Finalist in the LGBT category for the Independent Author’s Network 2018 Awards!
In the peace following the Great Mage Hunt, the king’s long-time mistress is revealed as a sorceress. Locked away for the safety of the kingdom, bounties are placed upon the heads of the seven children she birthed. Mage hunters have scoured the kingdom for four years, searching for the seven scattered mage-born bastards.
After growing up in an orphanage, Reshi discovers his parentage and learns to hide his magic, living peacefully in a remote village with an unusual friend. But when an alluring mage hunter comes to town, his secret is revealed, forcing Reshi to reach out to his brothers and sisters for help. A family reunion might be Reshi’s only hope for survival–or it might become a spell-slinging battle royale.
Who can Reshi rely on when his own family turns against him?
Review: 5 Stars
Sorcerous Rivalry is a review copy that I’ve had for a while, but haven’t had the chance to get to until now. If I had any idea of how great it was actually going to be, I would probably have pushed aside all my other books and read it on day one. Sorcerous Rivalry is one of those rare hidden gems of a book that is amazing, but no one has heard of it. I feel like a pirate because I just discovered gold treasure in the shape of an epic fantasy book.
As soon as I started reading it I didn’t want to set it down. In the beginning, Kayleigh Nichol’s writing kept me reading because I was curious about what was going on. But once some of my curiosity had been satisfied the plot had grabbed my attention. Reshi was one of 7 of the King’s bastard children, all of which had magical powers and bounties on their heads. Now some of Reshi’s siblings had started to hunt one another in order to steal each other’s powers and ultimately the throne as well. While Reshi on the other hand, was just trying to survive he made an unlikely alliance with a mage hunter, Kestral.
This plot kept me on my toes. It kept moving, full of surprises and deep characters. The plot had a quest feel to it, but was never boring, as weeks traveling on the road can be. It was filled with magic, bloodshed, characters with dark pasts and bits of sarcastic humor thrown in at the exact right moments. I found the book to be compulsively readable and endlessly entertaining. Sorcerous Rivalry had lots of battles and magic that kept a high pace, but the slower moments were used to help the reader gain insight to who the characters were.
The character development was done perfectly. Little pieces of information were given at a time and it felt very natural to get to know the characters over the course of the story. When bigger, emotional parts of their lives were shared it didn’t feel over dramatic and the writing showed how it affected the characters, rather than telling us how they felt. I wound up deeply attached to Reshi and Kestral, rooting for them every step of the way. As for minor characters, I tried not to get attached because they died rather frequently. The many deaths made battles have that much more importance while reading, as I could never be sure who would actually survive them. I truly loved everything about this story.
Sorcerous Rivalry is a rarity in the way that both the plot and the characters were amazing. The world building is intricate and full of many different kinds of magic as well. The writing is great and the pace never stops moving, but not at the loss of character depth. I am very impressed by Kayleigh Nichol’s debut novel and not surprised to read that it was a finalist in the Independent Author’s Network awards. I want to read the next book and everything else that Kayleigh Nichol writes. Most of all, I hope that some of my readers give this book a chance, because this isn’t a novel that should remain in the shadows.