Author: Bronwyn Eley
Publisher: Talem Press
Publication date: 12 September 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
*Thank you Caffeine Book Tours and Talem Press for a review copy in exchange for my honest review and the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour*
In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow.
As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow’s life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place.
It’s an appointment that will kill her.
As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade… That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics.
A rebel force plans to put an end to Rennard’s rule and Kaylan suddenly finds herself embroiled in a cause that might just be worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs…
As her life hangs in the balance and rebellion bears down on Edriast, Kaylan must decide where her loyalties lie – and how she’ll leave her mark on the world.
Relic is the absorbing first novel in The Relic Trilogy, a thrillingly dark YA fantasy series.
The story is narrated by Kaylan, the main character, after she is chosen to be the Lord’s Shadow. Lord Rennard, is in possession of a powerful Relic, an items that protects its master but wrecks havoc on those surrounded by them. This makes Kaylan’s life turn upside down in ways she did not expect. Relic is Bronwyn’s debut novel and it is a toe turning dark fantasy that you want to add to your bookshelf today.
Relic is a character driven story with Kaylan being the eyes and ears for readers as we embark on this journey to learn more about Lord Rennard, the Relic and the rebellion wanting to dismantle it all. Kaylan is such a great character and one I felt fully invested in. She is strong willed, but also compassionate, loyal and has a genuine care and bond for her family. I was very excited to see that the author decided to make the character realistic, one who could be strong and brave, but also have flaws that make her human. Because the story line is narrated in first person by Kaylan, we view the supporting characters in her lens. We are able to meet her friends Markus and Jesper. Markus is portrayed as a nice guy and we can see that throughout the story without a doubt. I enjoyed his character because of good-hearted nature. Jesper was a very interesting character and whose friendship to Kaylan I was amazed about. Jesper is Lord Rennard’s wife and through Kaylan’s perception has the patience and grace as a saint. You can also appreciate how valuable their friendship is and view its growth. In terms of the villain in the story, Lord Rennard is a villain you want to hate but don’t at times because you know half of his evil acts are through the persuasion of the relic’s power.
The plot was set up to have a sequel, so I wasn’t surprised to have questions in the end. My largest question was geared towards knowing that there are other bloodlines with other relics. It was briefly mentioned but we didn’t receive more throughout the story. I am hoping this is further explained in the sequel. The story was a slow fantasy read that was building to the ending, so most of the build-up and action was more prominent during the second half . The ending was wild even though it was a little predictable. After reading it, I gasped and just sat there, kindle in hand, wondering if I read it correctly. This fantasy was different because it isn’t as action packed as many of the fantasy novels I’ve read recently. This worked but also left some action of the rebellion. We hear about the rebellion but we don’t receive the satisfaction of reading the rebellious acts that occur. I was okay with this because I was so invested in the characters.
Relic had so much mystery and intrigue to it. It was enticing, tension building, with an ending that left me torn and wanting to know what happens next. Although a slow fantasy read not fully focused on the world development, it was a good read nonetheless. I cannot wait until the second book comes out so I can learn more about the world that surrounds them, the relics of other bloodlines and continue Kaylan’s adventure as the Lord’s Shadow.
About the Author
Bronwyn joined the military right out of high school, where she learnt (among other things) to disassemble and reassemble a rifle blindfolded. After that, she spent a lot of her time travelling around the world. Her favourite places (so far) are Scotland, Mongolia, Iceland, and Ireland.
Bronwyn finally found her natural habitat when she landed her first job in the publishing industry. While she has always been a writer, it was only when surrounding herself with books that she realised her life’s dream was to become an author. Relic is her first novel.
Bronwyn lives in Sydney and spends her time eating chocolate, reading and practicing her martial arts.
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