Map of Blue Book Balloon

29 July 2019

#BlogBlast review - Lord of Secrets by Breanna Teintze @JoFletcherBooks #LordofSecrets @BreannaTeintze

Lord of Secrets (The Empty Gods, 1)
Breanna Teints
Jo Fletcher Books, 25 July 2019
PB, e, 336pp

I'm grateful to Jo Fletcher Books for a free advance e-copy of this book via NetGalley and inviting me to take part in the Blog Blast (and Milly - I apologise that I'm a day or two late with this).

I love a book with a grabby, exciting beginning, and Lord of Secrets has that, as rogue young wizard Corcoran Gray, who happens to be invisible at the time, crashes into a remote barn and encounters escaped slave-girl Brix.

Thrown together, the two embark on a series of breakneck adventures, hunted both by the Temples (Brix) and the Magicians' Guild (Gray). Brix is trying to free her sister, who's been sold to the Temples; Gray, to locate and free his grandfather, who has been arrested for necromancy. It's a smart, high-voltage take on magic, Gray being pretty mean at scribing runes and Brix having secrets and abilities of her own. Ion fact, once begun, it's a book that keeps you hooked with the pages simply whizzing by.

I especially enjoyed the fact that the focus is fairly tight, with the primary interested being the consequences for the protagonists and their families. There are wider plots going on involving the fate of the Kingdom and, at one point, a potential undead uprising, but nobody really cares about any of that - they just want their loved ones safe. I found that refreshing.

Of course there is a romance subplot here, and it's good to see it develop and to see the - rather scratchy and awkward - two central characters manoeuvre, but there really isn't a lot of time for them given the constant series of threats, from those pursuing guildies to rapacious innkeepers, starvation on the road and bony zombies. Gray's magical abilities - and the poison that results form scribing runes on the skin - are constantly drawn upon, even as he tries to solve the mystery of his grandfather's whereabouts and of his own origin, which is pretty unclear. Finding one's place in the world is of course a well used theme, but Teintze brings, I think, something genuinely original to it with Gray and the comparison and contrast with Brix's is complex and interesting.

While in one or two places I could see the storyline closely paralleling a Dungeons & Dragons adventure, Teintze avoids cliche (not bags of gold pieces for Corcoran and Brix) and overall I greatly enjoyed this book and wound recommend it, especially if you're not sure whether you want to read fantasy or not.

For more information about the book see the publisher's website here.

No comments:

Post a Comment