Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Radiant (Towers Trilogy #1) by Karina Sumner-Smith

Fantasy/ Dysopia/Science Fiction

From Goodreads:

Xhea has no magic. Born without the power that everyone else takes for granted, Xhea is an outcast—no way to earn a living, buy food, or change the life that fate has dealt her. Yet she has a unique talent: the ability to see ghosts and the tethers that bind them to the living world, which she uses to scratch out a bare existence in the ruins beneath the City’s floating Towers.

When a rich City man comes to her with a young woman’s ghost tethered to his chest, Xhea has no idea that this ghost will change everything. The ghost, Shai, is a Radiant, a rare person who generates so much power that the Towers use it to fuel their magic, heedless of the pain such use causes. Shai’s home Tower is desperate to get the ghost back and force her into a body—any body—so that it can regain its position, while the Tower’s rivals seek the ghost to use her magic for their own ends. Caught between a multitude of enemies and desperate to save Shai, Xhea thinks herself powerless—until a strange magic wakes within her. Magic dark and slow, like rising smoke, like seeping oil. A magic whose very touch brings death.

With two extremely strong female protagonists, Radiant is a story of fighting for what you believe in and finding strength that you never thought you had.

Radiant is a long twisted journey featuring two main characters.  Xhea, who thinks she has no magic but can see ghosts and Shai who is a ghost and has more magic than others.  Most of Radiant is back-story and world building.  All of that is done while following Xhea and Shai as they try to survive in a world that was destroyed some time in the past.  Magic is a big part of this world and those with little live in the ruins.  Those with a lot live in towers kept aloft with magic.  During the story Xhea and Shai spend time in both.

It is an easy story to fall into.  Radiant is well written.  The main characters are well defined.  The main plot is the only weakness.  Xhea and Shai never had a goal other than to stay out of the wrong hands.  Their journey is used to build the world and to tell the back story.    It is only in the Epilogue that there is a hint of where they are going and why. I still enjoyed the book and will pick up book two when it comes out.   I want to see what will happen to the two and where they will end up.

Talos published Radiant by  Karina Sumner-Smith in 2014.

I received an ARC of Radiant from Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

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