But one night, his older brother, Tane, defies their father by traveling to a cursed land. Now Nuelle holds the signet-ring and carries more responsibility than even Tane bore. Thrust from the palace and sent to a knight-building academy, Nuelle must discover his purpose for the entire kingdom’s sake.
From his place of banishment, Prince Antikai has been exacting revenge through fear and rebellions. Nuelle has the potential to defeat him, but he needs the help of a powerful book called the Acumen and six gifted youths.
Summoned by Antikai, shape-shifting beasts and other enemies hunt Nuelle and the Acumen. If either is destroyed, the faithful citizens in Zephoris will perish, and darkness will rule forever.
I absolutely loved this book!
Nuelle and his team have to try to defeat Antikai, but they must learn how to use their gifts and work as a team. This proves to be more difficult than originally thought, especially since each member of the team has such a specific gift. This brings me to the first point of my review. The gifts. I won’t spoil everything, but there are two gifts that I want to point out.
Ave can stretch his arms and turn them into either soft or hard coral. This seems basic, but it can be used in a lot of different ways. I have never actually seen this power before in any fantasy novel, so I was constantly surprised by him. At first, I thought “how could this be useful” but then I learned some things about both him and coral in real life.
Then there’s Surta. She was definitely my favorite character in the book. Her powers came from her mind, and she was able to make people see things. Her powers definitely go further than that, but again, it’s a spoiler! I just liked her personality. She is a girl but she was determined not to be a damsel in distress. The team did get each other out of tough situations, but no one was ever specifically rescuing the girls. Whenever the guys seemed to be babying the girls in any way, Sophana was always the first to speak up about it. She would not stand for being treated anything less than a full member of the team.
What I liked about this book was just how unique the universe was! Natasha really takes the high-fantasy genre and puts her own spin on it. I can’t wait to read more from her, it is honestly a treat just to read one of her books. The characters all had different personalities, and while some were focused on a LITTLE more than others, I assume that this will straighten out later in the trilogy.
The pacing of this book was perfect! I thought that it was a little slow at the beginning, but it soon fixed itself by the middle, and then I was completely into it for the last 80% of the book. It’s not that long of a read, but it isn’t short like many YA fantasy books. I felt satisfied after reading it and didn’t even really notice that it was supposed to be part of a trilogy until I was done with it. It felt like a standalone! But I can’t wait to see how the team grows in the upcoming books of this trilogy.
I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a new YA high fantasy to enjoy, or even to readers who don’t like high fantasy but are willing to give a really awesome fantasy a try.
I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 stars