Master of Sorrows

Blackstone. (Silent Gods, Bk. 1). Feb. 2020. 577p. ISBN 9781982591786. $29.99. FANTASY
DEBUT The enigmatic Academy of Chaenbalu has been concealed from the world for centuries, training students to become Adepts, agents charged with seeking and retrieving dangerous magical artifacts to lock them away in the school’s subterranean vaults. Any deformity is treated as a mark of corruption and evil, so young student Annev and his mentor, priest Sodar, must hide that Annev was born with only one hand. Learning the skills of combat, stealth, and quick thinking required of an Adept candidate, Annev navigates the tests of the academy and faces a climactic final battle that will threaten to destroy his entire way of life.
VERDICT Call’s debut, which kicks off the “Silent Gods” series, takes its time coming to a boil, but by the final act there is plenty of action and conflict. Readers of Mark Lawrence’s “Book of the Ancestor” trilogy or Patrick Rothfuss’s “Kingkiller Chronicle” will appreciate the depiction of a young conflicted hero coming of age in a fantastic school.

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