Author: Garrett Calcaterra
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: Diversion Books
Release Date: 2013
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis: In a world shrouded by soot and smoke, young Makarria has literally been forbidden to dream…
Legend has foretold the demise of Emperor Thedric Guderian at the hands of a sorceress with royal blood, and the Emperor has made it his legacy to stamp out all magic from the Sargothian Empire in favor of primitive coal fired smelters and steam powered machines. When Guderian’s minions discover a Dreamwielder on a seaside farmstead, a chain of events forces Guderian’s new threat—the young Makarria—to flee from her home and embark upon an epic journey where her path intertwines with that of Princess Taera, her headstrong brother, Prince Caile, and the northman Siegbjorn, who captains a night-flying airship.
Dogging their every step is the part-wolf, part-raven sorcerer, Wulfram, and Emperor Guderian, himself, a man who has the ability to stint magic and a vision to create a world where the laws of nature are beholden to men and machines. Only by learning to control the power she wields can Makarria save her newfound companions and stop the Emperor from irreversibly exterminating both the magic in humans and their bond with nature.
My Review: In a world where the Emperor's goal is to stamp out magic in his kingdom, Makarria has found out that she is a sorceress. Through her dreams, she has the magical ability to wield magic. When she magically made her grandfather young again, she and her grandfather run away to find a safe haven where she can control her abilities. However, Makarria quickly meets Princess Taera, and the two of them embark on a dangerous quest to defeat the evil emperor.
Makarria is a heroine that readers can relate too. She was a woman who was quickly thrust into a situation for which she was totally unprepared for. She doubts herself and her abilities. She is also very naive. At first she is weak and lets others risk their lives to protect her. Eventually, she matures into a strong woman who is able to rely more on herself instead of others. She then decides to make decisions that is best for herself. However, she is not afraid to seek advice when she needs it. She is also very inquisitive, stubborn at times, and makes rash decisions. Still, Makarria is a woman who eventually becomes her own woman.
Overall, this book is about family, friendship, and choices. It is also a beautiful coming of age tale. The message of this book is to believe in yourself. I really liked all the characters, and I thought that they were very dynamic. Each of the characters had to make difficult decisions to fulfill their role in the story. I also thought that the world-building was complex and I liked the explanation of magic within the kingdom. Even though it is set in a medieval like setting, I thought that the steampunk element in this story was interesting and fitted the story together perfectly. I also liked that there was no romance in this story. Instead, the action and adventure were the focus in this story. Because there was no romance element, I liked how I could focus solely on the plot and the characters. For readers who would like some romance in your story, do not be disappointed because I’m sure there is room for romance in the sequel, Souldrifter. Thus, I’m very excited to read Souldrifter, for I cannot wait to read what happens next to Makarria. I recommend this novel for fans of Juliet Marillier’s Shadowfell trilogy, and Jeff Wheeler’s Muirwood trilogy.
Rating 5 out of 5 stars