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The Price of Magic #1

The Ninth Sorceress

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In the blackest dungeon of the Clockwork City, a prisoner lies bound in silver shackles. Who is she? And why are the wizards so afraid of her?

Seventeen-year-old Gwyn has no family and no past. Apprenticed to a half-mad herbalist, she travels the snow-blasted High Country, hawking potions in a peddler’s wagon. Her guardian hides her from the world like a dark secret, and she knows better than to push for answers.

But when she discovers she is hunted by the goddess Beheret, Gwyn is drawn into a deep and ancient tale: of chained gods and lost magic, of truths long buried and the rising of a war she never could have imagined.

Wizards and their magic-sniffing hounds pursue her – as does a stranger in a smiling mask, who calls her by an unfamiliar name…

But what really terrify her are the dangerous gifts she’s spent her life suppressing. Now, Gwyn must step out of the shadows and take charge of her destiny – even if the price is her own soul.

The Ninth Sorceress is the breathtaking first instalment of The Price of Magic, a sweeping fantasy saga full of rich storytelling and tangible magic.

486 pages, ebook

First published February 13, 2020

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Bonnie Wynne

5 books79 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 99 reviews
Profile Image for Helen Scheuerer.
Author 30 books581 followers
September 18, 2020
It’s been a while since I’ve fallen so hard for a novel, but Bonnie Wynne’s debut swept me off my feet and refused to put me back down. Written in stunning prose, The Ninth Sorceress is a breathtaking book that’s brimming with worldbuilding you can almost touch, and a diverse cast of morally grey, but loveable characters.

This novel feels like ‘classic’ fantasy: epic adventures, magic and dark forces, as well as a beautifully crafted coming-of-age narrative. I can’t speak highly enough of this title. Would 100% recommend it to those who loved The Name of the Wind and The Queen’s Poisoner.
Profile Image for Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.).
401 reviews426 followers
February 4, 2020

WOW, I'm so surprised by this book! I really feel happy for having decided to read it. It's a super entertaining fantasy with so many plot twists that keeps you hooked from minute one. I really like and appreciate the details that the author has put in this book in such a unique way and make it stand out from the rest. It has a solid beginning, well-created characters and a captivating plot that's becoming more and more twisted. Maybe it has some details and situations that I 'd have changed or I'd have liked to have happened differently, but it's a super personal opinion, from my point of view, and I'll tell you more about it.


4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

You can find more reviews and more content in my blog A Book. A Thought.

It all begins in a dark cell inside the Mechanical City where they have imprisoned a young woman who will be the one who tells us this story, a story that follows Gwyn, a 17-year-old girl who lives in a traveling house with her caregiver through the Kingdom selling positions. She doesn't know much about her past or where she comes from, she only knows Acepis, the person who took her out from the streets and took care of her all her life. But one day everything changes for her when she discovers that she's wanted by the goddess Beheret and is there when she is introduced to a world she doesn't know, of chained gods and dark magic. With fearsome wizards and fierce hounds behind her, Gwyn must learn to survive while she meets a group of people who are willing to protect her. And while discovering her true identity, she must also take charge of a heavy destiny.

I had a huge nostalgia feeling with this book because reminds me a lot to old fantasy books, especially Harry Potter & City of Bones, you know when the "chosen one" must learn to use his powers and there's a lot of his life that they ignore and are almost thrown into a world full of dangers, and all this made it super fun. It has a super solid beginning, and one of my favorite things is that, in fact, the story as such is told by someone who you don't know who he is and then gradually reveals himself. I think that detail gives a whole new atmosphere to the book, super interesting, mysterious and intriguing as well. I also like that the Wizards are like the "villains" of the story, not their totality, but the majority of them are a threat to our main character and that's something quite original for me. There are also shapeshifters, which I adore, it's always a good addition, I find it fascinating it's a type of magic that I enjoy seeing and also handles hundreds of possibilities for the plot. And then we also have many ranks within the magic itself, but I think it's worth highlighting the necromancy since I think it's one of the most interesting and dark branches to explore, and that topic is touched a lot in the book.

I think that, at the beginning, it was very atmospheric and very beautiful, the places where the plot takes place are really nice, but I think while the development of the world progress it's super confusing for me, I like the map and I know that it's very thought out, it just didn't resonate much with me. There are too many mentions of places that you don't know during the story or where you never go or just go through a place and has a super complicated name and at that moment I found myself lost, even so, I know and I feel that this could be something amazing, so if you like world buildings, this could be a very interesting one to visit, although complex.

I like the writing style a lot, it's always a breath of fresh air when a writer gives you a plot that shows that it's complex but at the same time, it's well explained and easy to read despite being a very complete fantasy in all the senses. I would very much like to read more by the author in the future.

I think that one of the negative points, or at least not resonated with me, was almost towards the ending when more things begin to be revealed about the origins of the magic as such and the birth of the gods. On the one hand, I think the idea is great, I personally love when there are gods in books, but this time I felt that it was a lot of information for a single book and more when it's the beginning of a series. It's difficult to keep all that information while many things are happening with many characters, at times it feels recharged and can make you feel overwhelmed, you know?. I loved the idea, though, that's not the problem, but in a book that has a plot with so many twists and so many stories, I think it might have been more prudent to go slower and not throw all the information in the first book.

I liked the characters, especially Acepis, that although it has little protagonist, I usually love this type of character who are caregivers and masters who sacrifice themselves for others, I think it's very noble and I admire that. I like Gwyn, I think her decisions are decisions that I would make myself, I feel that she's easy to love and is a reasonable and quite mature person for her age, especially for all the super complicated situations that must happen, find out who she is, her relatives and the danger, is a lot for a young girl and she knew how to handle it quite well. With mistakes and everything, is a good main character that promises a lot of growth. There are many characters so I'll try to talk about the main ones: We have Faolan, he's like a necromancer master and at the beginning, I didn't like him very much, I was distrustful of him all the time, but in the end, I think he's a good character since he contributes a lot to the plot. Lucian's great and I enjoyed his relationship with Gwyn because although you know that there could be something happening there, never feels forced and is such a kind relationship of respect that I liked a lot, for now, I can say that it's a beautiful friendship. Idris is a super mysterious character that will surely have thousands of secrets yet to know, I don't want to talk much about him because I think the fun thing is to find out who he is and what his role in the story is. Ygriel's participation was super confusing at first, he appears in dreams and gives a lot of mystery to the plot and expectations of knowing who he is and what he will do, is very well created, although I think he needed more development as a character. In general, I think everyone is solid and everyone can grow in the following books, without a doubt.

So, it's a great story, it's about discovering who you are and what your role in life is, it's also about family and that it will always be the one we choose for us and those who support us. There's a lot of magic going on, gods with incredible powers and a highly political side of a fairly tyrant city. I think it's a great adventure and that it's very worth discovering more about it while you read, it's full of twists and never stops bringing new things to the spotlight, so without a doubt, is an author that will surprise you in the future. I highly recommend it if you like the "chosen one" plot, if you like to explore different types of magic, blood magic, black magic and so on, if you like political intrigue and especially if you want to discover many hidden secrets behind a dangerous and crazy family lineage

First Thoughts | 01-05-20

I enjoyed it a lot, in fact, much more than I thought I would!! It's such an entertaining fantasy with lots of adventure and interesting twists. I rememeber lot of my favorite fantasy series reading this one and now I can't wait for the next book! 😊👏🏻
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,765 reviews577 followers
January 20, 2020
Gwyn was only seventeen, but her very existence brought fear to magic users. Could it be the powers she has always suppressed? Has the life she has known been a lie? Is she meant to stand tall and take charge of her destiny and the destiny of the world around her?

Elegant writing that colors the atmosphere pulls readers in slowly, but once that hook is set, this s a totally engaging tale rich in details. From the beginning, there is a feel of a story waiting to unfold, which it does without rushing, allowing readers to savor each event from the past to the present, while knowing that the future could be explosive!

The characters are well-fleshed out as good takes another stand against evil and one girl will discover who she was meant to be. Fantasy lovers will enjoy the buildup, the adventure and the seemingly insurmountable odds against Gwyn.

I received a complimentary ARC edition from Talem Press! This is my honest and voluntary review.

Series: The Price of Magic - Book 1
Publisher: Talem Press; 1 edition (February 3, 2020)
Publication Date: February 3, 2020
Genre: Fantasy Saga
Print Length: 360 pages
Available from: Amazon
For Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: http://tometender.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Courtney Trestrail.
36 reviews5 followers
May 2, 2020
Really enjoyed this book! Hard to believe it is the authors first!

Beautiful writing + world building that I wish was allowed the time to go slower especially towards the end where the histories and the magic system were explained. But nonetheless! Excellent debut, rekindled my love of fantasy after being in a fantasy rut!
Profile Image for Laura Koerber.
Author 12 books183 followers
April 13, 2021
I got bored and quit reading. The writing is really good--word choice, sentence flow, apt metaphors etc. But I got tired of the main character's role as victim-who-doesn't-understand and keeps asking the same questions over and over, questions are are answered ambiguously just before another action scene forces more fleeing and running about. I just felt like I had read this book before.
Profile Image for Maudaevee.
441 reviews37 followers
March 21, 2020
I was caught up in the story right from the start and loved everything about this book! It was all done so well, the world building, magic system, characters, were all interesting and engrossing. I can't wait for the next in the series...
Profile Image for Sarah.
137 reviews25 followers
February 12, 2020
I received an advanced e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Probably the worst thing about reviewing advanced copies is that if you loved the book, you have to wait even longer for the next book in the series to come out - and this is my pain right now.
This book is AMAZING! I’ve been in a slump again for what has felt like forever, but The Ninth Sorceress has given me back what I had been missing for the past few months - my love for books and most importantly, my love for a damn bloody good fantasy.

We follow our main protagonist Gwyn through past and present situations - the novel starts off with her a prisoner and throughout the book we follow how she got there and also have chapters into the present again reminding us, the readers, that Gwyn is a captive.

I really really LOVED Gwyn, she was naïve due to her sheltered upbringing- a very intentional one-, but also so very strong. She trusts easily which sees her put in some interesting situations (aka a prisoner) - however, I didn’t find myself annoyed at her for her decisions. In other novels when the protagonist has been naïve and led to frustrating and bad situations I’d really be peeved off at the protagonist. But not in this case, I honestly felt so bonded to Gwyn throughout the whole novel that when her naivety come to play, I honestly felt for her and would have made the same decisions as her.

Whilst Gwyn does make “friends” throughout the novel, and we learn more about them and come to love most of them, the novel is really about Gwyn and her journey. It doesn’t get side-tracked by romance or complicated friendships, and for once I didn’t mind the lack of romance - I actually enjoyed it.

Goddesses (it’s never a good thing when Gods are involved), magic, necromancers (YES FROM ME!) corruption, secrets and lies set the scene in this novel and it packs a punch throughout it. The world building by Bonnie has been exceptionally done, the visualisation of each chapter played out in my head easily (this is a big must for me with any book – how can I fall in love with a book if I cannot picture it in my head!).

To say I loved the magic/sorcery in this book is an understatement. I thrived on it – I need MORE of it! It was fascinating and as readers we’ve only scratched the surface of what part it will play in this saga – one thing is for sure, a bloody big part.
The plot flowed so well, that I honestly would flick through pages with a dying need to know what happened next.

Whilst it did take me a little bit to get through the book, it wasn’t because of the book - it was my life. If I could have binged this book I honestly would have, I will honestly shut myself away when the next book comes out so I can binge it and then be sad that I finished it so quickly haha.

The Ninth Sorceress is a book that all fantasy lovers need in their life.
Bonnie has absolutely killed it in her debut novel and has left me wanting and needing more from this series and I honestly cannot wait to see what happens in the next book - I need more Gwyn in my life! (especially after that ending!!)

The countdown is on!
Profile Image for Lynn.
464 reviews6 followers
March 11, 2021
DNF @321 pages

All those lovely 4 and 5 star ratings had me almost slavering to read this book. Boy, was I disappointed!

The first annoyance whacked me between the eyes when, once again, the word 'smirk' is used in the wrong context (smirk has vindictive connotations and should never be used as a synonym for smile or grin). The second incongruity is the complete lack of evidence of any kind of meaningful relationship between Gwyn and Ascepis (or between Gwyn and anyone else, for that matter). Instead, we are given a series of verbal interactions that are meant to serve as an indicator of relationships but which fail dismally.

Indeed, I found Gwyn to be irritatingly self-absorbed, self-righteous and afflicted with a sense of entitlement that she has no right to, most notably in Chapter 21, where she is being sheltered in Idris’ home and demands to know what is in the cellar, in the belief that ‘she had every right to be there’. Yikes, talk about arrogant!

What finally killed the story for me was when Gwyn is instructed by Faolan to remove her clothing before she’s supposed to climb into a tub of icy water; an attack of prudishness has her declaring “I am absolutely not going to take off my clothes” before this utter dimwit climbs into the water WITHOUT REMOVING HER BOOTS! I kid you not!!

There’s a lot more, but I don’t think I want to waste any further time on a book that I haven’t enjoyed. That being said, I commend the author for having had the courage to tackle a writing project of this size.

Profile Image for Bronwyn Eley.
Author 4 books81 followers
January 15, 2020
You know what’s so great about the world of books? The fact that you will never run out of amazing books to read. Picking up my advanced proof copy of The Ninth Sorceress by Bonnie Wynne proved just that.

The first thing I noticed about Wynne’s book is her beautiful writing style. As an author myself, it made me want to be a better writer. Her sentences are like rich, delicious chocolate. Smooth, moreish, enticing. And her storytelling is much the same – I could hardly put this book down! Only when forced, my friends, only when forced.

Wynne’s story is a grand adventure, pure and true. The moment I opened the book, I was lost in the world she had created. I loved the opening too because it created so much intrigue. Peppered throughout the novel are snippets from the present day and I loved making the connections and trying to figure out what was going to happen. When the arc of the first book came together at the end, I was dying to know more!

It’s books like these that make me love reading.

This book is out next month and it is essential you put it on your Goodreads TBR list.

Plus, it has a STUNNING cover and needless to say it will make excellent #bookstagram photos 😉
Profile Image for Benjamin Fellows.
7 reviews2 followers
April 12, 2020
Hot damn!!!

I am so damn blown away by this amazing book!
I have never been so captivated by a book and so intrigued by an awesome cast of characters!

Bonnie writes in a way that paints a beautiful, vivid picture of the world and the characters inhabiting it, while maintaining a steady, gratifying pace.

Its been a long time since I have been this desperate to read the next book in the series!
Maybe not since Harry Potter as a child...

Please Bonnie, please let it be soon!
Profile Image for Olivia Estelle.
13 reviews1 follower
February 18, 2020
This book was highly anticipated, and it definitely did not disappoint! A beautifully written, sweeping fantasy that drew me in from the first words on the page! What a brilliant debut. Can't wait for the rest of the series!
Profile Image for Megz.
8 reviews
July 4, 2022
Hello obsession. I am finally writing this review because I think this series deserves more than what it's getting. I never really thought I was a good judge of a book. If I finish a book and continue the series then it's a good book but I never really thought that why I happened to like a book was worth writing a review. However, I just read a review from someone who gave this book 2 stars because the author used "smirk" the wrong way and the main character was annoying. So maybe I can do this...

I started reading this series when the third book came out. I really thought that I hated it. I thought that it was too confusing and left me with too many questions. But that's why I continued reading the series. It had this mysterious ancient history angle that reeled me in. I thought the third book was the end but nope. It's an unfinished quintet and all of the books end with cliffhangers. When I found out that I had to wait for two more books, I was so mad and I think that's why I thought I hated the series. I needed this mystery solved and I'm an impatient brat. I was, and still am, certifiably obsessed. When I first finished the 4th book, An Echo Through The Veil, I was still upset because I didn't think that it answered enough questions. But then I started picking the series apart. I spent this last week going through the series from the beginning and putting all of the pieces together. If you're familiar with It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and the Pepe Silvia conspiracy, that's me (still me). I even went to the author's website and joined the mailing list so I could get a download of the prequel novella, The Eighth Sorceress. It's not super necessary to understand the plot but it really helped me connect some dots. I hope my theories are validated in the fifth book. (Or maybe there will be another prequel novella before the fifth book!?)

The first book in this series lays a solid foundation for the rest of the series. The things that I loved about it besides the mysterious ancient history:
- The world building was explained by traveling to different places
- No royalty and politics involved
- There was no impending war with some evil neighboring kingdom to take up the entire plotline of the series. This trope is just so predictable
- The determination of the main character. My girl Gywn grows through so much through the series and damn she's not perfect but she tries so hard and for that I am proud of her.
Overall, I love this series. Yes, it's a bit confusing but pay attention and persevere because it does get explained further down the line. If you don't like it because it doesn't answer any questions then continue reading the rest of the books. If you don't like it because of how the author writes then get over it and move on.
Profile Image for OldBird.
1,518 reviews
September 20, 2021
Having finish with this book, I am absolutely livid with it. Why? Because it was so. Darn. Good. I mean, the unholy child of Sabriel and Prince of Thorns (taking more after mother) kind of good. The kind of good that had me going - wait, I'm not reading it but I'm thinking about it all the time sort of good. Plus the cover; a pretty like that never hurts. A few niggles might have meant it wasn't the fivest-star 5 star thing I ever read ever, but dang this books has got this plot driven fantasy business down.

I get the feeling anyone looking for your usual YA fantasy won't find what they're looking for here, but that doesn't mean there's not plenty to love if you're in the mood for something less character and more world/plot centric.

I'm just so mad it was so good... And so sad it's part 1 of a planned 5 in a (currently - 2021) unfinished series. It could also do with a dash more character/relationship time, and a smidge of explanation to the world lore, but hey, I'm picky.

It's the story of Gwyn, a seventeen year old girl who lives with a travelling alchemist in a land where magic is highly regulated by the jealous Syndicate of mancers (or "wizards" if you want to be delightfully colloquial). Not that she or her mentor have anything to worry about in that regard, until suddenly mancers are appearing everywhere and they're looking for a girl like Gwyn. She has to put her faith in shapeshifter Lucian and the renegade necromancer Faolan to get her to the safety offered by a mystery man named Idris, avoiding the deadly magics and the rumours of vengeful gods that plague their journey. She must learn to master the magic sleeping inside her, and discover just how she came to be who - and what - she is.

The prologue harks to events after the story and starts us off on a dark note, which for me was an instant attention grabber. Those future interludes happen at times during the narrative to provide us with the perfect level of foreshadowing of things to come.

I won't lie and say Gwyn comes across as the most interesting of characters; in fact, the characters aren't exactly the stars of the show in the way a lot of YA fantasy novels insist they should be. They drive the plot without needing to stop for witty banter or snarking matches; one slightly awkward comment aside whereby Gwyn "notices" Lucian's chest, there isn't even a hint of YA romance that usually sets my eyes rolling. The focus is the story with the characters being only as built up as they need to be without feeling shallow or disappointing. Faolan's probably the strongest side character presence, if just because he's built up to be an unlikable person, though perhaps hiding a bit of gold inside that blackened heart of his. He's mean, but he has his reasons for being the way he is. I also really loved that Gwyn isn't an off-puttingly hormonal, bratty teen. Contrary at times, yes, but otherwise she's just... A person. She learns things, but never becomes an over-powered Mary Sue. Definitely a female character of the strong (well, strong-ish in terms of always being herself - she does get swept along by events rather than cause them) persuasion, but there's nothing about her that made me think a male reader would huff about this being a "girl" sort of book. Because honestly, it's not.

The world reminded me strongly of Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire: cold, nordic vibes with hints of earlier civilisations that are more advanced than you'd have thought. The "gods" too have something of the grimdark about them, even if the lands of the Ninth Sorceress aren't as on-screen brutal or adult. In tone, it's a lot more Sabriel. Descriptions are spot on, and there's plenty of lore to get your head around.

However, it was the world building that was where I had some problems. A few things aren't explained very well (such as when Gwyn first comments on "the Pyramid" and, other than assuming it's some kind of pyramid-shaped thing, I had no idea what it was ), and the backstory of why the gods might have something to do with Gwyn's situation seemed to have a number of holes that I couldn't believe no one made note of.

Gwyn herself also suffered from a bit of confusion about things. Her feelings about her miserly mentor Faolan could be a bit flip-flopped: magic is evil and he's a monster despite us seeing him doing some good things to help her, then later when he's doing some incredibly questionable things she's decided he's alright, until later on he's a monster again. She knows mancers are magic-users, but later queries if they're the same thing as "wizards". She knows nothing about magic, yet knows something about the lore surrounding the gods and sorceresses... But fails to share it with us (see "the Pyramid"). I hate to say it, but a basic fantasy glossary of gods and magic schools (those details wouldn't spoil anything) would have been a boon, because I couldn't keep track of who or what was why and how!

But the writing is darn captivating, and this from someone who looks for books based on character more often then plot. Simmering tension keeps the slower pace manageable, and each chapter made me want to know just that little bit more. Later on I'm not sure it felt quite as strong, what with the things that had me confused turning out to be very important to events and a few things feeling a bit rushed.

The end, of course, is a to be continued. If I'd known it wasn't a finished series, I probably would have held off because it's such a complex amount of lore to keep in mind I was forgetting it while reading.

For all my complaints, I would wholeheartedly recommend this mildly grimdark YA gem to anyone who loves a good slow-boil plot without all the trendy YA trappings - basically, you want a good story that could be read by anyone YA and up with a twisted take on the usual fantasy world of myths and legends, this is it.
Profile Image for Kahlia.
533 reviews37 followers
September 27, 2020
Firstly, I'm so glad to see more Aussie fantasy YA out there (we've had some great contemporaries in recent years, but we can always use more fantasy). The first half of this book was incredible... this felt like it was building up to be a darker than usual take on many of the usual YA fantasy tropes, and I was rooting for Gwyn to both literally and figuratively throw off the shackles and take charge of her own destiny. I thought the divisions within the magical community, and the blurred lines between white and black magic were fascinating, and expected them to be a key source of tension moving forward.

Unfortunately, things petered out (or alternatively, ramped up) in the second half - there were constantly new villains, and new forms of magic to be mastered, and I suddenly felt a bit overwhelmed and like this book had lost sight of its core story. I was honestly struggling to keep track of who everyone was and all the various place names for a while there... I also felt like this book needed to show, rather than tell us, about the bonds between various characters. For example, and then barely thinks about him again.

Finally, this book ends with a lot of plot points forgotten/as yet unresolved, but I'm not sure if I'm engaged enough with the characters to read the sequel (I'm on the fence at this point), which is always a frustrating place to be in, especially when this book started off so well.
Profile Image for Ozsaur.
698 reviews
March 27, 2021
Phenomenal world building wasted on a bland main character. Gwyn. Poor thing. Never had a moment of real agency.

Gwyn has spent her life on the road with her guardian, Acepis. She's kept in complete ignorance about her parents, and about pretty much everything else. The one time she disobeys her guardian, she gets beaten back into submission (not by him). No making decisions for Gwyn! The narrative wants to keep Gwyn in line so she can puppet through the plot.

The world building is really good. There are the wizards who want to maintain their power at any cost. Different gods and goddesses who turn out to be something else. There are all the people who want to protect Gwyn by keeping secrets, and telling lies. For her own good, of course. Secrets and lies are always a good idea when you're trying to keep someone safe.

How the magic in this universe works turned out to be very interesting. I would have loved to have seen more of the machinations of the Scions. More of the wizards. More of pretty much everyone but Gwyn. *sigh*
Profile Image for Jacq.and.the.readstalk.
256 reviews8 followers
September 16, 2021
2.5 An interesting blend of fantasy and elements of Nordic mythology to create a grand journey of magic.

The plot starts out as intriguing but then it lulls pretty soon after. The world-building is so detailed and paints such a clear picture.

Gwyn, the MC, is likeable until she gets stubborn. She want to throw up in every single chapter which got irritating. I really liked the character of Lucian, he was interesting and I wanted to learn more about him. Faolan is just a prick.

You can tell this story has been thought out with a lot of work and planning, and is special to the author, but I couldn't understand it and make any emotional connections with the characters. The magical hierarchy was really confusing to me (regarding the Syndicate). There are quite a few pages of info-dumping

I had a lot of high hopes for this but unfortunately I lost the drive to keep reading it, having to force my way through it. I won't be picking up the next up book, but I would still urge people to have a go.
June 9, 2020
Absolutely amazing! A definite must-read.
Never have I ever been so engrossed in a book. After every chapter I felt this urge to just pick it up again as if Faolan had ropes around my wrists, impossibly addictive!
I have to admit I’ve never really been that into fantasy books, but this book has completely changed that. I’m so eager to read the upcoming second book to the series and the third and hopefully so many more.
At first I found it quite difficult to keep up with so many different characters, towns, wizards, sorceresses etc. but in the end it made everything so much more believable and enjoyable, and it was all necessary.
Something that I was really impressed with, in this book, was the characters I absolutely fell in love with all of them and became so invested in them, especially Faolan - got a big soft spot for him.

Profile Image for gwendalyn _books_.
866 reviews28 followers
March 31, 2020
The Ninth Sorceress

This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

The Ninth Sorceress is the breathtaking first instalment of The Price of Magic, a sweeping fantasy saga full of rich storytelling and tangible magic

The Ninth Sorceress is the first book in the young adult epic fantasy series,
A stunning debut author has captivated me right from the very beginning in this stunning, soon to be epic fantasy series. Brilliantly executed, magical adventure, with a faced paced, edge of your seat thrill ride. Well developed world building, and intriguing fleshed out characters and a riveting plot line keeps the reader completely immersed within this engaging book. The book is seamless, and the writing flows perfectly. Bonnie Wynne’s intricately lyrical prose is lush and wonderful. A delightful book filled with loads of magic, mystery and gods, to keep you interested from start to finish.

@talempress @itsbonniewynne
#ThePriceOfMagic #TalemPress #TheNinthSorceress #BonnieWynne #gwendalyn_books_ #FantasyBooks #ClassicFantasy #EpicFantasy #FantasyRea
Profile Image for Chabberwocky.
19 reviews6 followers
March 2, 2020
I absolutely loved The Ninth Sorceress!! I enjoyed the unique magic and the addictive world building.

I have so many unanswered questions!!!

I can’t wait until the sequel comes out. ❤️
Profile Image for Frances Joson.
36 reviews
July 26, 2021
loved the plot, characters, and the world. what a tale! those last few pages were also insane. so excited to see what happens next!
Profile Image for Lauren.
63 reviews15 followers
December 1, 2020
This is one of my favorite fantasy novels I have read to date! By the end of the novel, I was totally gripped. I can't wait to read the next one.
1 review1 follower
May 13, 2020
I absolutely loved this book. So much so that this the first time I've taken time to write a review on goodreads. And I'm doing it because this is a debut author and there aren't that many reviews yet, but the reviews I DID see were outstanding and that was why I read it and so I'm doing my part to spread the word, because I think it's deserved. :)

Yes, it's not perfect. And yes, I'm a grown adult and it's yet another story with a teenage protagonist in a fantasy world. But I still LOVED it. The writing was clear, the pacing was great overall, and the magic system, world, and characters were amazing. If all fantasy books were of this caliber, I would have a much easier time finding fantasy books I like to read as an adult (sometimes I miss when I was a kid and could read things with lower standards hah).

Light spoilers below:
I especially loved that this was a fantasy world where the female main character was not involved in any sort of romance - not even really a hint of it. Nor was she raped or assaulted. Nor did she get pregnant. The plot did MENTION the possibility of these things (in a sense) and use that reference as a way to move the plot forward in one instance for Gwynn (and it was a major plot point for another character who we hear of but never meet), but overall I felt this was way way WAY less than almost any other fantasy book with female characters. I really get tired of female protagonist's stories being driven by rape, or almost being raped, or falling in love with someone, or an arranged marriage, or getting pregnant, or choosing not to get pregnant. Sometimes I just want to read their stories the way we so often get to about men - just about them, and not "what happened as a result of their being viewed as a sexual or reproductive object". I would've loved to read this as a kid, when I was desperate to read more than the handful of fantasy books that didn't involve romance or rape for a lead female character. I don't mind romance as part of the story, especially happening further down the line, but often these characters are teenagers. That shouldn't and doesn't have to be a major part of the story so soon. They should grow into their own person and have their own story and life first - it just makes the story better and richer to get to know that person first (much like in real life :) ). Again I don't mind it sometimes, even right off the bat. And I get that it's a reality for women that their lives are often shaped by this gender role and it shouldn't be brushed under the rug, but variety in the way we tell women's stories would be nice. Also - and even more spoilers below -

I really appreciated that at the end, her power was greater than ever before. So so often in fantasy stories, main characters have great power, and then they lose that power (for some random, last minute reason) and settle into a regular, civilian life after they've done the one thing they were destined to do. Interesting sometimes, but boring when it's every fantasy author's go-to. It just starts to seem lazy. What happens if doing the thing they're supposed to do just means that they're more powerful, and that others have to interact with this person or woman who has both done the thing and become more powerful by doing it, rather than diminishing? I mean can people only appreciate a woman for doing something great, if they're no longer intimidated by them and it's all in the past?

One thing I did notice was that there were very few other female characters. A few appeared about halfway through the book but we only got to know their stories in a minimal sense. That's fine for a book or two, and made sense given the main character's minimal exposure to the outside world, but I hope further down the line we get to see more female characters, and just get to know all the characters a bit better.
Climbing down off of my soapbox now. :)

Anyway, I highly recommend this book. It's a brilliant fantasy debut, in an interesting, well-thought out world and magic system, with interesting characters who do things that make sense for who they are as individuals (for the most part) rather than artificially doing what they need to do to move the plot along. The biggest bummer for me is that I read it so soon after it was released, so I'm going to have a long wait for the next one!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for K.B..
Author 36 books28 followers
August 15, 2020
It took me a few days to get through The Ninth Sorceress, which surprised me. The book has generally very positive reviews - while there's a few low starred ratings on GoodReads, there's not many actual negative reviews. But it didn't hook me in like I'd expected.

There was nothing wrong with the writing, but there was nothing special about it either. It was solid, unobjectionable prose...with nothing that screamed "wow". No moments of awe at the writer's skill or imagination. The story itself, at least for the first 80% or so, was also very standard - a typical "orphaned average girl discovers she's the chosen one and is whisked away to a secret hideout while she learns magic powers" trope that didn't hold any suspense or excitement. There were also a few things that didn't make sense, including characters knowing or accepting things they shouldn't, and a few plot conveniences.

But the end of the book shook things up a bit, and I was pleased to find it featured at least one "didn't see that coming" moment. I love the description of the landscape the characters travelled through which was more than just "woods" or "icy mountains": the author clearly put more thought than most into what it actually looked and felt like, describing the shape of the trees as wind-swept and hunched, for example. That this book was the author's baby for many years shines through very clear, especially in moments like those.

I think if I wasn't so jaded with all the fantasy books that have had the same plot and characters as this one, I would have enjoyed it more. As it was, it just didn't have enough to set it apart.

"The traditional Sequentialist school of thought said the Four Towers should be taught step-by-step; that the student should master the first before moving on to the second. For a practitioner of illegal necromancy, Faolan was strict on following the rules."
Profile Image for May.
31 reviews5 followers
February 16, 2020
Like many other publications from Talem Press, the Ninth Sorceress is a hidden gem in the realm of Fantasy. Since I’ve started trying to write my own novels and short stories, I’ve developed an entirely new appreciation for the elements of a story. World building is hard. Crafting characters is hard. Writing a compelling plot is hard. And the writers of Talem Press always seem to do these things impressively with Wynne being no exception.

The Prologue of The Ninth Sorceress had me hooked the second I learned that the prisoner was female. The last time I had read a female prisoner was Throne of Glass, so this captured my attention for some reason. When we meet the wizard, it’s clear that her gender has done nothing to protect her from torture and inquisition - something that other fantasy novels will often gloss over as they write about war.

Intro aside, Gwyn was an incredible character whose past and present were gripping throughout the novel. This may be a fantasy novel, but the plot incorporates almost thriller-esque elements as we try to unravel who she is and how she ended up in a maximum security prison. Why is she held captive? What is she guarding that’s worth the torture she endures? I love the suspense and tension that builds as we move from the prison scene, to moments of Diane’s youth, and then the general unveiling of plot points. Honestly, I found the plot-oriented focus and lack of unnecessarily complicated relationships refreshing.

I think Wynne also subverts one of my least favourite tropes of all time - the chosen one. Despite Gwyn’s powers and the fear she incites in everyone, no one is relying on her to be the saviour of anything. She’s powerful. But instead of being exalted, this power has won her a stay in prison.

I don’t want to give anything away, but this is definitely a book worth reading.
81 reviews4 followers
January 24, 2020
**Book Review** We are both huge fans of @talempress and reached out for a copy of The Ninth Sorceress by @itsbonniewynne because we absolutely loved the Oremere Chronicles by @helenscheuerer . The release date is 13th February and the ebook will be available on Amazon 🎉

As a bit of background, Talem Press (latin for ‘empower’) is an independent Sydney-based publishing house that aims to ‘empower’ both authors and readers. They focus on publishing fantasy books featuring unlikely heroines and magic (which is my favourite genre!).

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Gwyn has no family and no past. Apprenticed to a half-mad herbalist, she travels the snow-blasted High Country, hawking potions in a peddler’s wagon 🧙🏻‍♂️. Her guardian hides her from the world like a dark secret, and she knows better than to push for answers. But when she discovers she is hunted by the goddess Beheret, Gwyn is drawn into a deep and ancient tale: of chained gods and lost magic, of truths long buried and the rising of a war she never could have imagined.

Wow. Wow. Wow. I was absolutely hooked from the very first chapter. Bonnie weaves a rich and intricate story filled with magic and gods and secrets ✨. Also how stunning is the cover?!!

I loved Gwyn and my absolute favourite character is Faolan. I’m a sucker for a morally grey character with amazing one liners. His dry sense of humour never failed to make me laugh.

Throughout the novel there are little snippets from the present day which created so much intrigue. You get fully immersed in the world which is exactly what a good fantasy novel should do. Also. ALL THOSE REVEALS. I am still shook. I need to know what happens next!! This was an amazing debut novel Bonnie 🔥, I can’t wait for book 2!
4.5/5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟💫
- K 📖
Profile Image for Bron.
304 reviews7 followers
February 20, 2020
**Thanks so much to Talem Press for sending me the ebook for review **

The Ninth Sorceress is the first book in a new series, and it definitely felt like a first in a series book. There was quite a bit of background about the society and magic to be introduced, and I feel like this was done pretty well.

I had a little bit of trouble figuring out some of the timing of the story, but I did feel like enough time was passing for Gwyn to grow and change, and for her relationships with others to do the same. I liked that Gwyn is quite a reluctant - and maybe disbelieving - chosen one, and there was an authenticity in this portrayal of the chosen one trope that really appealed to me.

Something that really worked for me was the way that it is a story in a story - I loved that we had the 'present day' prisoner telling the story, and it made me really keen to try and figure out what would happen next as the story went along - who the prisoner was going to be and what had led her to be there. I thought this sort of mystery element of the book was really engaging.

Overall, a lot of the overall vibe reminded me of the book in the Throne of Glass series where Aelin spends a lot of time learning to use and control her magic, so readers who enjoyed that aspect of Aelin's story might also be really into this one. It read a little bit to the younger side of the YA age span and could be a good introduction to the genre for someone looking for something a little bit more grown up, but not as full on as some of the other series out there. I think The Ninth Sorceress set some great ground work for the next books, and I'm looking forward to seeing what Gwyn (and Bonnie!) has in store for us next!

I gave this one 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Jenny (Bookbookowl).
559 reviews231 followers
February 4, 2020
Thank you so much to Talem Press for providing me with a copy of The Ninth Sorceress in exchange for an honest review!

Gwyn is a traveller with her guardian, a herbalist and fortune teller (but not a wizard, because wizards are not welcome in these parts of town). After a terrible encounter with some locals, Gwyn is healed of her physical wounds, but things she overheard mean her questions are just beginning. When she ends up on the run, she could never have imagined the creatures she would meet, the truth about her past, or just how dangerous her future could be.

Told in alternating chapters of Gwyn’s story, and a present day prison cell, where an investigator is attempting to force information out of a prisoner everyone seems to be terrified of, the time jumps were well done and never left me feeling like I’d lost the thread of the story.

The Ninth Sorceress is full of magic and intrigue. With a fast paced plot and some truly incredible and three dimensional characters, I devoured this book in one sitting. There were so many twists and turns that made The Ninth Sorceress an unexpected brilliant adventure. Bonnie Wynn’s writing is absolutely magical and I’m looking forward to reading more of her stories in the future!
132 reviews1 follower
February 15, 2021
I can't quite put my finger on the cause but this book never really grabbed me. I meandered my way through 3/4 of it before we got a huge info dump that promised detailed plans for a deeper story and slowly revealed conflicts and... I just didn't care. The main character is untethered from the world, only reacting to things happening to her and people chasing her. The supporting cast are all very bland and simple characters, mostly because there is very little time dedicated to giving them much of a personality. The world might have a rich and detailed underlying background but it feels utterly generic as the character traipse around various location that are described in some detail only to be immediately left and never visited again.

There is nothing in particular I can point to and say is wrong with the book but after getting through 82% there is also not a single thing that I really enjoy. I had barely 75 pages remaining a month ago and despite repeatedly trying to come back to it and see how it ends, I've only managed to read 15 pages in that month. I think its about time I admit that I really don't care.
1 review
May 15, 2020
Two things bothered me with The Ninth Sorceress, it ended and book number two is not out yet!⁣

I've always admired fantasy books authors, it takes talent to allow the reader to immerse himself or herself in a fictional world, to break away from reality and believe in the impossible. One thing is certain, Bonnie Wynne successfully achieved all of these. ⁣

I particularly enjoyed the fact that she found inspiration in things that we all already read about, and yet succeeds in creating a world, imagining a story, that both turn out to be completely new and unique. The Ninth Sorceress is a book that intrigues at first and the more we read, the more we get into it, our curiosity turns into obsession, to the point of finding ourselves unable to put the book down. ⁣

Through her smooth and captivating writing style, Bonnie Wynne manages to grab the reader's attention, leaving him or her with no other choice but to keep reading.
Profile Image for Megan Gilbert.
13 reviews8 followers
December 27, 2020
Yeah wow, I’m kind of at a loss for words. Bonnie’s writing is the perfect balance between easy to read and simply stunning. She has created a beautiful world and captivating characters—and that ending! Heck!

Do I feel like I need a diagram to lay out the history of this land? Yeah, kind of. Am I simply captivated and now waiting on the edge of my seat for book 2? ABSOLUTELY. What a debut!
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