Master of Sorrows by Justin Call – Review

Cover- Master of Sorrows

Published: February 25, 2020

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Series: The Silent Gods #1

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 577 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 3.0/5.0

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: (Blackstone Publishing)

The Academy of Chaenbalu has stood against magic for centuries.

Hidden from the world, acting from the shadows, it trains its students to detect and retrieve magic artifacts, which it jealously guards from the misuse of others. Because magic is dangerous: something that heals can also harm, and a power that aids one person may destroy another.

Of the academy’s many students, only the most skilled can become Avatars–warrior thieves, capable of infiltrating the most heavily guarded vaults–and only the most determined can be trusted to resist the lure of magic.

More than anything, Annev de Breth wants to become one of them.


I’ve been wanting to get my hands on this book since like, February 2019 because what could be cooler than a book where a boy could either destroy the world or be a hero? The synopsis (from Gollancz) is absolutely enough to make any fantasy nerd want to check this out, but it ended up not being as much of a hit as I hoped. In fact, the synopsis above is much more in line with how exciting this book is.

Annev de Breth is in training to become an Avatar of Judgement, so that he may go out in the world and acquire magical artifacts and secret them away. The village of Chaenbalu is hidden in a forest, protected by a glamour so that no outsiders may find it and all of the boys and girls in training at the academy were stolen away as babes. Except Annev, who was born in the village but was missing a hand and was to be killed along with his parents. He was saved by Sodar, who pulled some trickery and passed him off as an extra babe stolen from the city and gave him a magical prosthetic that functions as a real limb. If anyone were to find out, he would be killed and proclaimed an agent of the dark god Keos. 

Much of the book centers around Annev trying to pass this test or otherwise be relegated to simple servitude and lose his chance to marry Myjun, a lovely girl training to be a witwoman (the female counterpart to Avatars). He deals with bullying, friends who weigh him down, and secrets kept by Sodar. I found most of the book to be pretty slow-paced and kind of uninteresting. I just didn’t really connect with Annev and despite the fact that I LOVE school settings this just didn’t click with me. Things started to pick up towards the second half of the book, but by then I wasn’t really invested in the story or characters. Whether or not I read future installments will depend entirely on reviews or my inability to show restraint and not request it. 

This was not a terrible read, but my expectations were high and my lackluster feelings towards the first half of the book stood out even more because of it. The second half had much more action, some cool magic, and finally some BLOODY ANSWERS. Considering the fact that Annev might destroy the world he sure was average most of the time. I desperately wanted him to manifest some dark magic, but he was thoroughly unremarkable until the last little bit. WHYYYYY.

Currently Reading: 12/2/19

Cover- Master of Sorrows

Master of Sorrows by Justin Call

I’ve had my eye on this book since it was released in the UK earlier this year and now I finally have my hands on it! This won’t be released until February 2020, but I’m trying to get ahead on some of my reading. A boy who could be EVILLLLLL… but will he actually save the world? It sounds quite awesome!

Stacking the Shelves: 10/19/19

 

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly (or in my case monthly) meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and it’s all about sharing the books you’ve added to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. You can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks!


Received for Review:

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How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason

I admit to picking this book up solely because of the title. It just sounded so different and the formulaic titles fantasy has tended towards lately. This lovely finished copy is courtesy of DAW.

Unnatural Magic by C.M. Waggoner

Trolls, murder, and magic, oh my! Thanks to Ace for the finished copy!

Novice Dragoneer by E.E. Knight

This whole book, from cover to synopsis just grabbed my attention. I mean, dragons, you know!? This is another cool story from Ace Books.

Shield of the People by Marshall Ryan Maresca

I featured an ARC I received of this book awhile back, but here’s the teeny tiny finished copy from DAW Books. Hopefully I’ll have a review up in a few weeks!

The Monstrous Citadel by Mirah Bolender

I’m very, very excited to read this sequel! This will be out November 5, 2019 from Tor Books and I might even have it read by then if my reading goes according to plan!

Master of Sorrows by Justin Travis Call

This book has been out in the UK for close to a year now, but will be released in the US in February 2020. It’s about a school for warrior thieves which was an automatic yes from me. I was lucky enough to get and eARC from Edelweiss and Blackstone Publishing – thanks!

Walk the Wild with Me by Rachel Atwood

Here we have a book about an orphaned child raised in an abbey, who can see the folk of the wood (faeries!). Thanks to DAW for the eARC.

City of Stone and Silence by Django Wexler

I did go a little crazy on eARC requests in the last month, but who could resist with titles like this one available? I can’t say no to a new Django Wexler book! Thanks to Tor Teen for the eARC.

Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst

Women racing on monster-steeds for glorious winnings – WHAAAAAT? This sounds SO cool, and it’s a standalone so you don’t have to worry about waiting ages for a sequel. Thanks to Harper Voyager for the eARC!

The Seventh Sun by Lani Forbes

This is a familiar book, just featured on a Waiting on Wednesday post! Shortly after that I was approved for an eARC. Many thanks to Blackstone Publishing.

Highfire by Eoin Colfer

I loved the Artemis Fowl books as a kid, so naturally I had to get Colfer’s first true adult novel. I also had no restraint and read it WAY before the release date – it was pretty awesome and quite unique. Looks like this is a standalone for the moment. Thanks to Harper Perennial for the eARC.

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

And as I was typing this I was also browsing Edelweiss and this was available for download, no request process necessary… I HAVE A PROBLEM. Honestly though, I think this will be a pretty good sequel and I can’t wait until the final cover is revealed! Thanks to Wednesday Books.

My Purchases: 

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These are all the cool books I’ve gotten in book boxes lately! I’ve posted more about them in the unboxing posts, but we have The Bone Houses, Crier’s War, I Hope You Get This Message, and The Haunting of Hill House.

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And the last of my physical purchased/gifted books is the new Binging with Babish cookbook!! This was a recent gift from my husband and I can’t wait to try a few of the less outlandish recipes inside!

Age of Death by Michael J. Sullivan

EEEEEK! So, I backed the Kickstarter for this book a few months back and the ebook just arrived in my email! This might make prime holiday reading.

The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

This was the Tor.com free ebook of the month and I’ve never read anything by this author before – perfect chance to try out something new!

Uncanny Collateral by Brian McClellan

I can’t say no to anything by Brian McClellan and finally snagged an ebook copy of his new urban fantasy. It’s quite short, so I could actually read this in a few hours!

Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco

I just HAD to finish out this series to see if there was a happily ever after… I ended up having strong feelings about this book, so reviewing it should be rather cathartic.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

At long last! I’ve been pretty excited about getting my hands on this book (or rather audiobook) and this has been my favorite of Bardugo’s books thus far!

The Burning White by Brent Weeks

yESSSSSS. Nearly 40 hours of Simon Vance’s glorious narration and the undoubtedly dramatic finale to a great series.