- Plot- or character-driven? Character
- Strong character development? It's complicated
- Loveable characters? No
- Diverse cast of characters? Yes
- Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated
Graphic: Death of parent, Death, Misogyny, and Racism
shelvedamongthestars's review against another edition
amydavid's review against another edition
oh_livia's review against another edition
ainiali's review against another edition
I don't remember where I first saw the book but I do remember searching for reviews for it on Youtube. The opinion was divided, some love it & some not. When it's shortlisted for Popular-BH Reader's Choice Award 2017, I decided to pick it up.
The story is about a new Sorcerer Royal (the leader of all magicians in England) who is also a black man, which is the first ever in the history of the nation. Despite all the people's disfavor of him, Zacharias moves along & just do his job as per his position. Now, there's one big problem in the nation. England is lacking magic that flows from FairyLand. It is Zacharia's duty to find out why and what had happened. Then, insert a foreign king came asking for help & the appearance of a witch from a faraway land to create chaos.
The first few chapters were hard for me to get thru. The writing style & words that were chosen made it difficult for me understand what I was reading. English is not my first language so I back peddled a lot at first but as I read on, it became easier.
Generally, the whole story has some kind of laid-back tone to it. Zacharia is a very calm character. He kinda accepts what other people think of him & he really does not mind the prejudice of his skin color anymore. Not until Prunella was introduced that the whole story became alive and for once Zacharia become concern about the practice of the ladies at Mrs. Daubeney's school. Adding Prunella to his life (and this story) was a great happening.
I love, love it that the author incorporated some foreign language ('mana pintu ni?' gave me a giggle fit. LOL), the minor foreign characters which become scene stealers ( Mr. Hsiang & Mak Genggang, just to name a few).
SpoilerThere was a hint that the nation could go conquering foreign lands to look for magic & capturing their great magician for His Majesty. A clever take on the reason for why British conquered a whole lot of land in the 18th century.
SpoilerI got excited when the Sultan Ahmad's child is born as a vampire, and I remember there was a sultan in Malaysian history called Raja Bersiong, who was said loves to add blood in his food, i.e a vampire. Or maybe I was looking too much into it. LOL
I hope the next book is better than this or else I'll probably drop the series altogether.
bound_to_books's review against another edition
winterscomin's review against another edition
I feel like I've added at least a dozen or so new words to my vocabulary as well (if I can actually remember them and their meanings).
As for the actual story, the first half was slow. At some points extremely slow to the point where I didn't really want to continue, but pushed myself to anyway. Thankfully, it did pay off at least in part because the last 150 pages or so were a lot more fun and felt a lot more natural to read, even with the language. Or perhaps I was just more used to it by then.
Either way those last pages managed to get this up from probably a 2 star rating to the 3 stars it ended up getting.
nickyp's review against another edition
softwindflower's review against another edition
- Plot- or character-driven? A mix
- Strong character development? Yes
- Loveable characters? Yes
- Diverse cast of characters? Yes
- Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
Graphic: Racism and Sexism