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The Fifth Vertex

(The Sigilord Chronicles #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  308 ratings  ·  91 reviews
Urus Noellor--a boy born deaf who is about to be publicly branded as a burden, incapable of being the warrior his people demand--stands upon a rooftop, poised to throw himself over the edge. His failed attempt at suicide unlocks within him a long-dormant form of magic thought to have died out thousands of years before, a power that may be the key to saving the world from a ...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published August 2nd 2014 by Kevin Hoffman
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3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  308 ratings  ·  91 reviews

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Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I needed to look this up: a vertex is a corner point, of a pentagon for instance, as is the case in this novel. No, I don’t think it is a bad thing to have a title that is not immediately understood – how many people knew what ‘hallows’ were before Harry Potter 7 was released?

With such a title, one may expect that Hoffman’s novel is a science fiction story; after reading the blurb, one will expect fantasy. What makes this novel refreshing is its blend of fantasy and steampunk, with just en
Sep 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The men and women of Kest are warriors, and they deem anyone who isn't a fierce warrior as unworthy. Those who don't pass the test to become warriors are culled, meaning they are ignored by everyone else in the kingdom, and will only be considered a burden to those around them. Urus is set to be culled, and rather than live as a burden, he decides to jump off a tall building. His suicide attempt fails, and he is myste
David Spencer
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up The Fifth Vertex because I'm acquainted with the author from many years ago and knew how much this novel meant to him. I'm glad I did - it's a solid entry into the genre.

The setup here is familiar: protagonists who don't quite fit in with their surroundings are thrust, somewhat unwillingly, into a conflict larger than themselves by forces they can't quite come to terms with, and grow to rely on each other as they save the day by using powers they didn't know they had.

But the author h
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wasn't certain what to think when I read the synopsis and found out that the main character was deaf. I couldn't imagine how the author was going to make that work. It's brilliant! What a wonderful job! Don't let that dissuade you from reading this book. He did a fantastic job with it! It was never a distraction, nor did it come off as gimmicky. The story flows smoothly, and I never felt as though I was trying to relate to the character. I just did. Beautifully written, well thought out, and the ...more
Amanda Kern
Aug 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


just a warning the ending is a cliffhanger. as such I can not wait till the next book to come out. I just wanted to cry out at the end though.
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Publisher: Kevin Hoffman

Publishing Date: August 2014

ISBN: 9780990647904

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.4/5

Publisher Description: Urus and his companions–Goodwyn, the greatest warrior in Kest, and Cailix, a mysterious orphan–must find a way to stop a powerful group of sorcerers from destroying the five long-hidden vertices that ward the world against threats from beyond, while fighting off threats from within. They soon learn that the scope of the coming danger ma
Anna (BooksandBookends)
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of this book by the book's publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Urus has been given three attempts to become a great and noble warrior of Kest. His Uncle is second in command and greatness is expected from him. But when Urus fails his third attempt, all hopes are lost. Usus is forced to be culled. However, when Urus attempts suicide by jumping from a build, a mysterious blue light appears and saves him. Life as a culled may not be as bad as Urus has e
Kelly Graham
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A marvelous, compelling beginning to what promises to be a quality, epic fantasy series.

A pleasure to read--the writer in me finds this book well-written and edited. There were no homophone errors, no missing quotes, no clumsy POV shifts to make me wince. This is a story told by someone skilled in the craft of writing.

As for the story itself, like the LOTR, Harry Potter, and Wheel of Time books, this story will appeal to young people and adults. The main protagonists are each compelling, interes
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyable fantasy with a little science fiction and steampunk thrown in. The author starts with a couple of familiar tropes but changes things up very creatively. I enjoyed the magic, the variety of races with their different strengths and weaknesses, and the fact that the main character is deaf. The accommodations that disability required of Urus and how it impacted his ability to be a warrior were well done, I thought. In addition, we got to see the growing maturity of several of th ...more
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is a moment in every good book when the reader is suddenly pulled in; the story and characters form tethers in your mind and the reader is not able to turn the page fast enough to keep up. In the first chapter of The Fifth Vertex, the reader is welcomed, the second, intrigued, and by the third chapter, hooked.
Fans of Epic Fantasy novels will treasure this debut novel, read it again and again, and lovingly place it on the shelf next to Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and Tolkien's Lord of
Veronica of V's Reads
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Urus tells the majority of this epic tale of magical forces set on tearing apart the world. He is a young adult, on the verge of being outcast from his clan--for lack of being a better warrior on account of his deafness. He discovers a magic within himself when he attempts to commit suicide. He is a sigilord, though he doesn't yet know what this means, or the power he holds.

Cailix is an orphan in the care of monks, when three blood mages arrive and slaughter the monks to obtain the vertex map th
Mar 03, 2015 rated it did not like it
My thanks to NetGalley and Kevin Hoffman for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.

I got to 43% and then just had to stop. My apologies, but this book was just horrid.

I requested it from NetGalley because the MC was deaf. I like to see characters in books who aren't "perfect" and I think it's great to see characters who are what the world consider to be handicapped do big and great things, despite their handicap. That was a big draw for me. When handicapped characters are written well an
Janie Johnson
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-challenge
I received the book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. I have to say I was not too sure about this book since it is a fantasy. I don't do well with fantasy, but since this was a YA fantasy it was much easier for me to grasp. Although I would class this more towards adult fantasy since it was a rather violent read.

In this story you have Urus who was born Deaf and felt like a failure because he could not pass the warrior tests for Kest and would be branded a burden because of that.
Chris Robison
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I think the premise is awesome. Very sci-fi and fantasy in one. It is amazing to me the feats that some of the characters could pull off on a moment's notice, but I'm okay with that. What really drew me to the book was that the main protagonist was deaf. That just opens up a whole new form of interaction between the characters, one that hearing people (such as myself) don't fully comprehend the meaning behind. I think the special sign (the charging bull) that the protagonist and his uncle share ...more
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received this book for my honest review from NetGalley.I found this book to be interesting and intriguing. I didn't want to put down the book because I needed to know what happens next. This book is for both YA and Adults. You are drawn to the story and the characters. I liked how Kevin would give you the characters different point of views but at the same time knowing that Urus was the main character. The book is very detailed and imaginative. I like how it is done in another time and place b ...more
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Fifth Vertex: The Sigilord Chronicles, Book 1
Kevin Hoffman
Pub Date: Aug 2 2014

Yes. Yes, this is a worthy tale. There is enough backstory to account for changes across worlds, as well as compelling evolution of events regarding the characters we follow. Remarkably, there is war on scale that will please those who enjoy it and not too much as to totally bore or alienate those who do not-- this is a singular feat, few books come close to the balance required. And the final line is simply perfec
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Given To Me For An Honest Review

The Fifth Vertex (The Sigilord Chronicles Book 1) is the beginning of a great epic fantasy series by Kevin Hoffman. It is fast paced and action filled. All the characters are well rounded. Once you begin reading it you will not be able to put it down. It is a real page turner from beginning to end with many twists and turns. I enjoyed reading it very much. I gave it 5 stars but it deserves more. I highly recommend it to all and I look forward to reading more by Ke
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was great that the hero is hearing-impaired. He has no problem doing what needs to be done, even though he doesn't have much faith in his abilities. He is very likable and easy to relate to. The story is a quick read only because you want to find out what is going to happen next. I am really looking forward to the next book in the series.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received this book through netgalley for a review. I'm glad I did! It was a quick read with a lot of characters that you love right away. I cannot wait until the second book comes out. Keep writing Kevin!
Dr. K.
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the best YA fantasy I've read in years. The plot was fast paced and world building excellent. I can't wait for the next book!
Cami (The annoying BookWorm)
A rather boring book, nothing about it engaged me which is a shame becuase it promised a lot. Simply an average story.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebook, fantasy, netgalley
Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This review contains spoilers.

I was excited to get into the Fifth Vertex. It's not really a secret that SFF tends to be quite the offender when it comes to lack of diversity with characters, and I leapt at the chance to read a story from the point of view of our hero, Urus, who is deaf. I can't recall the last time I saw a deaf character in any type of book, never mind fantasy.
First thing's first - I feel that this story moves far too q
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
great book, enjoy the story very much
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley, fantasy
Picking up a book with no established publishing provenance, large or small press, is always a bit risky in terms of time, a lot like going through a slush pile, or scraping the sidewalks of New York City's jewelry district for gold shavings. James Patrick Kelly has a great On the Net feature about this topic for this month's Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. Kelly writes about the need for some sort of better curation of 'indie' authors; that is definitely the case, but I too am unsure how thi ...more
Stefani - SpelingExpirt
For more reviews go to SpExReviews

The Fifth Vertex by Kevin Hoffman is a Fantasy/Steampunk blend novel with an interesting premise and protagonist. Urus, a deaf inhabitant of the proud warrior city of Kest, stands on the roof of the castle because he has failed his kingdom, his uncle and himself because he did not pass the tests to become a warrior. He is set to become culled: branded a burden on society, begrudgingly fed and losing all his rights as a citizen. He jumps but miraculously survives
Will Wortner
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Quick Review:
The main characters fight with magic, they fight with technology, they fight multiple races, and do it all on two continents, one island, one ocean, in the air, and on a mountain. The action is non-stop and the book gives you just enough to know what’s going on but have so many more questions on what the big picture is.

This book is a real stand out in the high fantasy genre. The Fifth vertex contained many unique elements that I have not commonly read. A main character that is d
John Purvis
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
“The Fifth Vertex” was published in 2014 and was written by Kevin Hoffman ( While Mr. Hoffman has published several technical books, this is his first fiction book, and is the first of the “Sigilord Chronicles” series.

I obtained a galley of this novel for review through I would categorize this novel as ‘R’ as there are instances of Violence. This Young Adult Fantasy novel is set in another world. Most of the technology is medieval, but there
Emmeline (The Book Herald)
I received this book Via Netgalley

And i think it's safe to say that I thought this book was:-



I actually LOVED the characters in this book, we meet an unlikely Hero, also A girl who has become embittered by life, and a boy who believed his future was all planned out. 3 young people who will be the fighting force to free people of the wickedness and injustices of their lands.

The writing is exquisite, good on you Mr Hoffman you kept me engaged and biting my nails the entire time!

Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Page one, sentence one and I’m already in knots! Urus should be graduating, his heart says he wants to be a warrior, but he failed the gauntlet one too many times and his deafness makes him a burden to his people. He would rather die than be cast out in shame. Something magical happened when he jumped from a tall building, it came from within Urus. In a world of magical of magic, strife and gifted creatures, Urus is not meant to die and with his best friend, Goodwyn, a powerful warrior at his si ...more
Linda Zeng
I recieved an ARC copy of this book from Net Galley in return for an honest review.

This book was a solid read. The characters were solid (almost). The writing was solid. The worldbuilding was solid. There really was nothing that stood out to me (almost) as gaping flaws and holes.

But, it is because of this solidness that also makes the story somewhat bland. There isn’t in particular, anything that makes this story really stand out from any other typical fantasy story. The bending of time space i
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