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The Obsidian Tower: The Gates of Secrets…
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The Obsidian Tower: The Gates of Secrets (The Gate of Secrets) (original: 2020; edição: 2020)

de Melissa Caruso (Autor)

Séries: Rooks and Ruin (1)

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783266,735 (3.85)Nenhum(a)
Membro:Andorion
Título:The Obsidian Tower: The Gates of Secrets (The Gate of Secrets)
Autores:Melissa Caruso (Autor)
Informação:Orbit (2020), 512 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:to-read, tbr-new-release-2020

Detalhes da Obra

The Obsidian Tower de Melissa Caruso (2020)

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The story is narrated through a single, first-person point of view of Ryxander, the warden of Gloamingard, who is seen as an embarrassment by her own family because of her broken magic, which kills everything she touches instead of nurturing and shaping life.

The story starts with the Gloamingard castle all set to hold a peace agreement between two other domains. The first envoy arrives and things go awry when the envoy decides to unravel the secrets of the most peculiar yet confidential tower in all of Gloamingard, the black tower.

Ryx is determined to keep up the gloaming lore, that was made and kept up by her family for the past 4 millennium. And she is ready to go to any level to not break the gloaming lore, which leads her to accidentally killing the envoy.

With the envoy accidentally killed, the mysterious disappearance of her grandma who is a powerful witch lord, the rookery's investigation upon the black tower, right when we think matters cannot get worse, it surprisingly does, when Ryx and the rookery learn what the black tower has garded for 4 millennium after all.

The world building was mind-blowing, with it's unique magical system and political dramas. The character development was wonderful too and made me fall in love with almost every character. The story does feel boring at some parts but it turns out to be really captivating as we go forward.

I am really glad that this is the first book of a trilogy and I can't wait for the two books to be released!

I thank Orbit Books and NetGalley for giving me this amazing opportunity and introducing me to the wonderful world of Eruvia. ( )
  Yogaalakshmi | Sep 2, 2020 |
I received this novel from the publisher, through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review: my thanks to both of them for this opportunity.

Having greatly enjoyed Melissa Caruso’s Swords and Fire trilogy, I was quite eager to sample her new work, and also curious to see her world from the point of view of the Raverran Serene Empire’s adversaries from previous books. Where the magic present in Raverra is controlled by placing jesses - i.e. restraining bracelets - on people endowed with magical powers, in Vaskandar mages are free to exert their powers, and the strongest among them rule over the realms to which they are intimately connected, engaging in endless strife for supremacy with their neighbors. In Swords and Fire, looking at Vaskandar through Raverran eyes, this country seemed to pose a constant threat: military aggression against diplomacy; undisciplined magic against tight control of powers; authoritarian rule against the compromise of politics. The Obsidian Tower looks on Vaskandar from the inside, and shows us that it’s indeed all a matter of perspective…

For four thousand years, the castle of Gloaminguard stood as protection over a magically sealed black tower: the family’s lore stresses emphatically that its door must remain closed at all costs. Ryx is the latest descendant of the family holding Gloaminguard, appointed warden of the castle by her grandmother, a powerful Witch Lord called the Lady of Owls. Ryx is however burdened by the impossibility of wielding her magic: in a family of vivomancers, mages with the ability to interact with the flora and fauna of their territories, the young woman is cursed by a killing touch - every living thing that comes into close contact with her is doomed to wither and die. As Gloaminguard is getting ready to host a meeting between Raverran and Vaskandran emissaries for the peaceful solution of a controversy, one of the envoys tries to circumvent the tower’s safeguards and is accidentally killed by Ryx as she tries to stop the ill-advised attempt of her guest.

Faced with the intricate task of juggling the consequences of the accident, the volatile political situation and the survival of her grandmother’s realm, Ryx finds herself enmeshed in a progressively dangerous game in which every new discovery leads to unexpected pitfalls and impossible choices, as the old menace from the newly-awakened Tower looms closer and threatens to plunge the whole world in a maelstrom of destruction.

The Obsidian Tower is a thoroughly captivating read, where the constantly raising stakes keep increasing the pressure, which at times becomes unbearable, because we see the situation unfold from Ryx’s point of view, so that the concatenation of events and the discoveries she makes along the way put her in an untenable position better described as “damned if I do, damned if I don’t”, and make the possible outcome quite unpredictable. Ryx is a brilliantly designed character, one that makes it easy to root for her: a mysterious childhood illness caused her blossoming vivomancy powers to deteriorate, turning into a life-sucking force that prevents her from any contact with living creatures - only a powerful mage, preparing for the onslaught of her magic, can survive her touch and so Ryx grew up in physical isolation, feared by everyone and needing to be on constant alert against any kind of proximity.

The sympathy Ryx engenders in the readers does not come from compassion for her plight, but from admiration for her inner strength and for her will to still be an effective member of her family despite the lethal handicap she suffers. As the situation in Gloaminguard becomes more and more complicated, she draws from the well of strength and wisdom she built over the years and shows her worth as a balancing element despite the opposing political plays of the two nations and the unhelpful interference from some of her family members. The only moments when she succumbs to wistfulness are those in which she observes the interactions between the members of the Rookery - a sort of super partes agency dealing with magical phenomena - and sees the easy camaraderie, the subliminal understanding born of shared experiences, and realizes how empty and bleak her existence has been, but still she refuses to let such feelings dominate her.

As for the Rookery, they represent the lighter side of the story: a combination of magical investigators and spies wielding gadgets that would be the envy of 007, they are a team composed by disparate individuals whose peculiarities contribute to the success of the group. We have a leader who is both bookish and action-oriented; a science enthusiast saddled with a terrible past; an infiltration agent gifted by a delightfully roguish personality; and a warrior who at times needs to be told that her sword is not necessarily the only answer. The Rookery’s easy acceptance of Ryx, despite the danger she poses, is a breath of fresh air not only for the young woman herself, but for the reader as well, because it’s painful to see how she’s feared and shunned even by people who saw her grow up and seem unable to avoid the automatic warding sign they make at her passage. Since the series’ title mentions Rooks, it is my strong hope that I will see much more of the Rookery’s antics in the next books.

Story-wise this novel is the intriguing introduction to a further exploration of the world created by Melissa Caruso: much as I enjoyed visiting Raverra and its Venice Republic-like world of politics and compromise, this glimpse of Vaskandar is even more appealing thanks to the unruly quality of its magic, the constant warfare (declared or not) between realms and the fascinating concept of connection between mages and their territory, so that nature itself, when necessary, can intervene over humans, either helping or hindering them. Or worse - there is a scene in The Obsidian Tower, involving a mad Witch Lord and thorny bushes, that had me wincing in sympathetic pain…

On this background are set interesting issues as friendship and trust, responsibility and duty, all rolled up with enigmatic prophecies from the past which can still have impact on the present - and probably the future, since this story is only at its beginning. And with such a strong beginning, we can only predict that the best is still to come. ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Jun 12, 2020 |
Ryx's chances of becoming a Witch Lord of Vaskandar like her formidable grandmother crumbled to ash the day her magic broke when an illness almost killed her as a child. While the rest of her family's powers create, sustain and enhance their kingdoms Ryx's magic drains every last drop of life from anything that she touches. Secluded except for her duties as the warden of Gloamingard - a position given by her grandmother; Ryx has become resigned to her fate, flourishing in the ways she can be helpful without magic.

In the heart of Gloamingard a sealed black tower sits, constricting a menacing secret for thousands of years. A sly and reckless decision leaves Ryx in the aftermath, hands stained with blood and inadvertently releasing an unknown threat to everything she holds dear.

I really love the concept of the magic in this world - especially that the Witch Lord's have a connection to every living thing within their kingdom. If magic like this existed in our world I could definitely see all of the factions that are in this novel being real and more than possible - even more frightening. Magical creatures are a big soft spot for me and this book features one that doesn't see a lot of limelight, the chimera, and they have an interesting role in this series. Whisper is one of my favorite characters in The Obsidian Tower - the twist in his story was interesting and I want to know even more about him now.

"But Whisper was right. Everyone changed, and nothing could make you again who you were before."

There's a map! I happen to LOVE fantasy books that include maps. I wish there was an actual map and/or actual depiction of Gloamingard. I wish that you could manipulate it to actually read it in the Kindle format and it really made me wish for a physical copy. The cover of the book is what initially drew me to this book on NetGalley - I'm a sucker for covers. Now that I have finished the book the cover has a whole additional meaning.

This book does feature LGBTQ themes but is extremely PG on the romance aspect. I wasn't expecting the possible romance to spring up for Ryx especially considering the character but I am interested to see where that leads. The wording of they/them referring to one person still gets me. The concept I obviously understand and in this case Ryx has enough background with the character for the reference to have ground to stand on. It just takes me additional time to remember that she's not referring to more than one person when it does pop up.

"They didn't care that my magic was broken -- no; they celebrated it. They were all broken too, in their own ways, and ultimately stronger for it."

The only thing that I can think of that could keep someone away from this book is the LGBTQ aspect which is a shame - it really is a beautiful book and I cannot wait for the second book in the series The Quicksilver Court. I would highly recommend this book to readers who enjoy young adult, high fantasy, magical and fictional political intrigue, LGBTQ and magic. A big thank you to Orbit Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an ARC copy of this wonderful YA book - all opinions are my own. ( )
  thereviewbooth | May 19, 2020 |
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