Book Review: Sorcerous Rivalry

This is a review for the TBRinder project hosted at The Weatherwax Report. This project aims to match up self published and indy authors with reviewers that may be a good audience for their book. If you’re a self-published author looking for folks to review your work or if you’re a reviewer looking for more books to read, check it out!
Thanks to the author for providing a copy of their book for review, this did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

Summary from Goodreads:

In the peace following the Great Mage Hunt, the king’s long-time mistress is revealed as a sr-coversorceress. Locked away for the safety of the kingdom, bounties are placed upon the heads of the seven children she birthed. Mage hunters have scoured the kingdom for four years, searching for the seven scattered mage-born bastards. 

After growing up in an orphanage, Reshi discovers his parentage and learns to hide his magic, living peacefully in a remote village with an unusual friend. But when an alluring mage hunter comes to town, his secret is revealed, forcing Reshi to reach out to his brothers and sisters for help. A family reunion might be Reshi’s only hope for survival–or it might become a spell-slinging battle royale. 

Who can Reshi rely on when his own family turns against him?

Oh man, I really loved this book. Let me count the ways.

In the beginning I was a little bit confused by our main character, but things were cleared up pretty fast. I love Reshi! I really do have a soft spot for these types of characters–freewheeling, bit of a rogue, devil may care, but fostering some kind of deep hurt on the inside. Reshi’s also a huge flirt and I kind of love that about him, especially when it contrasts well with the serious nature of other characters such as Kestral. Overall, I thought all the characters were well-written, but especially the main characters we spend the most time with were really fleshed out. I wish we’d gotten to know some of the siblings more, but perhaps in the next book we’ll spend a little more time with one or two of them. I also love not only that this book has LBGT characters but how they’re presented within the world of Sorcerous Rivalry. The fact that they’re not treated as different or outsiders, that these types of relationships are so unremarkable in the world of the book, feels quite refreshing.

The pacing of the book is great. Events keep our characters moving on from one thing to another. There is quite a bit of traveling in the book, but it never feels bogged down or boring. The authors uses these scenes to let us get to know the characters as they learn about each other through various conversations and activities.

The magic system is just the kind that I like. There are rules but it’s also vague enough that some cool hand-wavy magic happens. I like that the siblings each have different powers and that many of them are elemental magic. Each of the mages has clear strengths and weaknesses, which really makes for some fun battles. I mean, as much fun as siblings trying to kill each other and absorb each other’s powers can be fun.

Overall, I thought Sorcerous Rivalry was a really fun read. There are a lot of things about it that put me in mind of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, and I mean that in the best possible way. Lot’s of travelling, running into conflicts, fun asides with characters, and interesting battles. Give this one a try if you’re looking for a refreshing take on classic sword and sorcery. 4.5/5 stars.


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