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Lord of Secrets

(The Empty Gods #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  53 reviews

Magic is poison. Secrets are power. Death is . . . complicated.

Outlaw wizard Corcoran Gray has enough problems. He's friendless, penniless and on the run from the tyrannical Mages' Guild - and with the search for his imprisoned grandfather looking hopeless, his situation can't get much worse.

So when a fugitive drops into his lap - literally - and gets them both arrested,

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published August 8th 2019 by Jo Fletcher Books
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  144 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, magic, netgalley
Hands down, no dramas – loved it!

For starters- magic! There is soooo much magic in this book! Lord of Secrets is ALL about magic. The interesting kind of magic that has unfavourable side-effects. The kind of side-effects that make a wizard think- man, do I really HAVE to use magic right now? Can I do away with a smaller scale spell?

The runes I had washed off the parchment were sloshing around in my stomach, mixed with wine and bile. I hiccupped, and grimaced at the acrid taste in my mouth.
Blodeuedd Finland
This one felt light, and for once light is not a good thing. It did not feel fully fleshed out, I had no idea about history, geography, culture, what anyone looked like, how old anyone was. I knew nothing of this world. Except that there are mages, and a king, oh and slaves, and churches.

Grey is a mage, but one illegally since all must belong to a guild. His grandpa was taken, since he too was not in a guild (see where I am going with this?). So he is trying to find him.

Brix is a runway slave an
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was like going to really cheap buffet and then, and then when you're halfway down the line and well acquainted with the plain food, a michelin quality dish appears before you. It's like, wow this is some tasty food. But also, what the hell is it doing in a place like this?

In this metaphor the tasty food is a single character, Jack. (Jack is not actually the character's name, but it's what I'm going to call him for the sake of spoilers. It's short for Jack Shephard, because he must have
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book, it made me laugh, it made me want to know more.
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Pretty standard 1st person POV wizard/necromancer adventure fantasy. Some half decent characters. Plot was very simple but the biggest downfall was the complete lack of worldbuilding. Alot of fantasy out there. Would appeal to people who like the simple fantasy style without being too dark.
May 13, 2019 rated it liked it
People see the world and think it's made of wind and rock and water, when really it's made of spells and words

* * *
3 / 5

Lord of Secrets was a deceptively simple story: a young man is searching for his captured grandfather. He is told to find a man and steal a relic from a temple. To be honest, it was very refreshing to read a book that had a clear direction. I've read way too many books that are needlessly complicated for the sake of surprising the reader.

Just like that, he strode out of the pla
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I received this ARC from the Publisher via Netgalley for an honest review and can confirm all opinions are my own.

This has got to be one of the best debuts I've read in a long time. I blazed through this book in a matter of days and was thoroughly hooked by the plot and characters.

Corcoran Grey is an easy character to like. He is hilarious, most of the time without trying, passionate and despite what he tells you, an extremely good guy. Hes a character with great disability representation, and
Jonny Thomson
Just really average.
Not sure if the author could decide if they were writing an adult fantasy or YA and the result is a lukewarm blancmange of both.
The main character sees the world in such black and white where even a whiff of death or grey morality brings on (literal) nausea. Then there’s a love interest that devolves into a poor mans Twilight at times in terms of dialogue. The sarcasm started off refreshing and punchy but ended up being tedious and oversung. Finally the plot never seems to
Jul 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Wow, I’m not really sure what to say after reading this! It’s a good fantasy story with some great characters and has a unique twist on how magic works, and the consequences of using it which I haven’t read before in a fantasy book, but for some reason I just didn’t enjoy reading this as much as I had hoped. Lord of Secrets is the first in the Empty Gods series but feels more like a stand alone novel with the story wrapping up nicely at the end. It begins with the main character, Corcoran Gray, ...more
Oct 12, 2019 added it
Shelves: nope
DNF at 80%, I picked this book up on the promise of two things: an interesting magic system, and queer characters. The book starts well enough with the first one, but we get trapped in a loop of “if you perform magic you must Suffer” and the suffering and misery becomes unrelenting. As for the queer characters...I honestly couldn’t tell you who they are??? Did I hallucinate that bit of the promo??? I have a feeling it might be the Villain, who sometimes says flirty things to our extremely hetero ...more
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, dark-fantasy
Oh my goodness, I enjoyed this. It was a random read from Netgalley, a debut from Breanna Teintze, published by Quercus. I didn't intend to read it until closer to the publication date (8th August) but I glanced at it out of curiosity and got sucked right in.

Corcoran Gray is an outlaw wizard, pitted against the Mages' Guild who have imprisoned his grandfather. He's got no money, no friends, and he's on the run. Could it get any worse? The answer is, of course, yes. Ms Teintze has used the age ol
Martin Owton
May 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Nicely- written and paced 1st person POV fantasy with some interesting variations on magic. The central character, Gray, a young mage operating outside the Mages' Guild has one major objective - to free his Grandfather from the Guild wh oseized him while Gray was away. Plenty happens and it is generally well-paced but Gray is at times annoying, spending too much time on agonising on what he has done/should do. I also found it unbelievable that Gray - who apparently has no romantic history at all ...more
Terri Jones
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
DNF: stopping at 68% after not wanting to continue for days.

There are interesting aspects to this story, but it reads like the plot was laid out as if at every point where something could happen, something terrible or scary does. There is no time to breathe, no rest, and this reader hit a fatigue wall. There doesn't seem to be much personal progress for our main character, and he doesn't seem to like...very much of anything, really.

So, yeah. Done.
Liz Barnsley
Jan 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Review to follow.
Gemma McGee
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lord of Secrets has one of my favourite opening pages/ first sentence in any fantasy book I have read. It had me smiling.  

Corcoran Gray is a character I liked straight away, he is sarcastic, smart, and he is trying to his best in a bad situation. His inner monologue is one of my favourite element of the book. Also Gray has a disability, which does affect his abilities. But it doesn't stop him.   

Another element I enjoyed about Lord of Secrets was the way in which magic worked. That magic poison
Heather K Veitch
Jul 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
I tried really hard to like this book, but most of the time I was confused. In terms of the opening, I appreciate the author thrusting the reader straight into the action, but I initially didn’t have much to go on in terms of the main protagonist's name/appearance, which really threw me for a ball. Here was a character, driven to illness through use of magic, who was in the middle of some kind of conflict due to the sudden appearance of a stranger — the second protagonist, who I got to know a li ...more
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book. I really did, buuuuut it fell apart around the 60% mark. And well, tbh, I was looking for books with LGBT+ representation and this is problematic rep and on top of that, the plotting is clumsy, Grey and Brix's relationship is all over the place. Lorican could have been interesting but he was barely present.
Oct 05, 2019 added it
Shelves: epic-fantasy, arcs, dnf
Unfortunately this book just wasn't for me, though I did enjoy the humour.
Sarah Wright
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
4/5 stars — seriously cool magic and entertaining character conflicts

One of the most captivating books I've read in months, Lord of Secrets drew me in with its system of poisonous magic and held my attention with a cast of strong-minded characters whose clashing personalities led to humor and horror in turns. Breanna Teintze's debut capitalizes on imaginative worldbuilding and classic rescue quest format but doesn't skimp on wit or atmosphere. I was hooked from the first chapter!

Main character C
Kate Avery
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites-2019
You know when you pick up a book and it’s an instant click, the kind that you are pretty sure of after the first chapter, well I had that with Lord of Secrets. I honestly had trouble putting it down and anytime I did I was itching to get back to this wonderful fantasy world.

The premise of this book is surprisingly simple but really well-executed. The magic was an awesome construct, I like that there was a give and take and that Grey was pushing the boundaries and showing what kind of toll it tak
Hannah Snell
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I found this book both a lot of fun and a bit of a struggle.

First, I loved the magic-casting system. It's based on reading runes, which have to be written somewhere, often on the caster's body. And casting magic has side effects, which can take the length of the spell to come into affect, leaving the caster ill and damaged by the toxicity. In addition to that is a race of people, the Tyrnaal, who can absorb the toxic effects of magic, and are used for this. Add to that is a political backstory a
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: epic-fantasy
My thanks to Quercus Books/Jo Fletcher Books for an eARC via NetGalley of Breanna Teintze’s debut novel, ‘Lord of Secrets’, in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first in a planned series titled ‘The Empty Gods’. It’s a fast-paced fantasy romp with a group of memorable characters. There is great dialogue and plenty of razor sharp wit as well as a highly engaging storyline.

Corcoran Gray is a wizard on the run. He is seeking the location of his imprisoned grandfather while avoiding the tyra
Leonie Byrne
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Thank you to Netgalley, Quercus Books and Breanna Teintze for my arc of Lord of Secrets in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Corcoran Gray is an outlaw wizard, and the Mages Guild... well the Mages Guild don't like that. For one, they've imprisoned his grandfather and Gray isn't having any luck finding him, that is until an escaped temple slave quite literally falls into his lap and seems like she could be the key to helping him get his grandfather back. It's fairly simple after all, all
Ella (The Story Collector)
Corcoran Gray is an outlaw wizard, on the run from the Mages’ Guild as he tries to figure out a way to rescue his grandfather from imprisonment. When he gets tangled up with fugitive Brix and they both get arrested, things don’t seem like they could get much worse. That is, until Gray realises that Brix could be the key to finding and releasing his grandfather. All they have to do is escape from the Guild, break into an ancient underground temple, and survive a meeting with a deadly necromancer. ...more
Okay, first things first: Jo Fletcher books were advertising their ARCs of Lord of Secrets, I requested a copy and they were very kind to send me one! So thanks so much to Jo Fletcher books for the generous offer! That said all opinions in this review are honest and 100% my own~
A fuller review can be found at my blog, Snowly's Rambles

I have to say, this book was a pretty good read; it did start off a little slow but it definitely got better as time went on. As soon as who I will call Mr J appear
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Jo Fletcher books and Breanna Teintze for sending me this copy for review. All thoughts of this book are honest and of my own opinion.

Well I loved this book, I really enjoyed the whole concept of a wizard on the run who has a purpose; the need to find his grandfather and how strong that need is. 

I was really drawn to the main character, Gray. I always gravitate towards characters that are broken and Gray certainly is that. He has grown up in a broken home where his grandfather saved
Helen French
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, sffh, 2019
Corcoran Gray, a rogue wizard operating outside the rules of the Mages Guild, is on the run and on a mission, desperate to recover an artefact that might save his grandfather's life.

He gets sat on in a haybarn (long story) by Brix, a young woman with secrets of her own, who is soon drawn into his plans. They pick up an old friend of his grandfather's and travel deep, deep into a temple, unaware of what's lying in wait for them.

This is an interesting start to a fantasy series, being in some ways
Matt McAbee
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Corcoran Grey unlicensed mage has been looking for his grandfather for months. This debut novel from Breanna Tientze is a wonderful tale full of magic and treachery. Grey is determined to find his grandfather and will go through all challenges including an immortal necromancer.
Lord of Secrets has a very original magic system where you have to write down the runes for the spell before they can be cast, but each spell you cast poisons you at the same time and requires the mages to either find a
Andover Library
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was definitely a bit of a slow burn to start with but even so it kept my interest. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened, but I suddenly realised I was completely invested in the story and definitely wanted to keep reading.

I love the magic system in this book. It’s so well thought through and believable. I really like how it can’t just be used on the spur of the moment or constantly without exacting a toll on the user.

Gray was an interesting and rounded lead, with plenty of flaws but stil
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