Deathborn (Sovereigns of Bright and Shadow #1) by CE Page #SPFBO

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Deathborn by CE Pages is the third SPFBO book that I read this month as part of the SPFBO Competition.  Graves Robbed, Heirlooms Returned by Ashley Capes is the second of the books I’ve read (review here) and Stranded by Rosalind Tate was my first book and my review can be found here.

I must say that I do love this cover – feast your eyes:

DeathbornDeathborn brings to readers an interesting world with Mages, a disease known as Corruption and a mad king desperate for absolute power.  

As the story begins we’re thrown into a situation involving a number of friends who witness a disturbing find regarding the spread of Corruption that starts them on a desperate search for answers. 

Okay, let me just throw in here a little background or world building before anything else.  This is a world with mages, each with different magical abilities depending on the element they are in control of.  There are mages that heal or control storms for example and those with the ability to control the spirit world are known as necromancers.  Wardens work for the Order and are used to keep mages under control – basically, they suppress a mage’s connection to the source of power that they draw from leaving them unable to use magic.  The King wants to take control of the Order in a political maneuver that is not popular with everyone, particularly as it essentially means he would also take control of mages, and this has caused rifts to develop in the Order.  On top of this, three years prior, a dreadful event took place at a college called Kalhanna, all the mages were wiped out or purged and a necromancer known as Nea is rumoured to be responsible and has been in hiding since although not everyone believes the rumours.  

Now, with that in mind, we return to the start of the story where a warden has just burst onto the scene, infected with Corruption.  This could be the start of disaster (the disease having only affected mages prior to this), a cure must be found and in order to do so our characters need to take immediate action, they also need to locate Nea who can potentially help them with searching for a cure – unfortunately, they’re not the only ones looking for her.  King Evard has asked one of his Warden Commanders, Garret, to locate her and bring her in.

The main characters we immediately meet are Margot, a mage and healer, Declan who is working on a cure for Corruption, and Garret a Warden Commander.  They discover information about a journal that could help with a cure and could also be the location where Nea is hiding out – so, two birds one stone.

From here the plot moves forward as each of the pov characters continues with their tasks.  The chapters alternate between Margot, Nea and Garret although Margot has less involvement following events in the earlier chapters that i won’t elaborate on here.  To cut a long story short Garret is searching for Nea and when the two meet his loyalty will be tested.  Nea has her own story and her own reasons for hiding and handing her over to the king could be very dangerous.

I had a good time with Deathborn, with a few reservations.  The writing is good, the characters were set up well, there were complicated relationships and politics involved I thought Page did an excellent job of setting up the magic and had clearly given a lot of thought to how everything came together.  For example, The Barrier and the Between.  The Between is the realm of spirits and the barrier keeps the realms apart.  To be honest, the actual world itself was only fairly briefly drawn, it feels mediaeval in terms of weapons, forts, etc, but the magic, the world of the mages and other related issues such as Deathborn and Reanimations are well thought out and keep the story interesting.

In terms of criticisms.  Well, the start of the book involves looking for Nea – she’s been in hiding for three years as I mentioned above.  Two things that puzzled me about that were firstly, that the king didn’t take any steps prior to this, why was there a three year gap where nothing seemed to happen?  (Slight spoiler : I don’t understand why Margot only now became useful as a pawn).  Secondly, I wouldn’t say that Nea was particularly well hidden – but I think that might be just a misunderstanding on my part, Garret seemed to find her easy enough but then he had co-operation from others in order to do so (co-operation that wouldn’t have been forthcoming for the king).  That aside there was a certain amount of going back and forth which started to feel a bit frustrating and I felt particularly exasperated with one of the decisions that Garret makes during the story that made me wonder what he was thinking – but. again, I’m thinking not to include spoilers here so won’t go into more detail.

On the whole though this was an enjoyable read.  I felt myself engaging well with the characters, I thought the magic system was well developed, the pacing was good and it sets up well for the next instalment (although I would point out that this doesn’t end on a note of completion).

I received a copy courtesy of the author for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

8 Responses to “Deathborn (Sovereigns of Bright and Shadow #1) by CE Page #SPFBO”

  1. devouringbooks2017

    This one looks pretty interesting! Love the concept

    • @lynnsbooks

      It’s a very good concept and I had a good time reading it.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Raina Nightingale

    I loved the character development! The characters felt so real and true. Unforgettable. I especially enjoyed Declan.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Declan was actually a really cool way to insert a character and I look forward to seeing how is involvement continues.
      Lynn 😀

  3. jessicabookworm

    Glad you were still able to enjoy this, with your reservations about some aspects, and well done on finishing three SPFBO books in a month! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Well, I eventually finished all four so I was pleased with that. And I read them all fully – so it just shows how good the standard is.
      Lynn 😀

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