RELEASE DATE: May 21st 2019
AUTHOR: Cate Glass
GENRE: Adult, Fantasy, Magic.
PUBLISHER: Tor Books
In Cantagna, being a sorcerer is a death sentence.
Romy escapes her hardscrabble upbringing when she becomes courtesan to the Shadow Lord, a revolutionary noble who brings laws and comforts once reserved for the wealthy to all. When her brother, Neri, is caught thieving with the aid of magic, Romy’s aristocratic influence is the only thing that can spare his life—and the price is her banishment.
Now back in Beggar’s Ring, she has just her wits and her own long-hidden sorcery to help her and Neri survive. But when a plot to overthrow the Shadow Lord and incite civil war is uncovered, only Romy knows how to stop it. To do so, she’ll have to rely on newfound allies—a swordmaster, a silversmith, and her own thieving brother. And they’ll need the very thing that could condemn them all: magic.
This book was an enjoyable ride! I’ve never read Cate Glass aka Carol Berg’s fantasy books so I don’t know what to expect from this book but I really loved the synopsis so I couldn’t resist it. At the beginning, I couldn’t get into the story and I was nearly going to DNF it, but I’m glad that I still continued because I ended up loving it. It was a unique read and I really liked the characters. Usually, I’m not into slow books, but I found this very enjoyable. It was a perfect blend of magic, heist, and Politics. Although it’s an adult fantasy read, it is also suitable for young adult readers.
Romy was born in a Beggar’s ring and she was sold as a child to Moon House to become a courtesan of the Shadow Lord aka Sandros. Because of her position, she got education and trained in many aspects like art, self defense, and trade. When her brother gets caught in thievery with the aid of his magic, Romy was the only one who can save him because being a sorcerer in Cantagna is a death sentence. Romy convinces the shadow lord to spare his brother’s life, but sandros is a strict rule follower so he banishes her from his palace. Romy is back on the streets of Beggar’s ring along with her sixteen year old troublemaker brother. In order to survive, Romy uses her educational skills and becomes a law scribe. When she uncovers a plot to overthrow the Shadow Lord, she must find a way to stop it before it incites a civil war. With the help of a broody swordmaster, a skilled silversmith, and her thieving brother, Romy must pull off an elaborate heist that can stop a war, but it can all be possible with the help of their forbidden magic.
I really liked the ragtag crew in this book! Romy was a strong protagonist. She has an ability to manipulate a person’s mind by just touching their head. She cares for her little brother even though he’s such a trouble maker. Neri is brought up in poverty unlike his older sister. Even though it’s forbidden, he loves using his magic which can make him walk through impossible barriers without any trouble. Romy and Neri’s sibling relationship is the best aspect in this book. It felt very realistic. Although they care for each other, they don’t really get along well and constantly bicker. I enjoyed how they slowly formed an emotional bond after getting closer. It’s the central focus of the book and their character development was pretty good. Coming to the other characters, the swordsman Placidio, and silversmith Dumond are a great addition to the plot. They made this book even more enjoyable.
The plot was interesting! It started out slow and the plot takes an interesting turn only after Romy gets banished. The first half was mainly focused on the characters, relationships, and the world of Cantagna. The real adventure begins in the second half so you really need to be patient with this book. And also the author focused more on the sibling relationship and less on the romance aspect. Romy and the shadow lord seems to have mutual feelings for each other, but after the events in the first book, I can’t wait to see how their relationship develops further. I struggled with the author’s writing at the beginning, but after few chapters it got easier. The book was written in Romy’s first person POV. I wish we also got other characters perspective in it. The world building was great. It was actually inspired by Italian Renaissance. I liked the magic in this book. Dumond’s magic was pretty impressive. Not only he can replicate any metal artifact, he can also paint magical doors that can take any person from one place to another. And finally we have the creepy sniffers who’re used to hunt down the magical users aka sorcerers. Their appearance was totally freak-ish.
Overall, I really liked this book! I think it was a good start to a new fantasy series. The characters were pretty fun. I can’t wait to see them working together in another mission so I’ll definitely look forward to the next book in the series.
I highly recommend this book if you’re into fantasy adventure filled with magic, heist, and great sibling relationships. It’s not a fast paced read but still worth a shot!