Thursday, 12 June 2014

Review: Blades of Magic by Terah Edun

Title: Blades of Magic (Crown Service #1)
Author: Terah Edun
Release date: March 31st 2014
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eARC
Pages: 199
Source: Author

It is not a peaceful time in the Algardis Empire. War is raging between the mages and seventeen-year-old Sara Fairchild will be right in the middle of it.

She just doesn't know it yet.

Sara is the daughter of a disgraced imperial commander, executed for desertion. Sara is also the best duelist and hand-to-hand combatant in Sandrin. She lives quietly with her family’s shame but when challenged about her family’s honor, her opponent inevitably loses.

On the night she finds out her father’s true last actions, she takes the Mercenary Guilds’ vows to serve in the emperor’s army. Using her quick wits and fierce fighting skills, she earns a spot in the first division.

There she discovers secrets the mages on both sides would prefer stay hidden. Dark enemies hunt her and soon it's not just Sara questioning the motivation behind this war.

While fighting mages, blackmailing merchants and discovering new friends, Sara comes across something she’s never had before - passion. The question is - can she fight for her empress against a mage who might unwittingly claim her heart?

This is year one of the Initiate Wars. Sara is hoping it doesn't become the year she dies.

Blades of Magic is an intriguing start to the Crown Service series, with lots of action and an awesome protagonist. This series is set in the same world as Terah's Courtlight series, but way back during the Initiate Wars. I found it pretty interesting to see a different perspective on things, though I hope to see more of the world in the coming books.

Sara spends her time fighting in the streets to uphold her family honour, after her father was killed for supposedly deserting the army. The act brought shame to her family, but Sara will not listen to any of it. She knows who her father was, and she loved him. So she still fights for him. When Sara begins looking for a job, she comes across one that she decides to take - that of a watcher for a collection of ancient artifacts. There she meets Ezekiel, the curator, and makes the first friend she's ever known. But when Sara discovers her father's files and realizes his journals aren't there, she knows she needs to find them. And to do so, she joins the emperor's army. Though the secrets she discovers there are nothing she'd ever expected.

Sara is a battle mage, which are mages that can use magic while fighting to strengthen their abilities. But there's a downside to that - the battle magic can take over, turning them berserk, hence the term berserkers. Sara knows she's in danger of that, and so rarely uses her battle magic while fighting. But regardless of that, she's an exceptional fighter. Sara has a pretty detached personality, which made it hard to connect with her. But I did like her almost immediately. She's tough and strong in a world that is almost entirely against her, and I really admire her willpower. It's also nice to see her hard mask crack at times, showing she's a person after all.

Ezekiel is the one that steals the show in this book, though. He starts off as a sort of afterthought - a skinny bespectacled guy who's more concerned with books and history than anything else. Ezekiel and Sara are so different from each other but end up being friends really quickly. And his character also develops from the time he meets Sara - he becomes more confident and stands up for himself and Sara. I can't wait to see more of him in the next book!

I think the synopsis for this book reveals more about the coming books as well rather than just this one. There's no romance in this, for example, and we don't get to see much time spent in the army. Though this was a short read, it was fast-paced from the beginning and I really liked that. I just wish there was more! This felt more like an introduction to the series than an entire novel on its own. So I'm hoping we get some answers in Blades of Illusion. Needless to say, I'm very eager to get my hands on it.

*Thank you to Terah Edun for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 3.5/5

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