Book Review: A Warden’s Purpose by Jeffrey L. Kohanek

This is a review for the TBRindr 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:

Two schools: One of magic and science, the other focused on military excellence.
A dangerous undercurrent flows within both…dark and deadly.

Everson is brilliant, ingenious, and yet, he feels broken. Cursed with a disability, he dreams awp-coverof nothing more than being useful. Quinn is bold, defiant, and will do anything to protect her brother.

When Everson is accepted to an academy of magic and engineering, Quinn enters a school of combat in order to join him in Fallbrandt. However, things within the fabled institutions are not what they seem. Beneath a mantra of good intentions and the objective of a better future, spies and conspiracies lurk.

Quinn finds herself embroiled in a struggle she doesn’t understand, one with dire consequences as her training shifts from difficult to deadly. Her relentless determination and will to survive might be enough, if she only knew whom she could trust.

Within the other school, Everson learns about a dangerous power known as Chaos. Unable to wield this magic, he is instead intent on melding Chaos with science, dreaming up inventions that would shape the future. Perceptive, imaginative, and curious, his endeavors lead him to a revelation that could change the world…and then, he discovers the truth. 

Goodreads

Thoughts:

This is a really nice story of nice people doing nice things for each other. That was…sort of refreshing.

The two main protagonists, Everson and Quinn, were the highlights of the book for me. Everson is a character that is always struggling to fit in. He was orphaned and adopted into a loving family that made him one of their own, but he has a disability that makes him stand out from others. I think the author did a great job showing his struggles, how it affects certain aspects of his life, while also showing Everson’s perseverance not to let anything get in the way of his dreams. While Everson seems to have known what his dream was from an early age, his adopted sister, Quinn, didn’t start to figure out things until later, only at first thinking of what she could do so that she could follow her brother to Fallbrandt. She’s very protective of her brother, a little bit stubborn, and very determined once she sets her mind to something.

I love how nice and supportive their parents are of their dreams. They can come across a bit sitcom-y at times, however. For example when they’re children their mom sits them down for talk about why one of the kids is bullying them so instead of fighting back at him they decide to befriend him and lessons are learned. I feel like sometimes the parents were a little too perfect, but I’d happily take them over abusive or absent parents which are so frequent in fantasy novels these days.

Some of the characters  felt a little bit underdeveloped but others were very well written. I loved Chuli, a girl warrior at the military academy. She’s quiet, loyal, and shows great strength of character. She also has her struggles, as an outsider, and makes for a good counterpart to Quinn’s brashness.

The plot is rather straightforward, but told in a way that keeps you guessing what the main plot point is until near the end. I appreciate that this made the story much more interesting, but it was also a little confusing at times. For instance, I didn’t realize that both Everson and Quinn were being held until late into the story. The stories they tell to their captors are long and I struggled a bit with Everson’s nonchalance and cooperation in talking to the people that essentially kidnapped him. Still, this didn’t take away too much from my enjoyment of the story.

Overall, A Warden’s Purpose was a quick read featuring some very likable characters doing likable things. 3/5 stars.

 

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