The kingdom of Runon has created the impossible: a magical energy source that siphons life from the nearby lands and feeds it back into Runon itself. On the edge of the forest lives a quiet ranger named Tatsu who is watching the drain grow closer to his home country of Chayd.
Arrested for crimes against the crown, Tatsu is taken to the capital’s prison, where the queen offers him a deal. If he sneaks into Runon and steals the magical source that powers the drain, she will return his freedom. Caught in the unimaginable aftermath, Tatsu knows that the only hope is to stop the siphon before it swallows the world.
More and more he finds himself at the mercy of the destruction the siphon leaves behind – and everything he has ever known will fall apart in the revelation of its horrifying truth.
There were several things I liked about this book. The magic system is somewhat unusual, and even more so by the end of the book. The world building is intriguing, and the characters interesting.
I really appreciated that Tatsu wasn’t automatically likeable, it really took quite a while for me to warm to him. Some of that was his character development arc, and some of it was writing style and pacing, but mostly it worked well. The rest of the characters get enough time and detail to flesh them out, but only just. I did find this disappointing, especially as several of them spend quite a while travelling with Tatsu, so I was expecting more.
The world building and writing kept me interested the whole way through, but occasionally things felt a little slow or repetitive. I also found it hard to swallow the initial turning point that sends Tatsu on his journey – it was just a little too convenient to be completely believable. The magic system was intriguing, and not what it seems at first. I really look forward to learning more about it in the second book.
Ultimately, it’s a solid debut, and the few quibbles I have are not enough to stop me reading the next book, although I look forward to not seeing them crop up next time around.