At this point, I would read a grocery list if indie YA author Intisar Khanani wrote it.  

At this point, I would read a grocery list if indie YA author Intisar Khanani wrote it.  

I blogged about this author’s first novel, Thorn, which was a lush, exotic, and beautiful retelling of The Goose Girl. If you haven’t read it, you should.  Sunbolt is Intisar Khanani’s next offering.  The protagonist is scrappy and strong, the plot is full of action and magic, and the setting is, again, a well imagined exotic land.  Now, this is a novella, so I was done in an hour, but it left me satisfied with the resolution and yet still eager for the follow up book (summer 2015?).  If you want a quick and engaging fantasy, you can’t go wrong with this pick.

Hitomi is a stranger in a strange land when she is orphaned and left to fend for herself.  She learns to hide her magical talents, to maneuver through the streets and society as a sometimes thief, and becomes part of the resistance working against the dark forces moving into her adopted land.  When a mission goes wrong, she finds herself once again in unfamiliar territory both with her magic and with her companion.  This is a fast paced novella and my only complaint is that it ended before I was ready to say goodbye.  Hitomi is a street smart protagonist with an intelligence and determination that readers will admire.  Two secondary characters, the Ghost and Val, are mysteriously intriguing and I believe they offer a lot of possibilities for future books in the series.  The magical system in this novella is easy to follow, so even novices to fantasy should be able to navigate this book with ease. Like Thorn, the lush and exotic settings are vivid and inviting. The prose is professional and flows with ease (I can’t believe this author doesn’t have a huge publishing contract).  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have already added the next installment to my wish list.  

Read the goodreads summary for Sunbolt

Read the goodreads summary for Thorn

This book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

One response »

  1. Pingback: Memories of Ash – Why Intisar Khanani might be a YA fantasy goddess. | Handheld Dream

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