Who is in the mood for some violence, vengeance and a little bit of friendship?
Well, if you raised your hand, you are in the right place. The book I have for you this week is John Gwynne’s Malice, the first in a series that I cannot wait to continue. As you may know by now, I love multiple narrators and this novel delivers. We meet Corban, the protagonist when he is just fourteen year’s old. The blacksmith’s son, he is young and although he has big dreams, he is constantly tormented by an older boy named Rafe until he decides he has had enough. While Corban is learning how to be a man, we see things on the horizon, a prophecy of a God-War on the horizon, an over-eager prince hoping to build an empire, a young warrior who just wants to be left alone and a creepy royal adviser who is more than meets the eye. Add to that giants, elementals who can control magic and the regular malice between neighboring kingdoms and you have a hideous, angry amalgamation.
My overall score is 5/5 stars.
True, not all my favorites made it to the end of the novel but I would expect that in a time of war and betrayal. John Gwynne definitely knows how to up the ante when it comes to collusion, backbiting and illusion. Paired with the steady and honest growth of Corban, it’s almost hard to believe that all of this is taking place in the same time period. The characters were so true to themselves, so real and the action-sequences so urgent that I felt every jab to a giant’s side, the shock of betrayal and loss, the fear. I wasn’t just a fly on the wall with this one, I was a face in the army, a stablehand, a servant in the castle…I was everywhere and everyone as I watched the chaos unfold and loved every minute of it.
On the other hand, there tended to be a lot of cliffhangers between narrators as well as some of the characters seeming ridiculously dense at times. And while I could see how it would serve Gwynne’s purpose, I couldn’t get over the fact that a lot of tension was caused by the same thing. A little diversity could have helped. Likewise, let me warn you about the lulls between the action. I am not one who needs a novel to be all about violence but if that is what you are looking for, this book may not be for you. There are a good amount of battles in Malice but more than that, the story line is about the characters, secret conversations and revelations they have.
How did you like this book review? Are there any books you think deserve a review on my blog? If so, let me know down in the comments below! Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram and friend me on Goodreads to stay up to date on my most recent bookish adventures!
Oh, and before I forget, I want to try something a bit new for a Monday post next month. So I need you, my wonderful bookish family, to come up with some questions. That’s right! I will dedicate one post a month to just answering questions from my followers, whether you ask through a comment, my contact page, on Instagram or Goodreads. I’ll compile them all and answer them the first of the month.