Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Shattered Court (The Four Arts #1) by M.J.Scott


From Goodreads:

First in a new fantasy series from the author of the Novels of the Half-Light City.

Entangled in a court ruled by tradition and intrigue, a young witch must come to terms with newfound power and desire—and a choice between loyalty and survival.…

The royal witches of Anglion have bowed to tradition for centuries. If a woman of royal blood manifests powers, she is immediately bound by rites of marriage. She will serve her lord by practicing the tamer magics of the earth—ensuring good harvests and predicting the weather. Any magic more dangerous is forbidden.

Lady Sophia Kendall, thirty-second in line to the throne, is only days away from finding out if she will be blessed—or perhaps cursed—with magic. When a vicious attack by Anglion’s ancient enemies leaves the kingdom in chaos, Sophia is forced to flee the court. Her protector by happenstance is Lieutenant Cameron Mackenzie, a member of the royal guard, raised all his life to be fiercely loyal to the Crown.

Then Sophia’s powers manifest stronger than she ever imagined they would, and Cameron and she are inextricably linked in the process. As a witch unbound by marriage rites, Sophia is not only a threat to the established order of her country, but is also a weapon for those who seek to destroy it. Faced with old secrets and new truths, she must decide if she will fight for her country or succumb to the delicious temptation of power.

I have to admit this one caught me by surprise.  I expected the action to follow a different more predictable path.  That fact that it did not made this a much more interesting story.

Lady Sophia Kendall starts as a dutiful subject but with one act she become a threat to at least one person at court.  She wants to believe in the people she is around but slowly realizes that they may not be as trustworthy as she thought.  She is a very strong character whose actions keep the story moving.  Cameron Mackenzie looks like someone who lives for pleasure but changes as the story progresses.  I was surprised at his change but liked how he became Sophia’s protector.

It took a lot of world building to make the story real.  The world building was seamlessly worked into the story.   As the story moved the facts needed were revealed in action and dialog.  The same applied to back story.  The history of the royal witches is very important to the plot and is revealed as Sophia comes into her power. 

However not everything about witches and their power is know and as Sophia becomes more powerful she realizes that there is much she needs to know but has no way to find out.

The Shattered Court is book one in the series and the main part of the plot revolves around the threat Sophia becomes and her need to find out more about her powers.  The story does not slow down.  From start to finish it moves at a great pace and is filled with action, tension, interesting characters, and romance.  Don't look for a lot of answers.  There is some resolution but all the answers will have to wait.

The Shattered Court is a great start to a new series and I am looking forward to the next book.  I checked the author’s web site but did not see anything about when it will be written and released.

ROC published The Shattered Court by M.J. Scott in 2014.

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