#SPFBO Review : Shadows of Ivory (The Godforged Chronicles #1) by T.L. Greylock and Bryce O’Connor

Posted On 21 April 2022

Filed under Book Reviews

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Stage 2 of the  SPFBO competition is now well underway and the Critiquing Chemist and I have been reading the finalists.  Today we post our review for our seventh finalist Shadows of Ivory (The Godforged Chronicles #1) by T.L. Greylock and Bryce O’Connor.  Don’t forget to stop over to the Critiquing Chemist to check out their review.


Straight off the bat I’m going to begin this review by saying I had a good deal of enjoyment reading this book.  The characters were easy to like, the story was intriguing, the writing perfectly balanced and it includes what is for me a winning element in any story – archaeology and the search for relics.  If you fancy a decent slice of Indiana Jane on the hunt for answers to ancient mysteries whilst being pursued, threatened and set up for murder all during a time and place not dissimilar to renaissance Italy then give The Godforged Chronicles a whirl.

Let’s firstly take a look at the characters.  This is an element of the story that I really enjoyed and thought was executed well. We follow three POVs and I found myself liking all of them, although some of them were quicker at grabbing my attention and affection than others.  The primary focus is Eska.  She’s a wonderful character that I had no problem getting on board with.  She’s intelligent and educated, her family status and the privilege she has enjoyed growing up has given her a good knowledge of politics and business together with the confidence to wield them but in actual fact, what really shone for me was her passion and curiosity for what she loved (archeology) and the way she cared for others. Don’t get me wrong, she’s by no means perfect, she makes mistakes and can be totally infuriating at times (especially when she decides to leave things to look at until later – particularly when I’m so curious and impatient and want to look now).  Anyway, yes, I liked Eska – also, if you can judge a person by their friends I’m prepared to like her even more because her closest friend is a rather bookish librarian called Albus.  Albus plays a slightly lesser POV role although he does unwittingly become involved in his very own adventure (in a cunning side story that eventually feeds into the overall arc).  I don’t know whether it’s just a bookish thing that makes me always enjoy such characters or not but whatever it is that I find appealing Albus seemed to have it in spades.  The third POV is the character set up as direct rival to Eska.  Manon’s family have fallen out of favour somewhat and as we make her initial acquaintance she is racing against Eska to be first to reach a new excavation site.  Manon is a wielder (or carrier) of fire magic, she also shares a love of archeology but her families downfall has pressed her into dire straits and forced her to make drastic choices.  It’s easy to start off admiring Eska and disliking Manon but as the story progresses I found the gap between the two lessening and by the conclusion was actually hoping that they might eventually, reluctantly maybe, realise that their talents would be so much better combined – time will tell in that respect but I have fingers and toes crossed for some sort of begrudgingly respectful teaming up.  One can wish.  Of course there is always the possibility that their dislike of each other could grow into intense hatred.

There are other side characters and at this point in time I would say a good number of them are under suspicion which is another element that I really enjoy.  Not for everybody maybe but personally I love that feeling of never being able to pin the culprit down and jumping around thinking everyone is the villain.  Okay, that probably sounds a bit odd but I’d much sooner be surprised by the eventual reveals.  Easy to guess endings might make me feel like the queen of outcome speculation but they’re not as satisfying at the end of the day and so far this book has me hooked in that respect.

I really enjoyed the world building and think as first in series go this succeeds admirably in providing me  with enough history and background that was really well woven into the story. Plus, I’m interested in learning more and find myself curious about how the next story will play out.  I loved the puzzles with the artifacts and the mystery that is eventually uncovered but more than that I loved the scope of the world imagined.  It just feels like there’s such a lot to still explore here.

The plot.  Definitely intriguing,  Past histories play into family rivalries and politics (even within families themselves) which lends the story plausibility.  There is an element of story threads splintering and at first this might feel a little perplexing but as you pan out (if you will) you start to see how all the threads are coming together.  On the face of it there’s the mystery of why Eska has been framed but underlying this is the bigger picture of the ancient mystery not to mention the threat facing the Seven Cities.

As you can probably gather from the above I had a good time with this.  The writing is just my cup of tea, the pacing was good.  There are some cracking adventure stories taking place and I very much look forward to seeing where this story takes us next.

My thanks to the author for a copy for review.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 8.5 of 10 stars or 4 out of 5 for Goodreads

The Critiquing Chemist rating is 8.5 stars

Our combined rating 8.5 stars


2 Responses to “#SPFBO Review : Shadows of Ivory (The Godforged Chronicles #1) by T.L. Greylock and Bryce O’Connor”

  1. Tammy

    Based on your review, this sounds great! I need to find the scoreboards and see how things are going. Sounds like this is one of your favorites😁

  2. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    This sounds intriguing indeed, particularly where you say that there is a number of shady characters you keep shifting your suspicions on: a story that keeps me guessing – and ultimately shows me that my guesses were wrong – is one I certainly appreciate 🙂

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