ARC Review: The Unspoken Name where I try the bullet kind of review!

Hello people! How are you? I think I am slowly going crazy because they are doing some renovation to the apartment next to mine, and they are just so loud! And messy… brick powder everywhere, and I can’t even open my windows through the day! Argh! But at least I can console myself with some good reading, and with some reviews, too!

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley and to the editor. 


Title: The Unspoken Name
Author: A.K. Larkwood
Publication Date: February 11th, 2020
Page count: 464

What if you knew how and when you will die?
Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.
But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.
But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

This book was really hyped and I had some great expectations about it, and I think that this was the main problem with this one. Mind me, I enjoyed the reading, and I enjoyed it a lot but I was expecting something more captivating. And, even if it’s true that this is not a perfect book, and that I have some problems with it, it has a lot of good things in it and so I decided to try and do a bullet review for this one, hoping to make a little bit of sense of all of this!

The Good!

  • The Worldbuilding. The author has done a great job with it. She creates a rich and very imaginative world, or a series of different worlds, really, because we have a lot of different worlds that you can reach with some sort of portals. It was fascinating and we get so see a lot because our characters are constantly on the move. They hop here and there and so we get to see a good chunk of the author’s creation. And people, let me tell you, that is good. Very good! The author shows us different things, places, and locations, she really shows them to us, and I had the impression to be there, with the characters. Fascinating.
  • The writing. This was good too. Really, really good. It captured me from the start and hooked me up with ease. She is good with words and I enjoyed reading them.
  • Csorwe. To be honest, she is not one of my favorite main characters ever, but she is coherent and well developed. You have the impression to be with a real person. And she is loyal to a fault, stubborn, and growing into a wonderful woman.
  • Shutmili. I think she is the best character in the book. I loved her, she is strange, yes, but she has sass and she would surprise you!
  • The rivalry between Csorwe and Tal. Sometimes it seemed a little bit too much, but I enjoyed it and, once or twice, it managed to make me laugh. And I cannot resist some banter!
  • The growth. This is a coming of age story and all of the characters grown during the story, and it’s well done and I enjoyed it.

The mixed part

  • Tal. I have thought about it for some time, but I don’t know if I like him or not. It’s not that I despise him, or don’t like him, and I enjoyed his banter and his rivalry with Csorwe. But… I like him? I dislike him? I simply don’t have an opinion.
  • Oranna. Banter aside, because with her we don’t have it, I can copy paste what I have said about Tal. I don’t have an opinion on her. It’s not that we don’t see enough of them, it’s just that even if we see them around, and they are important for the story and all, they seem quite… I don’t know which word to use. I cannot say plain because they are not bidimensional, they have their own voice and the author did a good job, they aren’t just wallpaper for the MC but they lack something nonetheless.
  • The time of the narration. Time flew by with this story. And I am not meaning our time while reading. I mean the time of the story. Years pass between a chapter and the next, especially in the first part of the book. And it’s not a bad thing, even if I would have liked to see more of Csorwe training, for example, I wasn’t too disappointed in it, and I appreciated that the author manages to pull it off without losing interest in the story.
  • The choices. In more than a way, this book is a book about choices, about what would define us as persons, as individuals. And we are there with Csorwe for every choice she has to make, little or big. And we have a ton of them! And not just for Csorwe, but for Tal, Oranna, Shutmili, and even Sethennai. Choices are everywhere! But maybe it’s a tad too much. Because even if we have an interesting plot, with a lot of things happening, the focal point is the choices and it seems like all the things they have done, all the suffering, the hard choices, the growth are without a serious meaning (aside for personal growth, that is the best point to make choices, yes, but not maybe as the center of an adventurous book, if this makes sense at all for you).

The bad 

  • Sethennai. I had quite some problems with him because I didn’t like him. I may have liked him a bit at the beginning of the story, but I was always distrustful of him and the things didn’t get better with the continuing of the story. But personal taste aside, I think that this is the worst character in the book because he is not as well developed as the other. My problem was that we see how other people react to him, and everyone has a strong reaction, Csorwe is loyal and devoted to him, in a way that is almost pathological, Tal is a bit obsessed by him, and the same could be said for Oranna. And the other respect him, or fear him, but in strong ways. So he should be a charismatic person, I think, but even if we can deduce it from the way the others react to him, we don’t see it in him. We don’t see him being charismatic, or fascinating or whatever, and that for me was a big flaw.

As you can see the good and the mixed are way more than the bad parts, and I think that this is a good book. I enjoyed the reading and I was fascinated by it, but now that I have some time pass I think that is lacking something to make it really really good. I mean, I liked it and I would recommend it to you, but I don’t like it as much as I was expecting and even if I enjoyed the ride, now I am here wondering “and so, what?”. So much so, that I don’t think I am interested in continuing the series, even if this book has given me some pleasurable hours.

and half!

And what about you? Have you read this book? Or do you have it on your TBR? Let me know!

Happy reading!

8 thoughts on “ARC Review: The Unspoken Name where I try the bullet kind of review!

  1. Tammy says:

    This was a really good review, Susy. I really didn’t care for any of the male characters that much. I thought Tal and Sethennai were just jerks a lot of the time. But I still loved the book overall.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery says:

    Having this earmarked for my next reads, I like to read as many – and varied – reviews as I can because, much as I’m intrigued by the premise, my “book vibes” seem to be on the fence with it, so I’d better not build too many expectations. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I will keep them in mind once I manage to start the book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kathy @ Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

    OMG SUSY my rant on Sethennai is basically a slightly longer and rantier version of yours. 🤣 I was so annoyed by him! And Tal is one of those characters that I’d happily shove off a cliff, but his chaotic anxiety contrasts well with Csorwe’s personality, so I kind of liked him for that reason.

    And yeah, I think I get your point about the choice thing being too much. Like, the author’s trying to make everything revolve around these choices the characters have to make, but sometimes they feel shoehorned in? And overshadows every other aspect of the plot? If that makes sense??

    And yay, bullet reviews are pretty great. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: February Wrap-Up!

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