Thank you so much to Hachette Australia for sending me a copy of Tempests & Slaughter in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own and receiving a copy of the finished book does not affect what I think.
Release Date: February 6th, 2018
Trigger Warnings: racism (challenged, somewhat), murder, prejudice, mental health mentions, grief, dead parents, sexism
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.
Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.
In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.
R E V I E W
Tempests & Slaughter took me a long time to get through. It wasn’t even the biggest book I have read but due to the info dumping of the content, it really felt like a drag in some parts. By some parts, I mean a large part of this novel. It had some beautiful touches, like diversity and seeing a character grow up, but it really did have large periods of time where we just watch the main character study. The story itself reads like it is Arram Draper’s diary. It details almost every activity he does in the most excruciating detail. Which, at times, is great and other times I wanted to scream at the plot to get a move on since it was dragging.
I have never read one of Tamora Pierce book. I feel maybe I missed something that was leading up to this that is in her past books. I’m not sure. Maybe this was really just a high fantasy book and my brain wasn’t in the right headspace. I really think this was a case of ‘its me not the book’. So, anything I say shouldn’t be taken too seriously. I know this is a duology, so maybe once I’ve read the second book in this series I will dive into Tamora Pierce’s other books, so hopefully, this book will eventually come together better for me.
Arram Draper is studying to be a mage. Tempests & Slaughter follows his journey through his studies. However, we literally do follow his journey through studying. I wish I was kidding. We go to Arram to like every single class. We see him studying his magic and having basic interactions with his friends. There are a few events throughout that make it seem like the story will finally hit the climax but unfortunately, it never happens. I had so many theories of what may happen and I was just really disappointed. The story was so flat. That being said, there were things I liked that I’ll get in to. There really isn’t too much to say about the plot as a whole. I’m really hoping the second book binds this together.
So, I guess, let’s jump into what I did and didn’t like.
L I K E S
✗ BEAUTIFUL STORYTELLING
The storytelling of Tempests & Slaughter is beautiful. Tamora Pierce has a way with words and it creates such beautiful imagery throughout the novel. I know it seems like I’ve complained about this story feeling stagnant in some areas, but I really thought the writing was what did keep me reading. I honestly can’t fault it. It had elements of humour throughout and really dove into topics that are sometimes shied away from. It was interesting to read about most of the time and I really hope I get the chance to read more of Tamora’s writing in the near future. It really makes the story.
✗ GREAT CHARACTER DEPTH
There are a lot of characters throughout this novel but there are three that stand out – the three main characters. Arram, Ozorne, and Varice are three best friends who do everything together. Hell, Ozorne, a prince, has plans for them after they all graduate from the academy. It was an interesting friendship to see grow over the series. You could see the group drifted apart at times but always came back together. All three characters are meant to be extraordinary and it is shown through the book.
✗ MIDDLE GRADE MIXED WITH YOUNG ADULT
Someone commented on one of my updates saying that the blurb for this story sounded very similar to Harry Potter. I have to disagree. I feel like whenever there is stories involving three young wizards/mages people always start comparing to Harry Potter. This series had a much different feel to it than Harry Potter. It stood on its own two legs and held it’s own. The main thing was that this wasn’t a middle grade book. This in no way felt that way. It was very clearly mixed with young adult in so many ways. It was definitely a combo I was unfamiliar with and took a little bit to get used to. I mean, this did take me longer than usual to read (five days).
✗ HIGH FANTASY AS HECK
Really, it’s high fantasy as heck. There is so much info-dumping as we learn the world that I kept getting overwhelmed. I’ve put this in the likes category of my review though because despite my complaint, I actually did enjoy the high fantasy element to this book. I don’t read a lot of high fantasy because of how much time it takes me to read it, but I really did enjoy where this book went and how Tamora Pierce built the world.
D I S L I K E S
✗ VERY DULL AT TIMES
So. Damn. Dull.
I said earlier in this review that the book read like Arram’s diary. If you have ever read the diary of a ten-year old I’m sure you know it’s not interesting. Considering how brilliant Arram is, I really thought there would be some more interesting things throughout. But, Arram is happy to be quiet and listen, whether that be to his friends or his masters. It really had the story feeling like it was a standstill for around 80% of the book. The few exciting moments we got kept me hooked, but there really wasn’t enough for a book of this size.
✗ VERY MUCH SETTING UP FOR EVENTS IN THE SECOND BOOK
I think that’s what Tempests & Slaughter was mainly doing. Setting up for the events of the second book. This book we just see Arram grow and learn, I think he’s around 16 when this book finishes? It seems it is all leading to something more, especially with certain events in this book. It just seems like there is something more and I really hope it is something incredible and dangerous (possible murder please). I have some theories, but after this book, I’m not even sure I should trust myself.
Overall, Tempests & Slaughter wasn’t a bad book. It just wasn’t a really a good book either. It had points of interest and some major points of disinterest. It was a bit of a struggle to read and I’m not even sure how to rate it. Some parts of the book fall under a four-star and others a one star. For now, I feel that a three-star is the perfect rating.
Happy reading everyone!
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