Recommended for ages 14+
Urus is a boy born into a warrior society, but he’s failed his warrior tests and is about to branded as a public burden – until all hell breaks loose. At the same time, an orphaned girl named Cailix, who has been living as a servant among a society of monks, finds herself on the run after a strange group of men slaughters her caretakers. What follows is a hero’s journey that will reveal to both Urus and Cailix who they really are: Urus comes from a line of Sigilords, who wield the power to create using ancient symbols, and Cailix discovers more about her origins than she could have ever imagined.
This is new fantasy series, self-published by the author, that really takes the classic hero’s quest and runs with it. Urus, who is deaf, must learn to rise above his low self-esteem and take control of the gifts he possesses – gifts only recently revealed to him. Cailix discovers her own gifts possess devastating power – but if used for good, can she turn things around? The two must figure these questions out while under the gun to save their world from a group of sorcerers determined to destroy five hidden vertices that protect their world.
This was a good read and a good start to a new fantasy adventure series for teens. There is a lot of slaughter and blood here – Urus’ society is a warrior society, and they’re fighting a band of sorcerers who use blood magic, so expect a bloodbath. If that’s not your thing, then this is not your series. I have no issue with it, and I thought the way Mr. Hoffman worked Urus’ deafness into the story, interweaving his with his signing ability as a sigilord, was really well done. We’ve got some multiculturalism in the character descriptions, a strong female lead, and a few different hidden origins and conspiracies, all laying the groundwork for subsequent books. It’s a good start for fantasy fans who want something new to read.