Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Book Review: The Wizard's Ward by Jules McAleese

Title: The Wizard's Ward
Series: Vale (Book 1)
Author: Jules McAleese
Genre: Epic Fantasy; Young Adult
Publication Date: April 30, 2022
Publisher: Vale Media LLC

Francis has gray blood.

The King of the Elves ordered all gray bloods be put to death, by any means necessary. Francis, the Wizard's Ward, has been hiding in plain sight all her life, under the care of Billington, the King's wizard. When Billington disappears from the Cardinal castle, Francis enlists the help of her first love, a battle-ridden soldier called X, to find the only family she's ever known.

But outside the castle walls, there is a war raging between kingdoms and Francis faces countless dangers that plague the land of Vale. Shapeshifting bounty hunters search for military deserters, pirates maraud Vale's seas, combat-trained dragons dwell in the witch's mountains, and betrayals harden once-warmed hearts.

As the journey pushes Francis to her limits, she uncovers the true power of her gray blood, a power that could fulfill a prophecy and bring down a psychotic king.



*I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.*
Hello Fellow Readers,
It's been a while since I've read a true Epic Fantasy, so I was a bit rusty and it took me longer than I would have liked to finish this book. Let me just say that I like the concept of McAleese's world. The magic seemed very interesting, and the different species that live in their world. BUT I do wish they would have gone into more detail about everything, especially the magic.
As far as characters go I didn't think I would like Francis. I thought she was melodramatic, selfish and stubborn, but as the story progressed and I realized that she was only a young teenager I started to really feel for her and everything she is going through. I am not sure how I feel about the rottentoes as I thought they would have played a bigger role in some situations, but I feel like they were glossed over a bit and only put in for Francis to make some allies. I hated X (and not just because his name) and Medea, but thought they were complex characters who seemed interesting.

The story flowed well in the first part, but once the action started it seemed like it never stopped. It was really fast paced and unfortunately some parts did feel rushed, as if there was too much the author needed to add but had a page limit. The ending really did make me want to read the next book, which I will when it comes out.

Overall, A solid start to an Epic YA Fantasy

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