2. A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova
My reviews come from the book club in my discord. Be sure to join us! And yes, that means there will most likely be spoilers, so read at your own risk.
1. Your star rating (1-5)
2. Would you recommend?
3. Favorite part?
When Eira does the obstacle course. It was fun seeing how someone like her, who isn't trained well physically, was able to figure out how to get through the course, proving it isn't always about having that physical strength, but also smarts too.
4. Least favorite part? Why?
When she talks with her brother about how she isn't his sister and he threw that back at her. That really hurt to read. I'm never a fan of attacking others when you're in a fight (even when I was a teen) and he said all the right things to ensure she hurt the most. Hated how that went down.
5. Would you read again? Why?
I'd probably skim again if I don't get to the second book fast enough. Yes, I'll be continuing the series.
6. Main Female Character(s) Rating (1-5)
A solid main character with a ton of growth through the book as she literally has to fight with everyone to learn who she is, why she's the way she is, and deals with all the shit tossed her way from everyone around her. She has a special power and in this first book we get to watch as she fights with others and even herself in order to accept that power and what it can do for her.
8. Main Male Character(s) Rating (1-5)
It's working out that Cullen is the MC. Wasn't surprised by it, despite the author tossing in that elf guy and making it a weird triangle for the first book. He's the stereotypical bad boy type with a dark past, who gets all gushy with the MC once he starts opening up to her. Not much else to say about it. He was cocky, he was mean, he was sweet, he was there and helpful. It's a slow burn and I expect he'll become amazing as the series progresses.
10. Favorite minor character? (Minor characters deserve love tooooo)
There were a few characters in this book who stood out, the biggest probably being her best friend, Alyss. Frankly, though, I want more of her aunt. Her aunt seems awesome, with a very interesting past and she was super supportive of the FMC through the entire book without coming across as a hypocrite.
I actually like books where they toss a ton of crap at the character and make them suffer with misunderstandings and chaos. It gives the character so much to work with to grow from. And this book did that, but maybe it toed the line a little too much. The author did balance it enough so that I didn't throw my phone trying to read it. She had enough genuine, supportive people in there like the FMC's aunt and best friend, to make it work. If they hadn't been in the story, I probably would have thrown my phone.
Frankly, her family was trash. I really did try to understand their perspective, why they acted the way they were in order to protect her, but they messed up so badly that she only suffered. Then suddenly, they claim that they love her, but then they run off, scared she's going to kill them. No trust, no belief in her, not even trying to work with her so she learns more about how to control her powers. Instead they kept her down her entire life. And any time she tries to push past that and be who she can be, they toss her past mistake in her face just to break her down again. I didn't like them. Not even the uncles. Definitely not the parents. It seems it could have gone somewhere with the brother.
Plot wise, I liked it. I don't like the synopsis. In a way, it was a spoiler alert. I almost expected something similar to Hunger Games, where what should have been an innocent trial becomes deadly. But it doesn't until the very end, and only because it was a trap, and not because it was meant to be designed that way. So the synopsis left me reading the book wondering when all that fighting to survive was going to happen, and leaving me feeling like I was missing something, so I couldn't enjoy the book as much.
The direction and ending of this book was easy to see from the first page, with the elf, with the brother, how it was going to wrap up. The journey there was good though. We get to watch Eira grow into herself, break away from the harsh expectations of her family, and do something for herself.