Shackles of the Storm, by Dar & Lory Kardenal
Hey guys, how has your week been?
Have you found a new favourite read lately
Today, I’m excited to be reviewing Shackles of the storm: Spirits of Seiran, Book 1, by Dar and Lory Kardenal.
After a series of terrible murders in Kahlaran, whispers begin to circle about the city having a Djinn in its midst. Zaira (a perfumer’s assistant) and Ezair (a cocky mercenary) must work together to discover the truth, or risk losing their family to the Prince’s false murder charges. Indeed, a dangerous Djinn does lurk within the city, but who are they and what do they want?
Of the multitude of characters, three in particular stood out to me: Zaira, Ezair, and Chai.
Zaira, an adopted perfumer’s assistant appeared reserved, keeping her secrets close to her chest. She seemed to have a hard time trusting others, something which I found easy to relate to. Zaira was different to the other characters in a way that was hard to pin down until later on in the story. She had a steady resolve, determined to do the right thing by the one man who raised her as his own and gave her employment. Both driven and loyal, she made for an easy to root for protagonist.
Ezair, a member of the Viper mercenary guild appeared cocky and ruthless. He amused me on numerous occasions with his quick comebacks and overall blunt attitude. The more I came to learn of his past and his lack of fondness for authority, the more I began to understand him at his core. He was a steadfast friend and equally as interesting a main character as Zaira.
Finally, we come to Chai. Chai, a secret majai, working as an assistant of sorts in her mother’s brothel, had a gentle way about her. However, I soon came to see another side of her, an inner fire which burned bright, oddly contrasting her initial gentle demeanour. Helpful, cautious, and enthusiastic about all things magic, she lifted tense moments in the book for me and provided a more optimistic view of things.
As is my new tradition, I’ve listed my likes in bullet point form, for simplicity.
- The third person narration style worked well for shackles of the storm and provided a good overall sense of the character’s varying personalities. However, Zaira also had her own narrated chapters, which were instead told in first person, and allowed us to get closer to her.
- The characters felt realistic. As I read on, I learned the gritty and intimate details of their lives: their secrets, fears, flaws: everything that made them uniquely human.
- The occasional chapters which took me back to the character’s pasts provided the added context I needed in order to understand the deeper motivations behind their goals and desires.
- Crucial information was gradually revealed in an organic way, which kept me glued to the story. It was hard to take breaks away from reading as each chapter had me asking more questions, desperate to know their answers.
- The worldbuilding was simultaneously complex and simple. Various Gods, methods of magic concealed from the general population, and a vibrant series of cultures were conveyed. While there was much detail, it was given to me a little bit at a time, and therefore felt simple and effortless in nature.
With Shackles of the Storm, there were a variety of interesting quotes to choose from. After some time, I managed to settle on five.
1) ‘There is a way out of every hole, no matter how deep.’
2) ‘People leave who they love, if they think they can protect them.’
3) ‘Appearance only shows the form someone bent the matter into, not the soul inside.’
4) ‘Your mindset is wrong- you’re holding yourself captive- you will be, as long as you think you are.’
5) ‘There are solutions to everything. Sometimes you just have to find the loop-holes.’
Overall, Shackles of the Storm was an impressive and highly imaginative tale, which was hard to put down.
My Rating: 5 stars.
Recommended to: Lovers of magical realism, young adult fantasy, and mythical beings.
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Wishing you a wonderful week,