by Kevin Hoffman
Publish Date: August 2, 2014
How did I get my hand on a copy? I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥
Urus Noellor—a boy born deaf who is about to be publicly branded as a burden, incapable of being the warrior his people demand—stands upon a rooftop, poised to throw himself over the edge. His failed attempt at suicide unlocks within him a long-dormant form of magic thought to have died out thousands of years before, a power that may be the key to saving the world from an equally ancient enemy.
Urus and his companions—Goodwyn, the greatest warrior in Kest, and Cailix, a mysterious orphan&—must find a way to stop a powerful group of sorcerers from destroying the five long-hidden vertices that ward the world against threats from beyond, while fighting off threats from within. They soon learn that the scope of the coming danger may be more dire than any of them could have imagined. As the battle for the vertices spreads to the neighboring realms, Goodwyn must face the realities of war and death; Cailix discovers a devastating truth that could change everything; and Urus discovers his uncanny gifts and courage as he peels away clues to his true identity. But even as Urus gains the power he has always craved, he experiences it all in profound, lonely silence.
Kest is a warrior society. Those who are not strong enough are deemed weak and a burden to society. This is what happens to Urus, who was born deaf.
The three main characters—Urus, his friend Goodwyn, and Cailix—were fascinating characters, Urus especially. Because of his disability, he was often looked down upon by others. While his ability to read lips benefits him greatly, he is also hindered in the warriors tests, and he is branded (literally) a burden on society. But after a group of sorcerers besiege Kest, their city, he and Goodwyn go on a journey to find a way to destroy them and along the way meet Cailix.
I thought the writing was well done; I believed that the characters had not seen magic done before, that they were horrified at some of the things they see along their journey (at one point, in my notes on Goodreads, I made the observation that it was very bloody and violent, but interesting so far). The writing was not overdone (or underdone for that matter). Kevin Hoffman does an excellent job of world building, giving you bits of information as the story progresses.
It was a very violent story, I will say that for it. It’s classified as YA lit, which it is, but I would say it would be for ages 14/15 and up, with some of the things that are mentioned in it. **Trigger warning: there is mention of abuse and attempted suicide.**
Also, this book ends in a cliffhanger, which annoys me, and yet I am looking forward to the second.
This book was a fun, bloodthirsty read.