Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Gravedigger Volke Savan wants nothing more than to be like his hero, the legendary magical swashbuckler, Gregory Ruma. First he needs to become an arcanist, someone capable of wielding magic, which requires bonding with a mythical creature. And he’ll take anything—a pegasus, a griffin, a ravenous hydra—maybe even a leviathan, like Ruma.
So when Volke stumbles across a knightmare, a creature made of shadow and terror, he has no reservations. But the knightmare knows a terrible secret: Ruma is a murderer out to spread corrupted magic throughout their island nation. He’s already killed a population of phoenixes and he intends to kill even more.
In order to protect his home, his adopted sister, and the girl he admires from afar, Volke will need to confront his hero, the Master Arcanist Gregory Ruma.
In this review, there will be spoilers present. Proceed with caution!
I started this book with great hopes about the premise because it sounded highly interesting. It didn’t take long until I became quite disappointed, however.
The characters did not impress me. They were quite two dimensional and didn’t quite manage to capture me. I did not care for what happened to them because it was obvious what would happen either way. Volke’s rivals are your typical bullies, but they went out of their way to mess with him when they have their own paths to follow.
There’s a lot of stereotypes here, and that’s all they were at times.
Some of the dialogue and descriptions pulled me out of the story because it didn’t feel as if it fits a fantasy-setting. It sounded more like modern terms and phrases, which doesn’t have a place in such books.
Other than that, the language flowed well and was easy to follow.
For the plot, everything conveniently lines up for our two main characters. They flowed along and happened to stumble across exactly what they needed for the story to move forward, and although it was described that they struggled, it did not feel that way.
They needed each their magical creature to become arcanists, and what do you know – they conveniently found exactly two creatures in a swamp shortly after Volke failed the trial he interfered with. Even better, the creatures were rare and powerful.
The founder of their home island, the legendary arcanist Gregory Ruma who’s been missing for years and years, just so happened to be in town when they arrived there.
They participate in a trial to see who can catch a moth, and Volke get the largest one. You can probably see where this is going by now.
I was skimming already from the 30% mark, and by the 40% mark, I found myself not caring at all anymore. It’s a shame because it sounds so interesting, so I’m disappointed I didn’t like it.
Have you read a disappointing ARC as of late? What was your opinion of said book?