Title – Rise of the Sparrows Book 1 of the Relics of Ar’zac
Author – Sarina Langer
Genre – YA Fantasy
I was really pleased to have won a paperback copy of this book during its blog tour back in May. I’d already bought the book on kindle, but it was great to be able to read the paperback. I think the cover’s great and I was pulled in by the blurb.
Growing up homeless and orphaned in a town that hates her, Rachael must assassinate the king of Rifarne to become queen to a people who once wanted her dead. Rifarne is a country opposed to magic. When its people demand harsh action, King Aeric sees himself with no other choice but to outlaw those with the gift. Rachael, who possesses the rare gift of a Seer, soon finds herself with visions of her own violent death. When her escape goes wrong and she ends up in the clutches of a vicious Mist Woman lusting for her blood, she finds she is the only person who can stop the war against people like her – and assassinating the king to take his throne may well be the only way to do just that.
This is a really great start to a new fantasy series. I like how the background is slowly built up with regards to the history of the people / magic and the prophecy surrounding Rachel. Not everything is revealed in book 1 which makes you want to read on and discover what mysteries are surrounding the Ar’zac.
The main character is Rachel. I liked Rachel and her attitude to self-preservation, although her continued mistrust of everyone did get to me. But she is an orphan from the streets and I could fully relate to her not willing to trust a single person after the harsh reality of her every day existence. Maybe it’s because I liked Cale (the leader of the Sparrows) from the moment he first showed up and wanted Rachel to put her trust in him more quickly.
Writing style / Viewpoints
There are several viewpoint characters, which were handled with skill. It helped drive the story forward at the right moments and made me able to care more for the other characters. At times I thought the readers were drawn into the characters thoughts a little too much though, especially towards the end when I was desperate to see the story reach its climax through the action without being slowed down by introspect.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a well written, easy read with a page-turning storyline.
I look forward to reading more of Rachel and Cale’s story and seeing what the future throws at them. The end of the epilogue certainly leaves me wanting to pick up the next book.
YA fantasy and fantasy fans in general
4 out of 5 stars