I loved Peter Newman debut book ‘The Vagrant’ and when I saw his newest series on NetGalley I did the thing I’ve told myself of for so many times; I requested book 1 AND book 2…. Will I ever learn…
This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review. Thank you.
by Peter Newman
Synopsis by NetGalley
From the Gemmell Award-winning author of THE VAGRANT, a thrilling new series of power, intrigue, and magic.
Creatures lurk in the endless forests of the Wild, plucking victims from those who scratch a living by the sides of the great Godroads, paths of crystal which provide refuge from the infernal tide.
Humanity’s protectors reign within crystal castles held aloft on magical currents – seven timeless royal families, born and reborn into flawless bodies. As immortal as the precious stones from which they take their names, they fight to hold the Wild at bay. For generations a fragile balance has held.
AND THE DAMNED…
House Sapphire, one of the ancient Deathless families, is riven by suspicion and grief. Their hunting expeditions against the Wild are failing and entire villages have begun to disappear.
Then, when assassins strike, House Sapphire shatters.
NOTHING LASTS FOREVER
I have yet to make my mind up to whether it is a full 4 star or more of a 3.75 or something.
- the creativity of the world
- Lady Pari
The book was well written as all Peter Newman’s books are but it was also easy to read. The story was well planned out and well built up, and the world was massively creative and original (to me anyway).
It’s a scheming book filled with dark drama, murder, power plots and politics told by three different narrators. One narrator, Chandni, is on the run from assassins and gets help from an outsider, Lady Pari. Lady Pari however, just had a bad feeling and when to check it out to find an assassination plot in full swing. She is trying to figure things out and helps Chandni go on the run. The last narrator is Lord Vasini, who is persuaded to fight for their cause but he’s never really fully invested. Three threads intertwine to create a compelling story and plot.
It is well-build up as always. Peter Newman has a way of creating detailed vivid worlds that make perfect sense (in their sense anyway).
Welcome to a world ruled by the deathless. People who don’t die. Well, they do but their soul is kept in a soul gem and re-birthed into another person so their lords and ladies can keep ruling. They live in floating castles on massive gems which represent their house. The different houses are named after gems in the real world; Sapphire, Spinel, Opal etc. While the normal people who live on the ground live normal lives and die normal deaths. It’s a complex world, fully developed, but the world-building in the story is not as steep as I imagine the roads up the floating castle to be.
Magic System / Science
It’s a complex science which is based on magic but some are explained by stating it is “old and forgotten magic”. Essentially most of their magic is based on gems and the power of the songs within the gems. I don’t fully understand it but I think that is part of the point. The characters don’t fully understand it either.
The science involved is also related to gems in the way their armour is made of gems and their skyboots (which allows them to jump very high and very long and to run faster) and wings are made of gems too. Add some of your blood to the gems and the mould onto your body perfectly. It’s cool!
The story is told through three different narrators.
Vasin – of House Sapphire is the youngest of the clan and thrust into the plotting almost by accident and force, though he is easily persuaded. He is a frustrating narrative but liked him in the end.
Lady Pari – of House Tanzanite is the lover of a Sapphire man (which is illegal) and tends to accidentally get stuck in Sapphire business. She is my favourite narrative so far. She is badass and clever even in her old age…
Chandni – of House Sapphire is the mother of a potential new vessel for a Sapphire Lord (a grandson of the lord) but finding assassins in her room and all around her castle sends her on the run. I found her narrative a bit boring but liked the hint of a romance with Varg. It will probably change in the next book. I’m with Pari on that note.
The book is well written as always and easy to read. It flows easily and is a quick read but not too quick. However, that could be because I’m reading Gone With The Wind on the side and that is quite slow.
One negative comment is that I was not a fan of how the text changes between narrative. It’s sudden and surprising and takes a few sentences to realise the narrative has changed and then I have to re-read the passage. However, that could have changed considering I read an ARC copy and not the final thing.
It’s not a bad series and the world is very fascinating but I wasn’t completely won over by the story. I’m intrigued to see where the next one goes. But I preferred his first book ‘The Vagrant’.
Have you read this? What did you think?