Author: Intisar Khanani
Release Date: June 17th, 2013
Rating: 5 out of 5
Summary: “The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.
When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detain—and execute—a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. But there are more secrets at play than Hitomi’s, and much worse fates than execution. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life.” – Goodreads
Sunbolt is an enjoyable adventure from word one all the way down to the final page, containing action, intrigue, a rich world, and just about everything else you could ask for in a novel.
The writing in Sunbolt is stunningly beautiful, just as myself and many others have come to expect from Khanani.
The characters are nothing short of spectacular either. I love the main character, Hitmoi, especially. She is, for lack of a better term, so hardcore. I don’t want to give away too much regarding why I favor her so, as I’m trying to keep this review spoiler free, but just take my word for it. You’ll love Hitomi. The other characters are great too; no character, however minor, comes off as flat.
While I still liked Thorn, Khanani’s debut novel, very much, I felt it could be a touch too slow at points. In Sunbolt the pace is absolutely perfect, carrying just enough tension when needed and executing it well. Still, it doesn’t flood the reader with constant action. (Being constantly thrown around at a break-neck pace is too exhausting for the reader anyhow!)
And once again, diversity! To anyone who read my review of Thorn, you’ll know that I’m tired of seeing an all white cast in fantasy novels. Heck, in most novels. But never fear! The cast in Sunbolt is rich and diverse, unstereotyped and awesome.
As the first book in a series, the possibilities as to where this all could go are endless, – and therefore very exciting! For its strong cast of characters, masterful writing, perfect pace and tension, Sunbolt gets a solid five out of five.
Thank you, Khanani, for writing such a wonderful book. I look forward to seeing where you take this!
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar’s next two projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, following the heroine introduced in her short story The Bone Knife, and The Sunbolt Chronicles, a novella serial following a young mage with a propensity to play hero, and her nemesis, a dark mage intent on taking over the Eleven Kingdoms.
Other works by Intisar Khanani: