ARC, Books, Reviews

Book: the Kingmaker Contest

The Source of Magic #1 by Troy Clem

Transport yourself to ancient times. Back when the best mode of transportation were horse drawn carriages. When kings really ruled with iron fists and armies where called the Royal Guards.

That’s the setting our protagonist Theo finds himself in. He’s an orphan, a ward of the king of the Empire of Drasque. A curious twelve year old, he wants to know what the world outside the Rigol palace walls has to offer. When his carer Losik leaves for Ironhead he stows himself away in a trunk.

As they do with twelve year olds and dangerous adventures, things don’t go as planned for Theo. When he finally gets out of the trunk and into the carriage on the way to Ironhead, an accident happens. The carriage tips over sending Theo from the safety within to the depths of the ravine below.

War To Come

Miraculously he survives his flight to the bottom of the ravine, although he’s severely injured. Theo is found by a forest clan who worship a god they call “The Mother”. This clan, the Sigandar, take Theo to “The Mother” to help heal him. Led by Nagima and Dak, the clan moves through the forest towards “The Mother”. Along the way it becomes clear their own blood magic and Theo’s arrival will cause a rift within the clan.

Theo is unaware that this is only the beginning of a war. One that will test where his loyalties are.  With the Sigandar that saved his life, or with the royalty of the empire that raised him. Whatever the outcome, Theo will be stuck in the middle.

Meanwhile the king has called for a kingmakers contest. A fight to determine the next king of Drasque. Just then, war between blood magic and royal guard muskets come to the forest floor and the doors of Ironhead. Little does Theo know that whatever he decides to do next could determine who the next king will be.

Magical Atmosphere

What Troy Clem has created with the Empire of Drasque is a fantasy world of old. It’s a place where magic still resides and where modern day technology and inventions have no hold. It’s the kind of place I like to imagine when I think of magic.

The story takes place in a 2 day time span from Theo hiding in the trunk to the end. I enjoyed the way the language of the Sigandar added to the overall mystery and magic of the story line. To me it really gave that forest clan feel to their part of the story. At the same time it made it more easy to accept their blood magic as part of their lifestyle.

This is a short novel and it’s a perfect length if you’re looking for a book you can read in one sitting. I like the concept of this story and I enjoy short novels. Yet I would also like to know what happens next to Theo. I understand this will be a novella saga so I’ll be able to find out eventually.

But I think I would have preferred to read Theo’s whole story in one book. The way this story line ends makes me feel a little dissatisfied, it felt a little unfinished for me. Kind of like when you get to read the first chapter of a book as a teaser. You like what you read and get excited for the story to come, but the next chapter isn’t there yet.

Rating 3/5

The Kingmaker Contest’s publish date is July 26th, 2019. Get your copy here

Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC from Troy Clem in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own

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