by Intisar Khanani
“I still have one weapon left: a secret I have kept and guarded my whole life.”
Author: Intisar Khanani
Publisher: Purple Monkey Press
Book: #1 of The Sunbolt Chronicles
Genre: High fantasy
Found: Amazon recomendation
Rating: 5 Voodoos
The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.
When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detain—and execute—a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. But there are more secrets at play than Hitomi’s, and much worse fates than execution. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life.
So this book started as one kind of book and then became another, and that’s not as dramatic or all over the place as it sounds. I think it’s just because I had made assumptions on the storyline from the blurb and pretty much that’s just the introduction. We start off in one place and then Hitomi is taken to another country for plot type reasons. There’s also an element of supernatural in this, which I wasn’t quite expecting – after all magic doesn’t always bring supernatural along for the ride. I get the feeling though, that there’s a lot more supernatural than we’ve met and I’m looking forward to it. I feel this story could be longer than the 2 books mentioned on Goodreads,though perhaps I’m making the issues in this world larger than they are. I’m assuming conspiracy, maybe it’s just one man?
I thought that this was going to have an oriental feel to it, it seemed to be set somewhere hot and desert like. However it didn’t stay there and I’m actually not complaining, I ended up thoroughly enjoying this book. Obviously, with it only being a book 1, there’s SO MUCH we don’t know, about Hitomi, about this world, about what’s going on and book 2 is out in 8 days so I don’t have to wait too long for the next part of the mystery! I do wonder what’s to happen, I’d also like a map, so we can see how big this world is, It sounds like she’s far from where she started, but the blurb for book 2 makes me wonder if that’s truly so far as I’d first thought.
Hitomi is an interesting character, she’s not fantastic at much and she seems quite human which should sound perfectly normal, but is actually often rare enough in book worlds to be worth a comment. I was ready to pick a favourite from the first bunch of people we meet, however in the end I think I like Val. There’s more to his story and I really want to know what it is. I hope I don’t have to wait long – I know that he’ll be back, I hope that he’ll be back, his destination was not kept secret, and I’m wondering if there was some early foreshadowing. I also wonder what Stormwind understood in his words that Hitomi didn’t. Obviously I have some theories, but I’m guessing that it has something to do with his people and that he deliberately phrased it that way. Boy I hope he’s in book 2! I want to understand these people better, after the introduction they’ve had. I’m also interested to see how the two worlds will fit back together, because obviously they eventually must.