Welcome to my stop on The Hands of Tarrot book tour. Brought to you by Bewitching Book Tours. Here you can read a synopsis of the book, and Excerpt. and my Review! I also have a bio of author SM Blooding
I will be honest and say, this book was not for me. But in saying that, it was very well written. SM Blooding did a fantastic job with the world building. I just was never able to adjust to it. It was a bit confusing to me, and it’s all me, not the author. I am one of those type of people who just can’t get into a book if it’s not about something I have interest in, or if it just does not grab me right away. I should have researched the book more before agreeing to do this review; I guess the blurb just did not tell enough to get a grasp on what it’s about.
Also what is new for me, is the main character, and who the story is told by, is a male, I am not used to that.
Synn El’Asim, our hero lives in a world that is in a revolution... There is an organization called the Hand. The Hand, steals children who have been “Marked” with talents or powers. The families of these children are destroyed, and any useful inventions they may have are also taken. The whole villages are destroyed as well in most cases. One girl said her parents were buried alive to die a slow suffering death. After the Hand steals these children, they are then transported to Sky City, a massive floating mechanical city based in the sky and is always in motion. These kids then are raised and trained together to use their unique abilities so they can benefit the Hand. The remaining free families try to strengthen their own alliances to avoid the hand.
There are 4 queens in Sky City, as the rulers, each is corresponding to a house of the tarot deck. Wands, coins, cups and swords, and a certain element/power. Queen Nix, Ruler of the House of Wands, strongest of all the queens and marked with the magic of fire, has made our hero, Synn her pet project. 17 Year old Synn feels helpless at times, as he has watched his father and best friends family die at Nix’s hands, and wasn’t able to help. Synn’s mark has not developed but in spite of that, Nix has taken extreme interest in the boy, and is determined to break him to her will, and make him into her Knight.
I had difficulty with the abuse, to break his will, of details of months of torture, manipulation, and molestation in the effort to break him. He refuses to give into Nix’s will. He gets to the verge of death when a certain deal is made. I won’t say what, will try to not spoil anything. But this is an idea of what the book is about, and the intense detailed violence.
I was glad when he is able to meet up with others that have survived the Hands cruelty, and they are able to form a small team intent on overthrowing Nix, and taking down the Hand.
I will warn you now, this book is NOT in the same ballpark as Harry Potter, Narnia, or even Percy Jackson. It has very real torture, and the torture is way too sexual. Not for the young and faint of heart for sure. In short, this book is about a boy becoming very brave and a leader in spite of the torture he faces and has to endure. You are warned. But it did remind me of The Last Airbender, NOT in the torture, but in the separate Cities and families, Sky City, Water, Land, etc. And the control of the elements way, and some the way the worlds are. That’s about all on the similarities.
Here is a little taste of this book, give you an idea.
"You could use the vines," Keeley said hesitantly, "to create movement of air and manipulate it to create a bubble that would at the very least contain it.""Yes," Yotaka said lightly. "Very good. Let's try it."That was all the warning Keeley had before the fireball was launched at her.Joshua leapt between it and his sister, his vines fluttering, creating a whirlwind of an effect. The fireball hovered in place but did not go out.Yotaka's eagle eyes narrowed. "This was not for you to perform, Joshua Bohrain, but your sister.""She doesn't use her Mark," Joshua ground out. "Would you call back your flame, sir?"He turned and paced away. "It is nice that you are willing to protect your sister, but she must learn to defend herself or she becomes a liability to your group.""She's no liability," Joshua said between clenched teeth. "She's the ruddy brains.""Without the ability to act?"Haji stepped in. "Who are you to tell us who has what rights? Can you not tell that she is terrified?""Of what?" Yotaka demanded, turning on us. "Of the fire? Of her shadow? Of her Mark?" He raised a hand and a lash of flame erupted from it.I raised my hand, my own lightning fire lashing out, whipping Yotaka's flame from its course, my shirt bursting into flame.Keeley didn't move, her green eyes wide.
I found the violence and darkness of this book a bit disturbing, but again, it’s me that doesn’t like books that get too dark and violent. There is no romance in this book, so if you’re looking for that, this isn’t for you, if you have to have it. There is hints of it, but none, maybe in the next books there will be.
But overall, the author did a great job bringing this fantasy world to life. She had a lot of promise to bring some great stories to us.
I give it 4 ½ stars (though I can’t always select that, but that’s what my true rating is.)
I received a copy of this book for the book tour with Bewitching Book Tours, for my honest review.
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