Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Sianim #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Magic, Medieval fantasy, Strong women
Dates read: 12th January – 5th March 2019
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
5th sentence, 74th page: She can fight, and the gods know we have need of fighters.
After an upbringing of proper behavior and oppressive expectations, Aralorn fled her noble birthright for a life of adventure as a mercenary spy. But her latest mission involves more peril than she ever imagined.
Agents of Sianim have asked her to gether intelligence on the increasingly popular and powerful sorcerer Geoffrey ae’Magi. Soon Aralorn comes to see past the man’s striking charisma – and into a soul as corrupt and black as endless night. And few have the will to resist the sinister might of the ae’Magi and his minions.
So Aralorn, aided by her enigmatic companion, Wolf, joins the rebellion against the ae’Magi. But in a war against a foe armed with the power of illusion, how do you know who the true enemy is – or where he will strike next?
I read this book for the first time years ago. But, I thought I’d reread it to see if it was as good as I remembered… and it was. It was kind of amazing, incredibly interesting and very difficult to put down. I did… because I have to be an adult, but it was still quite difficult.
Aralorn is a wonderfully strong and independent woman. She is everything I tend to love in a female lead, and the trope that made me fall in love with Patricia Briggs’ writing. I love that she shrugs off the common upbringing of women and finds herself a way to be herself, no matter what the consequences and what other people think of her. I love this independence, and the fact that although there is a love interest, in takes backstage in a major way. Actually, it took me this second read through to realise that the love interest is quite intense from the very beginning, rather than a random development later on in the story (as I originally thought).
This story reminds me a little of the Graceling series in that the villain doesn’t seem all that evil. Until you start to add up what is happening behind the scenes. Yet, there is something far more terrifying about such a bad guy. After all, everyone else loves him, bringing him down will probably mean that everyone decides to kill Aralorn and Wolf, and even they constantly question their motives and sanity. There is something that is just… kind of sinister about such a charismatic evil being. And it makes the ae’Magi all the more evil because he does so many things with a beautiful, kind smile on his face…
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