I was given a copy of Fall of Sky City, in exchange for a review and blog tour post.
Synn is the child of two great families, Ino and El'Siem, but the families are being persecuted by a religion, and dictatorship, referred to simply as 'the Hands'. Synn and his father run into the airboat of the Queen of Wands, Queen Nix, and after Synn reacts to her burning members of one of the families, she attempts to burn him, only to have his mark surface and be revealed to be one of the most powerful marks ever.
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I really did not want to put this book down, it was brilliant, really engaging, fast paced and well written. One of the things I noticed after having only read a few pages was how rich the story was in descriptive detail, yet at the same time I thought that the author managed to strike the perfect balance between the detail and the pacing, which is most definitely a talent, as often one suffers for the other to be achieved!
I found that i was pulled into the story right from the prologue, which I thought was cleverly done in the way that it filled in the history but still linked straight back to the story and to the characters with the reveal of Synn as the narrator.
I've never been too sure what to make of male first person narrators, probably because I can't relate to them experience wise (I have never been male, nor ever will be male). Saying this, I really enjoyed Synn's narration and at times it was easy to forget that he was male and even forget that he was a character and not a real person! That is how he felt to me, real, he got conflicted, admitted that he made mistakes, and was hurt by what people did and said to him, the perfect example being his perceived abandonment from his mother.
On another character related note, I loved Nix in the 'bad guy' role, she was a brilliantly crafted character who had redeeming features (well according to Synn she did, I'm still having a little difficulty working out what they are!) In my eyes, Nix is just spoilt, and because she has political power, she uses it, like she did in her attempts to get her 'pet' back. In fact, Nix (and her sister-Queen, Dyna) reminded me somewhat if the Mord-Sith from Terry Goodkind's epic fantasy, Sword of Truth.
The author has created a detailed world and setting, where it really is clear that more has been developed than is shown within the scope of Book 1. I liked the contrast between the families and their living in harmony with nature, and Sky City's reliance on technology, and the Hands tendency towards destruction. Everything seemed to have been thought of, even down to animals with no baring on the story other than world development, and the solar system that they are a part of.
It took me a little while to figure out how the magic system of 'marks' worked, probably because Synn didn't really know much about it either. After getting over my confusion I really liked the magic system, it was different to any other system I've read about, and it had limitations (though by their world's standards, Synn is overpowered!).
I must say you should read this book, it was gripping and really draws you in! (Plus there was a sneak preview of Book 2, Knight of Wands, at the end of the book and I'm really intrigued by it and really want to read!)
In a world governed by the opposing forces of the mystical House of Tarot and the tribal Great Families, Synn is caught in the crossfire. He witnesses the slaughter of innocent people, and the devastating murder of his father. This act awakens his Mark of power, a Mark greater than any the world has seen in a very long time.
Queen Nix thought she won a great prize when she destroyed Synn’s father, the leader of the strongest Great Families. She had no idea she’d be doubly blessed by capturing his son. However, before Synn can become her treasured weapon, before she can use him to bring the rest of the world to its knees, she must break him and bind his soul to hers.
She does her job with brutal brilliance. Synn’s mind is broken and his soul is seared to hers in an unbreakable bond.
That doesn’t stop him from wanting to be free. She may have broken his mind and claimed his soul, but he find a way to destroy her.
Experience a world of ships that sail the clouds and cites buried beneath the ocean, and survive the fiery battle brought forth by those who control the forces of nature!
Excerpt from Fall of Sky City
The pounding in my head lessened as the woman held me close, easing my pain. Visuals started registering. The red silk of the cover. The black leather of her bodice. Her long, dark hair.
“Nix.” My voice was a bare croak.
She pulled away slightly, staring into my face. She’d removed the odd crown with the spinning birds.I didn’t have the energy to fight her. My eyes fell closed in a long blink. I opened them, even though I didn’t want to, my gaze falling to the ruby spider resting on her chest.“Do not fear, young Primus,” she said, her full lips curved in a careful smile. “I am your family now. You will want for nothing.”I rocked where I sat, my legs sprawled. “Why?” I barely had the energy to whisper. “Why?”“You attacked first.”“I went for a sword to save—” I paused, breathing, blinking back the tears. “—innocent lives. You killed them for no reason.”“They would not submit.”I stared at her in exhausted incredulity. “Did you give them the chance?”She cupped my face and peered at me sincerely. “I do not want empty devotion. I want only to be loved and cherished.”“And so you scare children into fearing you.”“Fear can turn to love.” Her smile was sweet. “You will see.”“No.”She flinched and pulled back. “Do you want to see?” She didn’t give me a chance to say no or yes. She pulled away the cover, her eyes dropping to my chest. “Your Mark, Primus.” She reached out with her diamond claw.I stared in wonder. Rivers of fire coursed in a fine web of lines and runes under my skin.“Have you ever seen so powerful a Mark as this?”I shook my head. No. I hadn’t. I touched the lines with a ginger hand. They were sensitive and hot to the touch, leaving the rest of me chilled to the core.Her fingertips joined mine, her long nails gleaming red in the soft yellow light. Her eyes were filled with greed, her teeth bared in a smile that was more of a sneer. “Do you have brothers? Sisters? Any who are younger than you, unmarked?”I stared at her in disgust and wonder. “No.”Her pink tongue ran along her teeth as she dropped her chin and peered at me through her long, thick lashes. “It doesn’t matter. You are mine.”
About the Author
She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.
She’s also an investigator with a