Tempests and Slaughter (The Numair Chronicles #1)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, ebook, audiobook
Goodreads, Amazon, Audible, B&N, iBooks, TBD
Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate...fated for trouble.
Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.
In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.
Act fast! The first printing of the hardcover includes a collector’s edition poster!
World Building: The author did a phenomenal job creating the world where the story takes place. It was intricately detailed and described with such attention and vivid imagery that I practically felt like I was there. There's a ton of various elements that were well researched and explained throughout the novel. Being the first in a new series, I felt that a large part of the book was getting the reader acquainted with everything and everyone we'll come across. There was a lot of information to try to remember - different types of magic, political issues, personal problems facing each of the three main characters, and loads of secondary characters to meet and learn about. I admit that I did get confused at times and couldn't remember what teacher taught which class or who certain people were in general. Luckily, the author gives us a glossary at the end of the book to help with retaining this information. I personally found it quite useful.
Characters: The three main characters - Arram, Varice, and Ozorne - were very realistic and easy to identify with. We learn a lot about each of them throughout the book including their backgrounds, relationships, dreams for the future, weaknesses and fears, and so much more. I'm excited to get to know them even better in the next installment. Even the secondary characters were well rounded with distinct traits and personalities. Each one was meticulously described down to the smallest detail - good and bad. I'm interested in learning more about a lot of these people in the next book as well.
Plot: The plot was fascinating and although it's clearly a fantasy, it has so many other things happening that it blurs genre lines. Although the overall story wasn't wholly original - a school that teaches magic, good against evil, people coming together to stop something horrible from happening, a hero in the making, and (of course) some romance - the author added interesting details to make it her own and set it apart from others out there. I'm excited to see what will happen in the next book.
Writing Style: This is a huge part of a book and a very important one to me as a reader. The writing style can make or break a book, and to be completely honest - this time it almost broke it. I understand reasons for writing from different points of view and how some books go better with certain styles. I personally prefer the first person almost always because it lets me get lost inside the world the author created and get to really know and connect with the narrator. In this case, the author chose to write in the third person POV, which majorly bummed me out. Although there were three main characters, the only one that was focused on was Arram. We don't get to "hear" from the other two at all, which I think would've improved my opinion of it. With this kind of writing style and the amount of different information being given to the reader, I got lost several times. I found my mind wandering and couldn't help seeing several similarities with another extremely popular trio that attend a magic school. I wasn't able to immerse myself into the author's world or connect as deeply as I wanted/needed to with the main characters. I personally need that most of the time and this was definitely one of those. I know for a fact that if this had been written in the first person POV, than my experience would have been so much better and I would've easily given it a 5 star rating. It might sound extreme, but the writing style really brought down my opinion overall. Again, this is just my personal opinion and has nothing to do with the book or writing itself at all.
Overall, this was a great book that I know fans of the genre as well as fans of the author are going to want to snatch up as soon as possible. It's a solid start to a new series and I'm excited to see where the next book will take us. Highly recommended for fans of YA, fantasy, action, and even romance.
Tamora Pierce is a bestselling author of young adult fantasy books that break past the traditions of the fantasy genre to feature teenage girls as knights, wizards, and above all: heroes. A #1 New York Times bestseller and the recipient of the 2013 Margaret A. Edwards award, Tamora has written over 30 books, including the upcoming TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE (Oct. 31, 2017) and TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER (Feb. 6, 2018).
Tamora was drawn to books from a young age. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, the child of a "long, proud line of hillbillies," her family never had much. "We were poor, but I didn't know it then. We had a garden where my folks grew fruit and vegetables and our water came from a well," she explains. But one thing they did have was plenty of books. So Tamora read.
A self-proclaimed "geek," she devoured fantasy and science fiction novels, and by the age of 12 was mimicking her literary idols and writing her own action-packed stories. It was thanks to her father that Tamora began writing. "He heard me telling myself stories as I did dishes, and he suggested that I try to write some of them down," Pierce says.
But Tamora's novels had one major difference: unlike the books she was reading, her stories featured teenaged girl warriors. "I couldn't understand this lapse of attention on the part of the writers I loved, so until I could talk them into correcting this small problem, I wrote about those girls, the fearless, bold, athletic creatures that I was not, but wanted so badly to be."
Seventeen years later, after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, a brief career in teen social work and some time spent writing for radio, Tamora Pierce held true to her childhood crusade, and published ALANNA: THE FIRST ADVENTURE, the first in a quartet about a valiant, young, female warrior. Pierce's heroine struck a chord with readers across the country and quickly earned her a loyal following.
Now, with over 30 critically-acclaimed books to her name, Pierce lives in upstate New York with her husband Tim and their menagerie of nine cats, two birds, a flock of pigeons, various raccoons and squirrels, and one opossum. "It's a pretty good life, if I do say so myself. Struggling along as a kid and even through my twenties, it's the kind of life I dreamed of but never believed I would get. Yet here I am, after a lot of work, a lot of worry, a lot of care for details, and a massive chunk of luck, the kind that brought me such strong friends and readers. Pretty good for a hillbilly, yes? And I never take it for granted."
(3) winners will receive a finished copy of TEMPESTS AND SLAUGHTER - US Only
Ends on March 2nd at Midnight EST!
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