Hello people! I hope you all are feeling great and are reading amazing books! I am back to work and… meh! On one hand, I have to admit that it is not really so bad, at least at the moment, but on the other hand… well, vacations are just better! Anyway, I am back with a review, and I think it may be the first of July, because of the hiatus, so let’s begin!
Thanks to NetGalley and to the Editor. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Title: The Godstone
Author: Violette Malan
Expected Publication Date: August 3rd, 2021
This new epic fantasy series begins a tale of magic and danger, as a healer finds herself pulled deeper into a web of secrets and hazardous magic that could bring about the end of the world as she knows it.
Fenra Lowens has been a working Practitioner, using the magic of healing ever since she graduated from the White Court and left the City to live in the Outer Modes. When one of her patients, Arlyn Albainil, is summoned to the City to execute the final testament of a distant cousin, she agrees to help him. Arlyn suspects the White Court wants to access his cousin’s Practitioner’s vault. Arlyn can’t ignore the summons: he knows the vault holds an artifact so dangerous he can’t allow it to be freed.
Fenra quickly figures out that there is no cousin, that Arlyn himself is the missing Practitioner, the legendary Xandra Albainil, rumored to have made a Godstone with which he once almost destroyed the world. Sealing away the Godstone left Arlyn powerless and ill, and he needs Fenra to help him deal with the possibly sentient artifact before someone else finds and uses it.
Along the way they encounter Elvanyn Karamisk, an old friend whom Arlyn once betrayed. Convinced that Arlyn has not changed, and intends to use Fenra to recover the Godstone and with it all his power, Elvanyn joins them to keep Fenra safe and help her destroy the artifact.
This was a pleasant surprise. It is an epic fantasy with an amazing world-building, original and complex. In the beginning is a bit confusing, because we are just thrown there, and all is new and different and, yes, confusing. But, at least to me, this is not really a bad thing. This sense of wonder and confusion (and okay, let’s be honest here, more confusion than anything else) usually made for a hell of a ride in an amazing world. It could be that I am a bit biased, because to me this is the feeling I always get when reading Sanderson’s books, and since I love his books with a passion (and wonder, and amazement), usually I am always feeling at least optimistic when I find myself at a loss at the beginning of new books.
Anyway, the world-building is original, and I would have liked to read a bit more about it, especially about the Modes. They were an interesting concept. Also, the magical system was intriguing.
But things get even better. We have a really interesting cast of characters. We have Arlyn, who has some surprises for us, and I don’t really want to say a lot about him, because I don’t want to spoil you anything, even if we have the synopsis that is doing that for us (Argh!!). Anyway, Arlyn was my favorite character. He is quite complex, and I don’t think I would have really enjoyed who he was in the past, because he doesn’t really seem like a nice person, and his ambition was… wow! Just wow! But now he is an interesting and resourceful person, and even if he is not really a completely different person, because he is not a Saint, for crying out loud, he is not bad, and I really enjoyed his company. He is the one that grows or, better, changes more in the book, and speaking about growth here may not be so right, because he is not young. At all. But we see him change, and I couldn’t get enough of him around.
Then we have Fenra, and she was a good character, kind but with strong willpower, and even if she was quite a straightforward character, she was the one who made me wonder the most. I had so many questions about her! Because there were some mysteries in there, and even if they weren’t really of import for the plot, we can say that they were minor mysteries, they were like an itch that I couldn’t scratch. But not in a bad way. It was something that kept my interest piqued. Because I just needed to know the whys and the hows!
And then we have Elva. He is a sort of black and white guy, but he has some depths in him too. He is not plain, he is not predictable, but he is a great guy. He is determined, he is resourceful and he is loyal. He is the last to join our team, but he became important, and I am not talking about the plot here, pretty quickly.
And then we have the villain. And even if I really despised him, I think that he was one of the best things about this book. Mind me, Metenari was despicable, and he annoyed me to no end. When we read about him I was always irked, annoyed, and exasperated. I didn’t want to see him. At all. I despised him with a passion. But my strong reaction to him is pretty strange, because, to be honest, he is not really a villain. Sure, he is the villain of this story, at least until more powerful entities come into play, but he is not really evil. He is a pompous and arrogant practitioner, he is so much arrogant that he became stupid, but really, he is not evil. He cares for the people, in some ways, he is a calculating and self-serving slimy man. He is self-centered, and he is firmly convinced that no one is better than him. No one. But, again, for all his faults (and he has many, and yes, it seems like I may have some problems with this kind of character, sorry about that!) he is not really evil. Or bad at his core. And this dichotomy is well developed by this author.
We spoke about world-building, we spoke about the characters, and now it is the turn for the plot. If you are in search of some action-packed book, with a really fast pace, well, you may be disappointed here. But, and yes, there is a big but here, the story is not boring, at all. I found myself absorbed by it from the beginning. I was hooked, and it was just impossible to just put down the book and stop thinking about it. Because once you begin it, it would keep you hooked. And it is not slow, and there is a lot happening anyway. But the pace is more balanced, and we don’t really have a lot of action. But we have the future of the world at stake, and we have our cast of characters that are trying to prevent it. And we get to travel a lot, both in real and magical places, and we get to see quite a lot happening all the same.
The only thing that, at least to me, wasn’t great was the ending. It is not really bad, and it is quite the logical conclusion, so I cannot say that it was unexpected, but it was a bit rushed, and, on a personal level, I would have preferred another ending. But… oh well! I had a great time with it, and I really enjoyed the ride!
So, if you are in for a new world and some really interesting characters, with the fate of the world on balance, well, this would be the right book for you!
And what about you? Have you read this book? Or any other one by this author?? Let me know!!