Author: Bronwyn Eley
Genre: Young Adult: Fantasy
Publication Date: 12th September 2019
My Rating: 4/5 stars
In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow.
As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow’s life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place.
It’s an appointment that will kill her.
As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade… That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics.
A rebel force plans to put an end to Rennard’s rule and Kaylan suddenly finds herself embroiled in a cause that might just be worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs…
As her life hangs in the balance and rebellion bears down on Edriast, Kaylan must decide where her loyalties lie – and how she’ll leave her mark on the world.
Relic is the absorbing first novel in The Relic Trilogy, a thrillingly dark YA fantasy series.
I received an e-ARC of Relic from Talem Press in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I was really intrigued by this one when Talem Press reached out to me. It sounded like a dark fantasy that I would enjoy, and it did not disappoint. Also, the cover is gorgeous and the relic is one it so it helps with the visualisation.
THINGS I LIKED:
- This is a dark fantasy and I really enjoyed it. The writing is easy to get into, and it’s descriptive but not over the to where you’d become distracted. The pacing is good, it’s doesn’t slow down often at all, and I found myself continuously engaged by the story
- I loved the family moments that we got to witness with Kaylan and her family and Marcus and his sister. They were sweet moments -> I honestly love family relationships
- There are a lot of plot twists in this novel and wow, I didn’t see a lot of them coming. Especially with an event that occurred in the ending, which left me heartbroken for Kaylan
- I enjoyed Kaylan’s character. She’s flawed and scared and anxious, but she’s still strong and loyal to her loved ones and she’s a fighter, despite the Relic’s curse slowly killing her.
- I also loved Kaylan’s friendship with Jesper, despite them not seeing eye to eye at times, they cared about each other and Jesper sought to protect Kaylan. I also loved the friendship between Marcus and Kaylan (I prefer their friendship over the romance). They have cute friendship moments and I hope they can stay friends (or I guess develop their romance, but as long as they get a happy ending.)
- The foundations of the fantasy world are present, and depsite it not being developed as much, we still get to understand a little of the history of the city of Edriast and the Relic itself, though I do hope we can learn more about it
- The beginning of the novel starts off with Lord Rennard’s last Shadow dying after being exposed to the Relic for a long while, thus hooking the reader in immediately because the death of the Shadow meant that another would be picked and after that we see Kaylan’s friend being sentenced to prison.
- I also found Lord Rennard to be an interesting character. There’s no clear villain in the story, but from Kaylan’s point of view, Lord Rennard would be the villain. He leads a lonely life because the Relic slowly kills people around him (literally) and he grew up with a strict father.
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE:
- We get some world building but I kinda wish there was more. I understand that the character was trapped in the castle though so hopefully the world building will be expanded in the next two books
- I’m not sure how I feel about the romance. I feel like Marcus and Kaylan don’t really have the romance chemistry, but I do like them being friends.
- The scenes leading up to the end chapter felt really rushed and everything happened so fast. It made it harder to wrap my head around the ending, and so it felt a little forced and abrupt.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Relic and am looking forward to reading the second one next year, hopefully. This book is perfect for fans of dark fantasy with a badass female protagonist. The romance isn’t the main focus of the plot, so if you don’t like romance in fantasy, this one is good for you since it’s subtle.