Firstly, can we please take a minute to drool over that gorgeous cover? I read this one on my Kindle so I haven’t see the actual cover in person yet but it looks absolutely beautiful, and I think fits the vibe of the story really well.
The Ninth Sorceress is the first book in a new series, and it definitely felt like a first in a series book. There was quite a bit of background about the society and magic to be introduced, and I feel like this was done pretty well. The fact that Gwyn has led a fairly sheltered life so far means that she is learning at the same time as the reader, and I always think this is a nice natural way of introducing this kind of information.
I had a little bit of trouble figuring out some of the timing of the story, in terms of how quickly time was moving – I couldn’t quite get a feeling for whether journeys were taking days or weeks, and this sometimes felt a little bit inconsistent to me. But, importantly, I did feel like enough time was passing for Gwyn to grow and change, and for her relationships with others to do the same. I liked the sense of frustration we got from Gwyn when things weren’t happening easily for her. I also really liked that Gwyn is quite a reluctant – and maybe disbelieving – chosen one, and there was an authenticity in this portrayal of the chosen one trope that really appealed to me. Often it feels like she doesn’t believe that she has any magic, but is just going along with it as a means to an end.
Something that really worked for me was the way that it is a story in a story – I loved that we had the ‘present day’ prisoner telling the story, and it made me really keen to try and figure out what would happen next as the story went along – who the prisoner was going to be and what had led her to be there. I thought this sort of mystery element of the book was really engaging.
Overall, a lot of the overall vibe reminded me of the book in the Throne of Glass series where Aelin spends a lot of time learning to use and control her magic, so readers who enjoyed that aspect of Aelin’s story might also be really into this one. It read a little bit to the younger side of the YA age span and could be a good introduction to the genre for someone looking for something a little bit more grown up, but not as full on as some of the other series out there. I think The Ninth Sorceress set some great ground work for the next books, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Gwyn (and Bonnie!) has in store for us next!
The Ninth Sorceress by Bonnie Wynne
Release: Out Feb 13 from Talem Press.
Source: I received a free ebook copy of from Talem Press for review. All views are my own.
Category: #loveozYA, fantasy, adventure, mystery, magic