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Monday, January 24, 2022

Book Review: Obsidian by Sarah J. Daley (reviewed by Lukasz Przywoski)



Official Author Website
Order Obsidian HERE

AUTHOR INFO: Sarah J. Daley is a former chef who lives and writes in the Chicago Metropolitan area with her husband and teenaged son. She earned a degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Though she still enjoys the heat and chaos of a professional kitchen, she is now writing full-time. She enjoys traveling, creating costumes for comic con, riding the occasional horse, and streaming old sitcoms for background noise.

Release Date: January 25, 2022 Publisher: Angry Robot Pages: 400 Cover design: Mark Ecob


OVERVIEW: Just look at this cover. So intense. I love it! The story is intense, too. Shade Nox likes to dress like a man and she won’t allow anyone to mess with her. With her obsidian blades at her hips and the immense power coiled inside, she is even more special than one might suspect. Unlike most bloodwizards she can access The Wild Power. The one that makes the earth tremble and skies crackle with thunders.

Whew.

Daley has a knack for world-building and creating characters filled with inner angst. And longings they can not fulfill. The magic system is dope. Bloodwizards gain access to elemental powers by cutting themselves with blades made of various minerals (obsidian, quartz, tanzanite, garnet, etc.). They all wear magic tattoos that heal self-inflicted wounds. I like the idea, but the image I have of these guys feverishly cutting themselves to go berserk before entering the fight walks the line between serious and ridiculous.

I liked the world: Shade lives in the Wastes protected by Veil from the abominations hiding “outside”. Shade believes she can raise a powerful Veil, but the Brotherhood (folks convinced only wizards should do magic and that blood witches are an abomination) won’t have any of it. I liked the dangerous and cinematic magic and the imagery of the Wastes.

Shade’s motives and determination are clear and understandable. I admired her determination and willingness to delve into dangerous magic. Unfortunately, she comes across as arrogant rather than complex. It seems that the men in her world can not resist her. I did not enjoy the romance part of the story; I just could not understand why the characters were into each other. Passion is all well and good, but I can’t say I bought it all.

CONCLUSION: Obsidian is a solid book with lots of action and mayhem. It may take itself too seriously (and feel goofy to some readers), but if you’ve been missing spectacular displays of magic, this is it.


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