Review: Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani

Sunbolt - Intisar Khanani

The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.

When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detain—and execute—a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. But there are more secrets at play than Hitomi’s, and much worse fates than execution. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life.

When Sunbolt opens we meet Hitomi in a market running from guards, we slowly learn of how she was orphaned and now works with The Shadow League fighting for justice against corrupt and powerful Arch Mage Blackflame. While trying to save a leading family, Blackflame’s guards attack and Hitomi is taken prisoner. From here she is determined to escape, a complicated and perilous journey which involves her revealing magical powers she has tried hard to hide.

The early parts of this novel feel a bit drawn out, and a lot of Hitomi’s past is hidden and drip fed making some of the story feel disjointed and difficult to read, and there is a lack of world building which is such a shame. However once Hitomi has been captured and the more adventurous parts of the story get going things become easier to read and the story starts to flow much easier as you do get caught up in the actions of the characters.

This novel introduces us to some wonderful and colourful characters, it teaches us that often our prejudices about people can be wrong and that people can surprise us. We have an author here who is skilled at showing us our characters personal qualities in the way she acts, treats people, and talks rather than saying it. This adds a level of quality to the writing and a connection to the book which is so much more special than with many other books.

One of my biggest complaints with this book is that it is quite short. Just as I became completely engaged with the book it was over. The only saving grace being that I knew it was the first in a series and that I already had book two on my Kindle!

Sunbolt is a slow burner, but is worth pursuing past the slower earlier pages as it develops into a wonderfully intense novel full of magic, deception and unexpected friendships.

A huge thanks to Intisar Khanani and Xpresso Book Tours for the ARC so that I could read and honestly review this book.

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

SeriesThe Sunbolt Chronicles #1
Author: Intisar Khanani
Genre: Fantasy, Magic,
Publisher: Purple Monkey Press
Publication Date: 9 January 2014
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 144
Buy: Amazon | iBook


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