Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Released: 4th of May
"There are three things that earn you a man’s name among the Jan’Tep. The first is to demonstrate the strength to defend your family. The second is to prove you can perform the high magic that defines our people. The third is surviving your fourteenth year. I was a few weeks shy of my birthday when I learned that I wouldn’t be doing any of those things."
MAGIC IS A CON GAME. Kellen is moments away from facing his first mage's duel and the start of four trials that will make him a spellcaster. There's just one problem: his magic is gone. As his sixteenth birthday approaches, Kellen falls back on his cunning in a bid to avoid total disgrace. But when a daring stranger arrives in town, she challenges Kellen to take a different path. Ferius Parfax is one of the mysterious Argosi - a traveller who lives by her wits and the three decks of cards she carries. She's difficult and unpredictable, but she may be Kellen's only hope...
What I Have to Say
Don't you just love when a book is so much better than you expected it to be? Especially since I'm going through a phase of not being so into Fantasy at the moment, when I looked at this book, I wasn't sure whether it was for me. But it looked interesting and there were things that drew me to it. So I gave it a chance and I am so, so glad I did, because it was fantastic.
The whole world just had something interesting to it. The society of the Jan'Tep with their mage names and the class divide between the magic users and the non-magic users. Also, the small hints at what Argosi life is like. I was so happy when there was another hint about what Ferius Parfax's life consisted of.
The only thing that put me off a bit was that Kellen was rather whiny about not having magic. Other than trying to trick people, he didn't do much to try and help himself out or find out what Ferius was offering him outside of magic. I got that his situation was awful and that probably would be what I'd do in that situation too, but I much preferred him towards the end of the book when he took matters into his own hands and actually did something about it all.
With secrets, lies and interesting societies, I truly think this is one of the better Fantasy books I've read lately, I really feel it's making an effort to do things different. I can't wait for the next book so that I can see more of the world outside of Kellen's society.
My thanks go to Hot Key Books and Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review.