Review: Master of Sorrows by Justin T. Call

☆☆➹⁀☆ 2 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

You have heard the story before – of a young boy, orphaned through tragic circumstances, raised by a wise old man, who comes to a fuller knowledge of his magic and uses it to fight the great evil that threatens his world.

But what if the boy hero and the malevolent, threatening taint were one and the same?

What if the boy slowly came to realize he was the reincarnation of an evil god? Would he save the world . . . or destroy it?

Among the Academy’s warrior-thieves, Annev de Breth is an outlier. Unlike his classmates who were stolen as infants from the capital city, Annev was born in the small village of Chaenbalu, was believed to be executed, and then unknowingly raised by his parents’ killers.

Seventeen years later, Annev struggles with the burdens of a forbidden magic, a forgotten heritage, and a secret deformity. When he is subsequently caught between the warring ideologies of his priestly mentor and the Academy’s masters, he must choose between forfeiting his promising future at the Academy or betraying his closest friends. Each decision leads to a deeper dilemma, until Annev finds himself pressed into a quest he does not wish to fulfil.

Will he finally embrace the doctrine of his tutors, murder a stranger, and abandon his mentor? Or will he accept the more difficult truth of who he is . . . and the darker truth of what he may become?




Guest Reviewer Sara’s Thoughts:

With a promise of magic, and the control of it, I had much different expectations for Master of Sorrows. The main character, Annev was uncomplicated and predictable. At once a dutiful son, rebellious teenager infatuated with a beautiful girl, and a faithful friend and keeper of secrets.

I enjoyed his relationship with his guardian, Sodar, as warm and familial, but his relationship with every other character was unimaginative.  I struggled to connect with anyone: Sodar, Annev’s school chums, his love interest and even his antagonists.

I was hoping for more fantasy and positive magic moments that would lighten the overall dark tone throughout. I found the book to be long due to the detailed world building. My reading experience was bogged down by that world building and story set up, and I was left somewhat dissatisfied at the end.  While this experience has convinced me that fantasy might not be my genre, I believe the detail and long, broad story arc will be appreciated by fantasy-fanatics and gamers. Master of Sorrows is the first book in a four-book series.


About the Author: Justin Call graduated from Harvard University in 2012 with an ALM in Literature and Creative Writing. He has studied fantasy literature for almost two decades and is the author of Master of Sorrows, Book 1 of The Silent Gods tetralogy. Justin is also the CEO of Broomstick Monkey Games and co-designer of the games Imperial Harvest, Royal Strawberries, Royal Scum, and 8 Kingdoms. He currently lives in Park City, Utah with his wife, his two sons, his Great Dane (Pippa) and his St. Bernard-Mastiff (Herbie).

Please note that readers can count on our reviews being the honest opinions of the review. Check out the About Me page on this blog for more information.

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