Alarick Brandon is the powerful wizard who operates The Keep, a refuge for magical people fleeing the persecution of the Ministry. A bitter realist, Alarick knows it’s only a matter of time until the Ministry succeeds in eradicating magic from the world—and exterminating all magical beings—so he has been careful to avoid any personal involvement with the people who pass through his sanctuary.
But when Elissa Stone arrives at The Keep, her village a smoldering ruin, and only her magical talent and a forbidden library left to her name, Alarick’s ordered world descends into chaos. Elissa is a Book Mesmer, a magical talent long believed extinct. She can enchant books, making them indestructible, unreadable…even deadly to unauthorized readers. But while her magic can secure a legacy for future magical generations, it’s not a skill that’s good in a fight, and certainly not one that Alarick sees any real use for. But there’s something compelling about a woman who defies the Ministry’s edicts against female literacy, and she seems determined to prove that knowledge is a weapon in its own right…
The first installment in an enticing new fantasy series by author Jennifer Derrick, The Library of Absolution is a compelling story of perseverance and determination in the face of persecution, in a Dark Age where hope is lost—and knowledge is the only thing left to fight for.
I became a writer at the age of six when my parents bought me a child’s typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay me a penny per page for any stories I churned out.
When I got older, I realized that I needed to make (much) more money from my writing so I first turned to the corporate world (where I learned that I am spectacularly unsuited to cubicle life) and ultimately to freelancing where I now write everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games.
My writing career came full circle when Clean Teen Publishing accepted Broken Fate, my first novel. By my calculations, my parents owe me about $3.00 for that book.
I live in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading anything I can get my hands on, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with my dog.
Magic allows a wizard to change himself into a bird large enough for a person to ride on but is ineffective at fighting a war? MC finds a woman with a talent with books and he tries to assign her to the kitchen because he doesn’t know what to do with her. Paragraphs spent describing a magical mail system because it’s the details that make it magic? Bad Latin used as a magic system. Bad guys are bad and want bad things because...
The writing is clear and well crafted. The characters are weak and uninspiring. And the world is only vaguely coherent.
...and it looks like my review will be the first one. Ouch.
It really is well written. Sentences are clear, no misspellings, paragraphs are coherent. It just doesn’t inspire me to keep reading.
The struggle for survival runs deep in this magical world, where the future is so bleak that even romance appears to almost lose its meaning.
Alarick is a powerful wizard whose main purpose lies in harboring those with magic inside his walls and searching for the few (if any) survivors after each magical town has been destroyed. Those with magic are being hunted down methodically, and the future looks more than bleak. That's when he discovers a sole survivor of another slaughter, a woman who not only can read but has a hidden library. Not sure what to do with her, he sticks her in the kitchen only to be told by one of his few friends that she possess a rare form of magic and should be encouraged to save what books she can before they too are obliterated. While Alarick can't understand how her talent might be valuable in any way, he soon finds himself protecting her in ways he's never protected anyone before. More importantly, he's beginning to see that his view of the world may not be right after all.
Alarick is a grabbing character even from the very first page—self-assured, arrogant, powerful and yet fragile in his own way. When he runs across Elissa, it's clear that she will turn his world upside down, but the uncertainty in how this will happen is what keeps this plot interesting. She's his opposite in so many ways, and the back and forth between the two makes the sparks fly.
The writing is smooth and unleashes the world with wonderful clarity without being overly detailed. The magic is intriguing yet often more subtle than overpowering. The story pulls along at a good pace, and the characters behave and react in a very believable manner. The pacing is well done, letting bits and pieces of the layers of secrets slip through to keep the tension high without revealing too much. It makes for an engaging read.
There were a few holes in the logic, most of which weren't enough to pull out of the story. The one thing that confused me was the concentration of the Ministry not only to hunt down those who possessed magic, but also women who could read and/or write. This wish for illiteracy, it appeared, not only affected those with magic but all women. But the reasons behind it weren't explained in the first chapters, nor did there seem to be an uprising against it in the 'human' world. It was hard to lay a finger on how important the Ministry was within the normal world, or, more importantly, where their power came from and how it was centered.
The romance has a nice tug and pull, allowing a friendship to build before more feelings became involved. It also progresses nicely along with the character development and creates a rounded balance, which was enjoyable.
Fans of magic, fantasy, romance and the fight against oppression will enjoy this read. It will be interesting to see what happens in book two.
I received a complimentary copy and found this book interesting enough to want to leave my honest thoughts.
Wizards and witches are being hunt down and destroyed by the Ministry. The magical community has gone into hiding, Alarick runs the Keep where he will take in any survivors of the attacks. However, when Elissa is invited to join him she requests that she brings her library. She has the magical ability to to protect and preserve the books in a world where not only magic is against the law but so is female literacy. When Alarick agrees to this strange request he would never have guessed how it would change his life. Now instead of just being on a quest to save the magical people. Together they are on a quest to preserve their history in the chance the Ministry destroys them too.
Book one in in the Legacy of the Book Mesmer. Had me laughing and crying. Editor did miss a few typos, but that was easy to overlook as the story pulled you in. Would recommend to adults who are fond of Harry Potter. Contains adult content (sex and language).
#50/50BookQuest categories = Fantasy book, female author, three word title, first book in the series, and book with some romance.
I wonder why , in the end , they didnt even try to use her power to kill the enemy? Like, to scatter the enchanted book everywhere so that the soldiers might kicked them opened suddenly or put trap that makes them open the book with dragon or death in it. Its kind of a waste of talent when all they talked about is her being gifted from the beginning of the book till the end but they didnt take the chance of surviving with it.
Its an okay book ,dont get me wrong. I like the dynamics between them both, and Margaret! Sweet soul. And the fact that she's blind but able to do so much that even us gifted with the gift of life unable to use them properly.