I always used to try and get all of my NetGalley books read and reviewed before their publication dates arrived. However, this year I have definitely fallen behind and so I’m using #WyrdandWonder month as a good opportunity to catch up with some of the fantasy books on my shelf.
The Collarbound was the first book in Rebecca Zahabi’s Tales of the Edge trilogy published last year. I loved the book but hated the way that it left on a such sudden cliffhanger so I was very excited to see that the next volume was being published and to be given an ARC .
The Hawkling is an engrossing continuation of the story begun in The Collarbound and builds up to another dramatic conclusion ready for the final volume.
Blurb: The rebels on the other side of the Shadowpass are massing, and refugees are flooding in to the city. Scared, penniless and not exactly welcome, they are desperate for the protection of the Nest, and the powerful mages who live there. But there is dissension in the Nest’s ranks, and there is always someone willing to make money from the fearful.
The mages believe they have a secret weapon – a captured lightborn, kept prisoner by a magical slave collar and forced to do their bidding. But Tatters and Isha, tentative friends despite their suspicion of each other’s motives, know something the mages do not.
The rebels are aware of the lightborn. They know how to deal with it. And they are ready for war…
The story begins at the point that the previous book ended and we see how the Nest deal with the rebellion. There is a lot more about the political infighting between the mages in this novel as well as the refugee crisis caused by the threatened invasion. Rebecca Zahabi’s world building and character development is excellent and although the pace is sometimes slow because of this, I enjoyed learning more about the world and its past.
As the title suggests, this book focuses more on Isha and I really enjoyed her character arc in this novel. She is no longer the scared apprentice but is a lot more confident and able to choose her path. I loved the relationship that she forges with the Kher and especially her deepening understanding of her tattoo. The point where she begins to see it as something to live up rather than be ashamed of is a real turning point for her.
Tatters is still a key character and his journey through this part of the story had some predictable elements and some that were actually shocking. I can’t wait to see how everything turns out for him.
I really enjoyed the parts of the book that focused on the Kher and especially enjoyed the development of Arushi’s character and how she struggles to fit into her life as a Kher as well as an employee of the Nest.
The novel built up to a real climax and while the ending wasn’t quite as sudden as in the previous book, it’s still left me desperate to find out how it all ends.
Huge thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, Orion, for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
The Hawkling was published on May 11 by Orion Publishing Group/Gollancz