DRUNK REVIEW: Obsidian by Sarah J. Daley

Minda’s drunk review of Obsidian by Sarah J. Daley. Thanks to NetGalley for an advance readers copy! This book came out on Jan 25th. We’d like to thank Sarah and Angry Robot for the opportunity.

TW: Self-mutilation, suicidal thoughts

What I drank prior: Bottle of red wine, my classic go-to.

Goodreads Summary:

Shade Nox is a fiend, a rogue, and a wanted murderer, though her only true crime is that she chooses to dress like a man. Proud and defiant, she wears her tattoos openly as any bloodwizard would, and carries obsidian blades at her hips. Those who laughingly call her a witch to her face soon learn an unfortunate lesson: Shade Nox might be an abomination, but she wields her blades with devastating precision, gleefully shedding blood for elemental magic that matches any man’s.

Shade scratches out a dangerous living in the broken Wastes, but now that they are growing more unstable and dangerous, Shade and her people need their own Veil to protect them. She vows to raise one—a feat not accomplished in over a hundred years. But the Veils are controlled by the Brotherhood, who consider them sacred creations. They would sooner see all the Veils collapse into dust than allow a witch to raise one.

With the help of her friends and allies, and her own indomitable will, Shade stays one step ahead of her enemies. Her zeal is only tempered when she learns the true sacrifice required to raise a Veil—a secret even the centuries-old Brotherhood has forgotten. It is too high a price to pay. Nevertheless, she must pay it, or she will lose everything and everyone she loves…

My Summary: Shade Nox, the bloodwitch, is the only one who can save the empire from the Blight taking over the land and the bloodwizard gang’s stranglehold over the kingdom. Unfrtounately they’re some powerful bros who have it out for her and now she’s an outlaw in the custody of some rando from the foreign rulers. Luckily, she has the ear of the local ruler f*ck boi and she knows her worth. Now, she only needs to figure out how to do what she was trained to do. (Not editors note: I’m not positive anything I’ve said there makes any sense, so grain of salt).

Spoiler-free Thoughts: Ok so it seriously took me forever to get into this book. The characters were pretty one-!+#{ and man did I not care that much. BUT THEN we get a bunch of background about the world and it all pops. Plus it gets more plot-driven than character-driven, all around the 30% mark or so. And that’s where the book takes off and becomes a pretty quick read Wight h quick pace. And the world building is so so detailed in its history and the stakes are very high. You know how I love me some good world building books.

Characters: I cannot be more clearl that you shouldn’t read this book for the characters. Buts here’s a bit about them. Shade—the bloodwitch accused of horrible, unmentionable crimes that are never fully discussed and with powers that are incredible but also never really shown—is a cool girl, not like other girls (ya know, that). I mean, you’ve read this character before. People seem driven to her in a way I don’t understand. They either fall in love with her, or immediate want to die for her. W/e. Prince Dante Safire is the ruler of Malavita, the country land in question, and Raiden is the seventh son or something or other of the rulers of a larger kingdom than Malavita with Malavita as a serfdom. Or something, I’m not hop on the lingo. But they’re basically interchangeable imo. The non-POV characters (Korin, the Golorinda tribe, and the protectors) are actually more interesting to me, but like barely. I know it doesn’t sound like it now, but the book is good in spite of the characters.

Plot: Onve the book gets more intro he history and action series, it’s gets a lot better. There’s also why I thought was a pretty big twist (to me) that is totally weird but totally warranted. When our three POVs split up, that’s my favorite parts of the plot.

World Building: Oh my gosh I would share this book with people for the seriously intricate world building alone. It really turned the book around for me after a pretty painful start. I especiallyed loved the history fo the bloodmagic and the war among beings. Admittedly the magic susterm itself could have used a bit more, but I am not complaining. Between the Capomaji and the Sicani and the

Unseen and the Coterie and the Kindred and the Golondrina and humans and varying overlaps of the assortment, it was a lot to follow by well worth it IMO.

Writing Style: Three perspectives, less because they had drastically different personalities but more because of physical separation after different points in the book. But “perspecis” sure.

Drink Pairing: Hm I feel like this is a toughie. Definitely one with a lot of ingredients, like a Bloody Mary. I like mine spicy.

Rating: 4/5 shots. Absolutely an extra star for the world building alone.

xxxo Minda

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