(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Purple Monkey Press on June 17th 2013
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detainâ€”and executeâ€”a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. But there are more secrets at play than Hitomi's, and much worse fates than execution. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life.
Intisar Khanani has been on my to read list since I read her book Thorn so when I received a newsletter telling me the second book of a new series she was writing was coming out soon I immediately went to my list to see where I could get book one. This leads me to telling you all about Sunbolt.
Hitomi is the main character of this story and I really liked her. She is smart and cunning and most of all, she will do whatever is necessary to protect those she cares about or who are less fortunate than her. As an orphan, she hasn’t had an easy life and being a foreigner in a land where those with magic aren’t necessarily welcome, she has had to make her own way. Now, as a member of the Shadow League, she and the group are out to stop the corruption led by dangerous Arch Mage called Blackflame.
The development of the world and atmosphere in this story is done well. There are so many different pieces to this story and magic is the thing that sits right at the center of the story. Hitomi’s parents were mages but they hid the fact that she was able to do magic (referred to as a Promise) and when she lost them, she wasn’t trained…or at least trained fully. Now she has some ability but isn’t fully able to control it for long periods of time. In conjunction with magic, Khanani has developed this world where it is normal to cross paths with vampires, breathers (someone who can steal your breath), and a number of other paranormal beings.
Outside of Hitomi, I thought the other characters in this story were well developed too and they all added something interesting to the story. Blackflame is the bad guy (although he isn’t the only bad guy) and I am curious to learn more about his link to Hitomi’s family. Ghost, the leader of the Shadow League, is an interesting character but I admit I didn’t feel like we got to learn enough about him. I want to know more and I hope that in one of the next books we get to know him better.
As the story progresses, Hitomi crosses paths with Val and here is where things start to become even more interesting. I loved seeing the partnership between these two characters develop. Their friendship isn’t one that is destined to work out due to the fact that Val is a breather and Hitomi is a Promise but regardless, for the situation they are in, they make things work and do whatever is necessary to keep each other alive. I loved the whole dynamic between them and hope we get more at some point in the future.
While this story is short in length, it doesn’t lack any of the things I look for in a great story. There is wonderful character development, an interesting story that has quite bit of action. If you are looking for a quick read that will keep you engaged and turning the pages, definitely consider checking Sunbolt out. I am glad I found it and will be waiting patiently (…of course) to get my hands on the next book!
Thank you to the author for a copy in exchange for an honest review!