the series that is currently released.
This book was so easy to fly through. Not only is it on the shorter side, but it’s just so readable that you don’t even notice that you just sat there and read half the book in one sitting.
While I still really wanted more of the world and more explanations for things, I knew that we would probably get to see more of this world in the future books. (Right now I’m in the middle of the second book Shadowblack and we do indeed get to see more of the world and it’s history).
I really liked the way that the group dynamics were set up. Our main character Kellen lives in a clan that is separated into two groups: The Jan’tep who can wield magic after passing the trials on their sixteenth birthday, and the Sha’tep, who are the people who fail their trials, have little to no magic, and serve the Jan’tep as basically slaves. The social inequality between the two groups is a large focal point for this first book. I don’t want to elaborate on that more because that would give away spoilers, but wow. There were just some things that I wasn’t expecting with this part of the plot!
I know I mentioned how much I love Kellen the main character, but let me explain why. Not only is he snarky and has pretty much my exact sense of humor, he’s also more of a sidekick character. He isn’t the strong, insanely gifted character that we get in a lot of fantasies. He isn’t really the opposite either. He’s magicless, but still manages to scrape by and get out of the sticky situations that he ends up getting himself into.
I also really loved Ferius and her decks of cards. That was something I’ve never seen in a fantasy before, using playing cards as a weapon. The interactions between the two in this book were so hilarious, and I loved how Ferius had that whole Wild West outlaw vibe going on.
But my FAVORITE character hands down was Reichis. He’s a squirrel cat. You heard me right, a SQUIRREL. CAT. He was so sarcastic and kind of an asshole. Also, he just really really wants to eat human eyes. He’s really the opposite of the magical familiar trope that I quite honestly love, but this was such a funny and refreshing take on that!
I’ve heard that Sebastien De Castell’s Greatcoats series is just as funny (if not more so) and with more crude humor which let me tell you. That is right up my alley so I’ll be picking that series up soon once I finish this one!
Before I wrap this up, I do want to point out some trigger warnings: This book does contain a lot of violence, but you were probably expecting that. There are also some scenes that involve animal cruelty, but for me, in the context of this book it didn’t really bother me too badly.
Until Next Time!