Lord of Secrets (The Empty Gods #1) by Breanna Teintze

LordofSecretsLord of Secrets was a fun fantasy read with some interesting concepts particularly around the magic system usef.  I thought this was an entertaining debut, I wouldn’t call it a deep think or particularly detailed in the area of world building but after a slightly slow start it was an enjoyable read with a self contained ending.

As the story begins we meet Corcoran Gray, a young wizard who is on the run, desperately trying to avoid capture at the same time as relentlessly searching for his missing grandfather.  Both Gray and his grandfather have been living outside the law, practising magic without being a part of the Guild that regulates such usage.  Gray’s grandfather has been taken, and being quite a powerful mage, is being held at a secret location, Gray has been trying to find him, whilst on the run, for almost six months when he accidentally bumps into a runaway slave called Brix, who he discovers might be just the answer to some of his prayers.

The two of them are forced into an unlikely union of sorts, on the run but both with a purpose of their own.

Lord of Secrets feels almost like a YA read to me – but, I’m not an expert on this and sometimes miss things that would perhaps be unsuitable for a slightly younger audience so that comment should be taken with a pinch of salt.  I think what I’m primarily going off with that remark is the age of the two main characters, plus, and I don’t mean this in a bad way, but the world building doesn’t feel as thorough as it can be in some fantasy books, there’s a more upbeat/hopeful style than in some of the grimdark reads that are very popular and there is also a love interest element going on.

What I really liked about this, after a slightly slow start, was the magic and the fact that wielding magic comes with consequences – dire consequences for some in fact.  Gray is a young but highly inventive mage but he knows firsthand the toll that using magic can take and this makes him hesitate to throw magic at everything willy nilly.  I like magic with consequences which mean the characters have to think first.  I also really liked the story when it got into full swing with the characters entering underground tunnels to try and find an artefact.  As it happens they find much more, the result of which is we are introduced to a very interesting character indeed.

In terms of criticisms.  I hate to labour the point but there is a slightly sluggish start to the story and a feeling of the author not quite being fully settled into the piece, once that happens however the story flows much better with snappy dialogue and more adventure – it just takes a little patience.  I never quite fell in love with Gray or Brix.  I liked them but I just felt like I held myself back for some reason that I haven’t quite put my finger on, in fact I found that my favourite character was not really the one that you’re supposed to like – he was just very interesting and much easier to picture.  Which leads to my final little issue.   The ending.  Yes, this is a self contained story and I have a great deal of respect for that just by itself, but, I couldn’t help feeling like the ending, and the romance were a little rushed, abrupt almost.

Issues aside, this was an enjoyable read that once it got into its stride kept the pages turning at a great pace.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

I would rate this 7/10 or 3.5 of 5 stars on Goodreads.

16 Responses to “Lord of Secrets (The Empty Gods #1) by Breanna Teintze”

  1. Tammy

    I am not familiar with this book at all, and based on your review, I probably won’t be picking it up. The cover doesn’t look like YA at all, so maybe that’s why it seemed young to you.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, could be. It wasn’t a bad book at all, quite entertaining and the second half really did pick up but it does, to me, feel YA, which isn’t a problem but I do tend to sometimes feel the lack of world building. I liked the magic system – and one character in particular worked his magic on me.
      Lynn 😀

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    I also like the theme about magic having a price, since it gives a definite weight to any magic wielding by the characters. Still, I have little patience with slow-burn stories and will think carefully about adding this to my TBR… 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I would say the first 40% is a little slow – it picks up when a certain character joins the adventure.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    I’m only passing familiar with this book because I think I saw it from Jo Fletcher and it’s not available in the US yet. I’m intrigued, though I’m a bit wary about the YA vibes – I think it could go either way for me though!

    • @lynnsbooks

      It was an entertaining read, it definitely picked up once a certain character entered the plot.
      Lynn 😀

  4. LizScanlon

    Great review and you make interetsing points 🙂 I quite enjoyed the book, probably because it was such a lighthearted fantasy with interesting magic. I agree with you about Gray and Brix- I didn’t really become a number one fan for either 😀 and ended up liking the most intriguing character in the book 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      I liked that it was lighthearted – a book that you can take a breath with inbetween difficult reads. And yes, that intriguing character was such a good one to read.
      Lynn 😀

  5. sjhigbee

    Thank you for an excellent review which gave me a really clear picture as to how the story unfolds – I don’t think it’s for me. Not because there was anything there that I actually disliked, but because I am currently stacked with a number of really interesting books and there was nothing in the review that I actually loved.

  6. Barb @ Booker T's Farm

    Sounds like an enjoyable read at least and I do like the cover. I doubt I’ll pick this one up unless I’d see it at one of my libraries. Great review though!

    • @lynnsbooks

      It was a good read – I didn’t absolute love it but it was entertaining and I’m interested to see what the author does next.
      Lynn 😀

  7. waytoofantasy

    Glad you enjoyed this one. For some reason I kept reading ‘Gray’ as ‘Gary’ and it kept throwing me for a loop LOL! Great review, Lynn!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I did like this – it definitely suffered from a slow start and I didn’t totally fall for the two main characters but it was well written and I am definitely intrigued, given the ending, about where the author will go next. The next book could be make or break for me I think.
      Lynn 😀

  8. August : My Month in Review | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Lord of Secrets by Breanna Teintze […]

  9. snowlyramble

    I completely agree with all your points! The magic system really intrigued me, and while I did feel the romance was unnecessary, I did like the twist just before everything got wrapped up!
    Glad to hear your thoughts on this book 🙂

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