Scarlet Odyssey

47North: Amazon. (Scarlet Odyssey, Bk. 1). Jul. 2020. 560p. ISBN 9781542023825. $24.95. FANTASY
DEBUT Young Salo is far more interested in learning magic than he is in becoming a warrior, even though magic is strictly the province of women. After his tribe is attacked by a powerful witch, however, things change. The queen not only allows him to study magic, she entrusts him with a crucial mission in distant Yonte Saire. Meanwhile, Isa becomes the only surviving royal in Yonte Saire after a palace coup. She must outwit rebels who covet her throne, while combating the witch who is an even bigger threat. What will she do when Salo shows up at her door?
VERDICT Rwizi’s debut is noteworthy for its African-inspired setting, described at great length at the expense of character and plot development. His introduction of technomagic (the intersection of technology and magic) has potential, but isn’t fleshed out enough to be really engaging. Fans of A.J. Hartley’s “Steeplejack” series may enjoy this.

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