Master Artificer by Justin T Call — ARC Review

Summary:

The fabulous sequel to 2019’s hit debut novel: Master of Sorrows.

Annev has avoided one fate. But a darker path may still claim him . . .

After surviving the destruction of Chaenbalu, new mysteries and greater threats await Annev and his friends in the capital city of Luqura. As they navigate the city’s perilous streets, Annev searches for a way to control his nascent magic and remove the cursed artifact now fused to his body.

But what might removing it cost him?

As Annev grapples with his magic, Fyn joins forces with old enemies and new allies, waging a secret war against Luqura’s corrupt guilds in the hopes of forging his own criminal empire. Deep in the Brakewood, Myjun is learning new skills of her own as apprentice to Oyru, the shadow assassin who attacked the village of Chaenbalu – but the power of revenge comes at a daunting price. And back in Chaenbalu itself, left for dead in the Academy’s ruins, Kenton seeks salvation in the only place he can: the power hoarded in the Vault of Damnation . . .

Review: 5 Stars

I’ve been looking forward to this sequel ever since I finished Master of Sorrows. I really loved the first book and was very excited to continue the series. Master Artificer is a truly epic tale. I had no idea that the sequel was going to be over 800 pages, but I actually found it to be a pretty quick read despite it’s large size. I was really impressed with the way this book expanded upon all the elements presented in the first installment.

Master Artificer is a character driven book, but that doesn’t mean that it’s slow paced of that there isn’t tons of action. While the first book focused mainly on Annev, this installment adds Myjun and Kenton’s points of view. You follow all three characters on their journeys, but Annev is still at the center of the plot. I really enjoyed getting to know Kenton and Myjun more, but the chapters from Annev’s point of view were my favorite.

From the beginning of the series the reader know that this is a villain origin story and that really starts to become clear throughout the course of this second installment. Annev’s character arc was amazing. You can really understand how he has changed from a kind hearted boy into a more cold and calculating man. The change comes on so slowly that it feels so real and I still found myself rooting for a character that really should be unlikable. Annev’s character arc was definitely one of my favorite aspects of this novel.

The world building was incredible. There was a lot introduced in the first book, but this installment really expanded upon the magic system. Part of the book takes place at a magical school so as the characters are learning magic the readers get to find out how it all works. The magic system is really unique and has so much possibility. It’s a very complex magic system, but the reader gets to absorb it piece by piece so it isn’t overwhelming. A lot of this book focuses on world building and it’s just so cool and so well done.

The plot is hard to summarize because this is an epic novel and a lot happens. There are multiple plot lines and characters to follow, and while the plot lines don’t meet by the end of this installment, you can see that they will. The writing is fast paced for the majority of the novel and I tore through this tome a lot faster than I expected to. The action scenes are written so well and had me on the edge of my seat over and over. I really enjoyed following these characters on their respective journeys, but the character development is really what makes this book so incredible.

Master Artificer is an incredibly well done epic fantasy novel. It’s over 800 pages, but I tore through it pretty fast and loved every minute of it, so don’t let the length intimidate you. This is an action packed book and it has a pretty fast pace, but it was the world building and the character development that really took this book to the next level. Justin T Call is a great new voice in fantasy and I can’t wait to see where he takes this series next. If you love epic fantasy and are looking for something comparable to the character development in Name of the Wind or the magic system of Mistborn, then I recommend you check this series out.

Check out my review of the first book in the series, Master of Sorrows.

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