By: Bronwyn Eley
Series: The Relic Trilogy #1
Publication: September 12th, 2019
By: Talem Press
Genre: YA | Dark | Fantasy
In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow.
As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow’s life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place.
It’s an appointment that will kill her.
As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade… That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics.
A rebel force plans to put an end to Rennard’s rule and Kaylan suddenly finds herself embroiled in a cause that might just be worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs…
As her life hangs in the balance and rebellion bears down on Edriast, Kaylan must decide where her loyalties lie – and how she’ll leave her mark on the world.
|| Goodreads ||
I’m immensely grateful to Talem Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Makes me so happy to be able to read a debut like this one, I loved it! I feel that the author gives us a new perspective on the dark fantasy genre and manages to give us wonderfully created characters and an intriguing magic system. I think it’s a very unique story and I still can’t believe that we are in presence of a debut author, since the book is beautifully created, there’s a lot of talent put into this story and after that ending, I’m super excited for the next one and even more excited to more people to read it!
“Relic” takes place in the city of Edriast, where Kaylan, a nineteen-year-old young girl, has been selected to be the new Shadow, a deadly and dangerous title where she should serve Lord Rennard, owner of a powerful and dangerous Relic, whose magic has consumed to the previous Shadow. While Kayla’s hopes are undone, a rebel group outside is rising against Rennard government, and soon with her life ending, Kaylan must decide if this is a cause worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs …
I think in summary, I’d say it’s a captivating story, I really enjoyed the whole reading process, although I must say that it’s quite slow-paced, so if you plan to read it you must keep that in mind, even so, is not a boring story, it’s only very complex and kind heavy, but you can take it well and after 50% the step improves a lot. It’s been a long time since I read a fantasy that felt so dark and loved that aspect, I think the author knew how to play with psychological elements, like dreams, and hallucinations to give us a more intense and mysterious atmosphere. The writing style is very good and detailed, I like the descriptions a lot and how the author makes it possible for us to put ourselves in the place of the main character very easily, due to the powerfulness of her writing and the great impact that the story has itself.
I really liked the characters, in fantasy I sometimes feel that the characters are neglected a bit due to the many other factors that must be traveled as magical systems and world-building, that’s why we can sometimes stick to the characters just in the second and third book, but this fantasy is highly character-focused, especially in Kaylan, our main character.
Kaylan‘s really an incredible character, I managed to feel immediately attached and identified with her for that great concern and love she feels for her family, it shows and you can actually see that she would do anything for them and much of her fierce, although physical, is also mental and it shows a lot when something threatens her loved ones. I love these types of characters so good and well-focused, she’s a tough girl but she’s not impulsive or makes stupid decisions, I feel that on the contrary, she’s very calculating and smart. I really liked her and I’m excited to see what path she’ll take in the next book, whatever she decides to do, I’ll support her. Seeing this character suffers really destroyed my heart, I think she deserves better, but she’s strong and will be able to do anything. Then we have characters like Markus and Jesper, which I also liked very much, I think they have great and key participation in the plot, besides surprising a lot at times. Lord Rennard is the villain of the story and it’s really interesting for me to be able to see a bit of his personality and also discover how Relic has affected him, because those relics really affect on people, change and consume them. He’s a character that you’ll surely hate, I’ve done it, but at the same time, I appreciate this type of villain since he’s not only there to be bad, he also has a deep personality and is well created.
Although I enjoy most aspects of the book, I still feel that the world-building needs some work. I really liked what we got from it, but I still couldn’t appreciate it or maybe it just couldn’t captivate me as I expected it would. It contains a map at the beginning that sadly is more confusing even, so I expect more of this in the following books. Even so, this is very well-managed thanks to the author’s writing that makes any moment feel atmospheric and captivating.
Another thing I hope is more explored are the Relics, it’s very interesting and I loved discovering how its magic works and what it can do, it’s really the cherry on the cake and no doubt, without this detail the book wouldn’t be the same. It’s dark magic and it’s very scary to see what it can do to people, but leaving this aside, I would like to know more about its origin, I think it would give more depth and meaning to the magic itself.
There’s still a situation that includes a “rebel group” and really, although I’m intrigued, I didn’t see much of this happening in this first book. There’s a development, of course, but I expected something else, maybe especially since it’s focused on the synopsis but well, maybe in the future we’ll see more of this. We always get a group of rebels in our fantasies/dystopias, right?, so I hope this is not disappointments in the following books and manages to give an interesting and unique turn to this aspect.
The ending was INCREDIBLE, I liked it a lot, it has high-impact scenes and a lot of action so I’m really excited to continue with the story once the author comes out with the sequel, there’s so much yet to find out about, it’s crazy!!!
I highly recommend this book if, like me, you enjoy fantasy, but above all, I recommend it if you like character-driven stories more because this is a book that focuses a lot on the characters, so you’ll surely enjoy that. I also think it’s dark, captivating and you can get hooked with the plot very easily. I hope you decide to read, it’s the author’s first book and she needs our support, and besides that, this is INCREDIBLY written, so I predict that the following books will be even better and I can’t wait