The Bookminder by M.K. Wiseman
Published by Xchyler Publishing on January 9, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 444 – paperback
Source: Author (M.K. Wiseman)
Sired by magick and violence, sixteen-year-old Liara is found guilty of witchcraft and banished from her tiny village by the very priest who raised, then betrayed her. However, a mysterious mage steps forward to assume custody of her: Nagarath, the Wizard of Parentino, whose secret spellwork has long protected both Liara and Dvigrad from the ravages of war.
Despite Liara’s best hopes, Nagarath refuses to apprentice her to his craft but tasks her instead with the restoration of his neglected library. Liara gleans what magickal knowledge she can on the sly, determined to learn, come what may. But the first test of her stolen knowledge goes awry and renews an evil wizard’s interest in the people of the Limska Draga valley.
Only by tapping Liara’s inherent magick and joining it with his own can Nagarath protect Parentino from suffering a horrible fate. However, her discovery of his secrets destroys their fragile trust and ignites the darker tendencies of her gift. Now, he must rescue her from the influence of his mortal enemy before their powerful new alliance destroys them all.
*Many thanks to the author for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion of this book.*
I think this book just cemented my interest in historical fantasy. I never used to like historical fantasy (or any type of historical fiction, for that matter); in fact, I felt weary every time I saw a book with that genre listed. I read ‘His Fair Assassin’ trilogy and actually liked it, but my trepidation toward historical fiction still remained. Then, I read The Spirit Gate and found it to be quite an enjoyable read, and so, I slowly opened up to the world of historical fantasy. The Bookminder just helped strengthen my resolve to give the genre a chance and read more books from it in 2016. When I first started reading the book, I didn’t know I had expectations until it surpassed them. I’m actually disappointed more people don’t know about this book, because it truly was a very enjoyable read. So many things drew me in, which I’ll be discussing below.
The characters were my favorite part of the book; they’re relationships with each other were just so dynamic, particularly Liara and Nagarath! I really enjoyed reading their dialogue and interactions. At the beginning of the book, I wasn’t sure if he was going to be the ‘love interest’ because I thought he was really old, as indicated by the gray hairs on his head, but the cover doesn’t portray him as that old. There were numerous moments when they showed… interest in each other, but I’m still not certain about where they stand in their relationship. Is it a mage-ward one? Or a partnership? The technicalities are so weird; I do wish this point was elaborated on more. Other than that, I thought the other characters were extremely well-developed. I love how they were interconnected with each other and how their stories tied together well at the end – it was very satisfying. It’s generally pretty hard to connect with characters in a fantasy story, but the author succeeded in drawing the reader in and making them feel the characters’ emotions & feelings.
The setting of the story also really helped the characters flourish in the reader’s mind. The world building was extremely well-paced, doing an excellent job in not confusing the reader, AKA me. Seriously, I was never puzzled. I never had to go back a few pages to check what had happened or where we were or what was going on.
The book’s writing itself was also very compelling. The descriptions were descriptive without being too over-the-top, allowing me to perfectly picture what was going on. This factor is also what kept me reading and completely hooked from start to finish – very gripping, indeed! In addition to that, I also love the language created in the book. I love how the book had its own terms and phonological expressions used, immersing the reader even further into the world.
Overall, if you’ve ever been hesitant to read historical fiction, I think this book could be a great starting point – I actually wish I started reading the genre with this! It’s an absolutely compelling read, pulling you into the character’s world very skillfully. The superb writing and descriptions also helped contribute to this. Make sure you get your hands on a copy of this book!
Rating: 4 fish