2 out of 4 stars
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The difference between good and evil is not always as clear cut as the difference between light and dark. Can something be considered evil if it’s all a person knows? Is the difference known innately or must it be taught? Knowledge is an important factor in keeping people on the right path, but how can one teach others when people in power are fighting against you? M. C. Colon explores this struggle in her second book of the Athanasian Realm series: Perseverance.
The Isle of Wisdom is in trouble. The Tenebrosity Realm has been waiting patiently for hundreds of years to overthrow Athanasia and the Isle of Wisdom. Spies have been strategically placed and the towers grow weaker each passing decade. Adicia, Gara, and Tavis—leaders of the Tower of Sorcery, Warriors, and Clerics respectively—begin to unravel a highly convoluted plan to take over the Athanasian Realm and suddenly realize exactly how unprepared their realm is for when Tenebrosity attacks. Can they restore the towers to their proper glory and strength before Tenebrosity attacks and enslaves the Athanasian Realm?
This book includes not only a well-thought-out magic system, but also considers the politics that would be required by a world inhabited by different races—humans, elves, and dwarves. I found that M. C. Colon did an amazing job of portraying the similarities and differences among the different races, going as far as illustrating the differences in the magic each can perform.
M. C. Colon also succeeded at creating unique characters with different quirks and personalities, even if their speech patterns did not vary too much. Adicia is a strong, well-rounded, and talented sorceress who can calmly navigate tight situations, while the younger characters Nettie, Maggie, and Mattie are hot-headed and boisterous apprentices. The apprentices’ out-spoken personalities combine with their overall lack of tact to land the group in a few intense—but comical—situations throughout the book.
While this book has many positives, there were a few things I would like to see the author improve. I found the protagonists seemed to float through the story with no real hiccups interrupting their journey, something I would not have expected when reading about a country at war. This removed any sense of suspense from the novel that would have added to the reading experience.
I also found that the author seemed to enjoy writing lists. There were many instances where numerous characters were introduced at once; for example, multiple paragraphs were spent stating who was attending a ceremony, but very few of these characters were ever mentioned again. These lists displayed the enormous amount of consideration the author put into her world, however, I found it difficult to keep track of so many characters when they were named off all at once.
Finally, I encourage the author to perform another round of editing to eliminate some of the grammatical errors present throughout the book. These errors did not make the book difficult to read, but they did interrupt the flow of reading on many occasions.
In conclusion, I believe this book would appeal to lovers of dystopian fantasy worlds littered with internal corruption. This book has firm potential to be a strong competitor on every fantasy-lovers bookshelf after another round of editing; however, in its current state, I rate this book 2 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys magical realms and strong characters. However, due to the presence of torture and graphic content, I would only recommend this book to older readers or those not bothered by such themes.
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