“In the stories, good things never came to those who sat around waiting for them. Sometimes you had to take charge for your own destiny.”
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Release Date: February 13, 2020
Thank you Talem Press for sending me an e-ARC in exchange of a honest review!
In the blackest dungeon of the Clockwork City, a prisoner lies bound in silver shackles. Who is she? And why are the wizards so afraid of her?
Seventeen-year-old Gwyn has no family and no past. Apprenticed to a half-mad herbalist, she travels the snow-blasted High Country, hawking potions in a peddler’s wagon. Her guardian hides her from the world like a dark secret, and she knows better than to push for answers.
But when she discovers she is hunted by the goddess Beheret, Gwyn is drawn into a deep and ancient tale: of chained gods and lost magic, of truths long buried and the rising of a war she never could have imagined.
Wizards and their magic-sniffing hounds pursue her – as does a stranger in a smiling mask, who calls her by an unfamiliar name…
But what really terrify her are the dangerous gifts she’s spent her life suppressing. Now, Gwyn must step out of the shadows and take charge of her destiny – even if the price is her own soul.
The Ninth Sorceress is the breathtaking first installment of The Price of Magic, a sweeping fantasy saga full of rich storytelling and tangible magic.
The Ninth Sorceress takes readers on an epic journey filled with lots of magic, intrigue, mystery, and a great group of characters that will having you laughing at their one liners one second and then have you flying through the pages to make sure they’re still alive the next second. I pretty much devoured this book in just a few sittings, so definitely make sure you map out some time to really sit down and read a good chunk of it because it picks up pretty quickly and never looks back.
The author does a pretty good job of creating a complex world but still making it super intriguing for readers. New fantasy stories are always a bit daunting for me because sometimes world building can be really hit or miss and luckily this worked for me for the most part! What really stole the story for me though was the characters. I really enjoyed Gwyn and her curiosity to know more about her magic and her families past. Her fuel to understand who and what she is started a fire that couldn’t be put out and her resilience to not take no for an answer was definitely admirable. Her mentor Faolan, however, was probably my favorite addition to the story. I love morally grey characters and he was a lot of fun to read, especially when his sassy side came out. Plus, I also loved that while there is no romance in this book, there is a hint of perhaps more to come in the next book between Gwyn and another character but for now it’s friendship first and we love to see it.
I think that overall my biggest “issue” while reading this was that at times it could get pretty confusing. While I did enjoy the world building some of it, especially when talking about the ancient stories of the gods did feel a bit info dump-ish and sometimes people and places were called out and you would have no idea where they’re from and just have to roll with it. As we dove into the plot later on into the story and some of the bigger reveals are unveiled it also felt like a bit of an info dump again, which was a bit of a bummer because the reveals were pretty epic and definite game changers. I also didn’t really enjoy that a lot of the reveals came from people Gwyn had spent majority of her journey with and just kind of shared everything with her when the time was right, but to be fair I’ve never really been a fan of that in fantasy novels anyway.
“The best stories are always the unlikely ones, wizard.”
“Power is power, no matter how noble your intentions.”
All in all, if you’re looking for a new fantasy series with a promising start, a group of enjoyable characters, and an ending that leaves you aching for more The Ninth Sorceress is definitely worth checking out! I’m excited to see where Gywn and her crew will end up in the book. Thank you again Talem Press for sending me a copy of this to review!
Until next time,