Book Review: Shadow of the Exile

books october 2018Title: Shadow of the Exile
 Mitchell Hogan
Genre: Fantasy
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 491
Publisher: 47North
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Demon protagonist, driven female character
Recommended Readers: Fans of epic fantasy
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC of Shadow of the Exile by Mitchell Hogan in exchange for an honest review. And sorry this wasn’t sooner!

Tarrik Nal-Valim, a demon of the 37th order, is summoned from his exile in the Abyssal Realms to human lands by sorceress Serenity “Ren” Branwen. Ren is the daughter of Tarrik’s former master, who he’d come to trust, but now it appears he revealed all of Tarrik’s secrets for his daughter to enslave him once again to do her bidding. Ren instantly commands Tarrik to protect her from her enemies, while keeping her own goals shrouded in secrecy.

Tarrik hates Ren for enslaving him and vows to get free of her bindings as soon as he can, but his urgency grows when he discovers she’s part of the Nine, a group of deranged sorcerers who have been broken and compelled to free the worst and most powerful demon who ever lived, Samal. If Samal is freed, the human realm will be wiped out and the Abyssal Realms enslaved to his will, and Tarrik finds himself facing increasingly difficult choices, especially when Ren’s path appears to deviate from this goal.

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Book Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

jemisin_hundred-thousand-kingdoms-tpTitle: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
 N.K. Jemisin
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Version: Paperback
Page Count: 427
Publisher: Hachette Book Group Orbit
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: POC protagonist, LGBTQ+ relationships
Recommended Readers: People looking for a challenging fantasy read and those who are into their female MCs getting entangled with monster gods
Rating: ★★★★★

This is the first book I’ve read from N.K. Jemisin, who I’ve heard is a much-respected author and a legend, and now I understand why. Jemisin displays absolutely no fear in her writing, already seeming to be a master of sprezzatura when she penned the ambitious The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.

Even having just finished it, I’m struggling to put all my feelings about it into words. I’ll start by saying that I initially chose it to read because I was expecting a certain Hellsing element, aka mortal woman gets involved with a half-crazed immortal being, whose hair and darkness float around him constantly.

the hundred thousand kingdoms

Happy to say, I got exactly that and still so much more! What I did not expect, however, was how much this book was going to challenge me, both as a reader and as a demonstration of how fantasy and storytelling can be told.

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