I am so sorry for the long delay between posts. I needed the time – like we all did – to relax and take time during the holidays. I am back to posting, but as a forewarning grad school is about to go into full swing so there may stretches without reviews. I’m going to try not to forget, but things happen.
Also, this review is for an ARC (advanced reader copy) and the actual book will be released in February.
And now, onto the review…
Before he was Numair Salmalin, he was Arram Draper, the youngest and possibly brightest student at the School for Mages within the University of Carthak. At the young age of ten, Arram has far surpassed most of his classmates and is studying semi-independently with many of the university’s top masters. But Arram isn’t the only gifted student. Among his closest (only) friends is Varice Kingsford, a talented young girl whose Gift goes beyond the kitchen, and Ozorne Tasikhe, the youngest prince of the Carthak empire.
Arram spends most of his days working vigorously through his classes, mastering magics far beyond his years. Due to his young age and the general disbelief amongst his peers that he is capable of such advanced magic, Arram continues to excel at his studies so long as he has the comfort and companionship of his friends. Despite it all, there are times where Arram – who is usually the only student is the vast majority of his classes – still feels isolated and alone. His curiosity about his Gift and magic in general will take him far – but it can also get him in trouble.
And soon trouble finds the young mage as first one then more of Ozorne’s family is removed, bringing the prince closer to succeeding the throne. But who is behind it all? What is their aim in making Ozorne the next in line to become emperor? And how do Arram’s Gift fit into it all?
For long time fans of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall works, Tempests and Slaughter will likely feel like coming home after a long absence. For new fans just being introduced into the series, this book – the first of a trilogy – can serve as a good introduction. It isn’t necessary to have read the previous volumes to understand this one; Pierce does a nice job of introducing everything to a first time reader. Since, from my understanding, this story takes place in Carthak and the previous stories in Tortall, and (to my knowledge) no essential previous storyline or character has been introduced, a newcomer won’t feel like they are missing much.
There is little action for those looking for it. Most of the story revolves around Arram’s growth as a mage although there is set up for future volumes. I really enjoyed the story and am contemplating purchasing the finished work when it is released in February 2018. I look forward to the remaining volumes in this story, and a big thank you to Underlined for the ARC at YALL Fest. 🙂
My rating: 4/5