By: Manuela Soares
Fantasy stories, especially magical fantasy, require several things to be successful: great world-building, a believable magic system, characters that are given room to grow and have their arcs, descriptive writing to show readers what’s going on rather than just telling us, and a decent amount of patience to bring all these things together. Pickering has managed to do all that and more with this fantastic story.
In a world where Mages and magic have been long banished, main character Teleo is a retired soldier turned farmer, who, after being caught in the middle of a coup, and alongside his new wards, begins a quest to find and restore the magic of his ancestors.
This is a hefty read, the paperback is over 700 pages, but it’s one that’s easy to follow and become immersed in; pages and chapters go by before you realize it. That being said, it is a slow-burning story, there are a lot of day-to-day details that go a long way in describing the world and building the characters. Speaking of characters, I really enjoyed how Pickering developed her characters and brought them all together. Teleo is wonderful and reading his story and his interactions with his wards was beautiful.
There are some great twists and turns that were spectacular and the plots and sub-plots all weave together beautifully and, in line with everything else, create an engaging and immersive read. This would be great for all fantasy readers and even those who may not typically reach for the fantasy genre. There are a lot of themes that appeal to a wide set of readers, so I definitely recommend giving this one a go.
A very big thank you to Palmer Pickering and R&R Book Tours for a copy of this to read and review.
This review is also posted on Goodreads, Fathoms Amidst the Lines, and the FATL Bookstagram.
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