Magic is women’s work; war is men’s. But in the coming battle, none of that will matter.
Men do not become mystics. They become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe’s expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.
Salo’s queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.
On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they’re being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo’s village. She may hold the key to Salo’s awakening—and his redemption.
This is a very impressive debut that doesn’t feel like a debut. The story is sophisticated and really well thought out and executed. It is told from several points of view, but the characters are introduced slowly so that you get to know each one and it doesn’t become confusing. There are also several different story arcs happening and again it is done so well that it is easy to keep track of them. My only criticism is that I wish I had known going in that it is the first in a series. I like to be prepared, but this is not a criticism of the book in any way and I enjoyed it so much that I will be looking out for the next one to be released.