Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Sigil: A Novel - Part I” as Want to Read:
The Sigil: A Novel - Part I
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Sigil: A Novel - Part I

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  58 reviews

The Descent Meets The Magicians.

Why, then, does Lake think Devlin knew he was going to die before they ever set foot in the gas station that night? As he obsesses over his brother’s death, Lake begins to uncover a hidden world full of forbidden magic and growing danger. Now he’s stuck, caught between the world that his brother was meant for and his own. Lake is beginning
Kindle Edition, 385 pages
Published January 27th 2020
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Sigil, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Sigil

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  65 ratings  ·  58 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Sigil: A Novel - Part I
Miranda Reads

Just finished my 2020 Book-Year in Review BookTube Video - Click the link to see my recs!
The Written Review

New month, New Booktube Reading Vlog - tier-listing all the books read in July!
The Written Review

I must have missed something. Something important.
Lake Smithson had a charmed life. The keyword being "had".

Everything changed with a robber killed his brother, plunging him into an increasingly uncertain world.
Magic. He said magic. Holy crap. I'm Harry Potter.
Lake f
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

Actual Rating: 3.75 stars

“I know it’s probably selfish and corny and dumb, but I started praying that I’d just be happy.

I was provided an e-copy of the book in exchange of an honest review. This of course, does not change my review in any way. You also know that I don’t read much YA these days but I was excited for this book because it is an LGBT book written by an own voice male author and you know the YA genre does not have many YA male a
Stay Fetters
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
"And I know this world is complicated and hard and crazy, and that sometimes you feel you don’t belong. Hell, sometimes I feel like I don’t belong. But I want you here. Because you make me happy again.”

Sabriel meets The Descent in this high urban fantasy that you won’t ever forget.

A tragic death.
A dangerous obsession.
A desperate mission.

This is the diverse, own-voices fantasy novel that I have been waiting for. A lot of ones being released lose my interest quickly and I end up leaving them be
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"This is me now, and I will not let anyone walk all over me anymore."

The Sigil is the debut novel of a Own Voices author, Shakeil Kanish, co-writed with Larissa Mandeville. This is the book this gay man of color probably wished he could have read, with a male main character he could relate to, and that he wrote for himself and so others readers could have this hero in their life. There are so many LGBT+ books being released now, however myself and plenty of others readers wish for more Own Voice
Josie (frogsandfiction)
Big thanks to the author for providing an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I just wanna start by saying, that this book has a really intriguing premise with heaps to offer in terms of a gripping story and while I love the idea for this book, I think the execution could use a bit of work. It is important to note that the author has reworked some aspects of this novel since I’ve received my eARC copy, so it’s very possible that some, if not all, of the issues I had with this nov
Lucie V.
Apr 08, 2021 rated it it was ok
I was provided an e-copy of the book in exchange of an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

🆗 Characters
🆗 Pace
🆗❌ Plot
🆗❌ Writing / consistency
❌ Academy drama vibe

DNF at 50%

The beginning of this book is not bad, but I am not a fan of the whole “academy” trope in general, so while many people thought that the story got better after Luke started to go to the academy, it was not the case for me. Granted, I might not be the best to judge this book.

Lake’s brother was killed during a rob
Shakeil Kanish
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This is my novel and I just wanted to tell everyone who has this on their list of things to read I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did! Growing up a gay colored kid I never really had a lot of heroes in novels that I could look up to so I wanted to make one. I want kids of all shapes and sizes and sexuality all around the world to be able to look at my novel and see it doesn't matter who you are or if you have powers or magic you can still be a hero. Just by being yourself! :) ...more
"“I know it’s probably selfish and corny and dumb, but I started praying that I’d just be happy.”

"And I know this world is complicated and hard and crazy, and that sometimes you feel you dont belong. Hell, sometimes I feel like I dont belong. But I want you here. Because you make me happy again."

Many thanks to the author, Shakeil Kanish, for giving me an ARC in exchange for a honest review!

3.5 Stars. The Sigil: A Novel, albeit while having a rough start, is a promising debut novel from a n
Rebecca Crunden
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt-fiction, fantasy
Everything that happened led you to this place [...] and a boy who lost his voice and didn’t care if he’d ever get it back now wishes every day that he could just open his mouth and tell you all of this.

I really enjoyed this début novel from Shakeil Kanish and Larissa Mandeville! The main characters of Lake and Nova are great, and the bro angst really brought the FEELS. Brotherly love is something I adore in books, so of course this one tugged at my heart. ;_;

I want him to choose what he wants t
Dec 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 7-8-and-9
Thanks to the author for providing a ecopy of The Sigil in exchange for an honest review.

The Sigil follows Lake after the murder of his brother spurs him to look further into his life only to discover that his brother was offered a space at a magical school. Originally going in his brother's place, Lake works his way into a new school and hidden world.

I liked how casual this book was with Lake being gay since while YA is getting better at including queer characters, it normally focuses only on
Meg loves to read
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have often daydreamed what it would be like to go to Hogwarts for a Year - or even just for a day! As a muggle myself, I wonder if I could fit in with a school of wizards and witches.

Well, if you ever have wondered the same thing, then this book is for you. "The Sigil" by Kanish and Mandeville have taken my childhood daydreams and turned them into reality!

After Lake witnesses the violent death of his older brother Dev at the local gas station, Lake finds his ordinary world crumbling before hi
Bertie (LuminosityLibrary)
dnf - 49%

I'm fully aware that this book is going to go through another couple of edits before its release, so please take this with a pinch of salt. I think this book has a lot of potential, and the beginning is especially strong. The major reason I'm not going to continue reading it is the plot seems to have dwindled off, Lake has found a way into the school, and I've lost interest in where the story is going. I also found the tone a bit strange sometimes. It's a dark fantasy book but humour is
MM Book
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this dark, urban fantasy. But there were some issues I had with the story. First I thought the first person narrative didn't work because there were dual first POV, Lake and Nova, and it threw me off when the first 25% of the book was all Lake's POV, then it switched to Nova's. I thought the sudden switch of POV disrupted the flow of the story. I think it would have worked better as a third person narrative because of the sudden shift.
*Spoilers* I'll try not to reveal too much
Rogan Shannon
Thanks to NetGalley for providing this copy to review.

Representation: gay black boy MC, black girl MC

Lake Smithson is in a rut, trying to get into colleges and being declined from all of them. He experiences a great tragedy, and starts to spiral until he stumbles across an odd letter. With this, he discovers there's a whole hidden magical world that humans aren't allowed to be a part of. Of course, Lake fights this because he feels like he's finally found a place where he could belong. There's m
Tabatha Shipley
Dec 21, 2020 rated it liked it
What I Did Like:
-Lake. He’s a solid character with a lot of heart who has an interesting backstory. I like learning more about him and I like the way his story plays out. Great character!
-Action scenes. They’re intense, they’re well written, and they are easy to follow. They move at a good pace and give you a clear picture of what is happening.
-Magic. I always enjoy reading stories about Magic and this one was no different. I liked the background involved in this world and the originality of th
Mar 05, 2021 marked it as dnf
First off, thank you to the author, Shakeil Kanish, for reaching out to me and providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. You’ve been nothing but kind to me, and I appreciate you for that.

Now, let me get some things out of the way first. I only read 30% of this so I can only speak on what I read up until that point. And please consider taking this review with a grain of salt. I am a sensitive person, so certain things bother me more than they bother the average person. I
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 13, 2020 rated it liked it
The Sigil is a dark New Adult Fantasy that hit me in the feels early on, and didn’t let go until the very end, with a gripping plot, intriguing characters that I was able to cling onto, and an interesting, if not very dark, magic system and world. The pacing was quick most of the time, but I wish it was a bit more consistent and things were made clearer.

I did enjoy having both Lake and Nova’s PoV in the book (as well as the artwork of the characters to indicate a PoV switch), both having unique
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, arcs, lgbt
This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review - This is an advanced copy of the rewrite out in March.

One major thing I noticed throughout this book that kind of caught my eye were a few teeny tiny typoes (mostly shifting point of view to first person by accident) and I can let those go because this is an advanced reading copy, but I just wanted to make note of it just in case it passes to the final version. On that note, let's get into it!

This book hooked me from the be
Paige Green
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received this ebook from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Sigil

Author: Shakeil Kanish and Larissa Mandeville

Book Series: The Sigil Book 1

Rating: 4.5/5

Diversity: gay Black main charcter

Recommended For...: LGBT, fantasy, urban fantasy, magic

Publication Date: January 27, 2020

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Recommended Age: 16+ (slight violence, slight gore)

Publisher: Indie Published

Pages: 385

Synopsis: Shakeil Kanish and Larissa Mandeville hit the ground running with The Sigil
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Holy sh-" indeed.
I need the second book right now!
On another note: I really like the book!
Both main ptotagonists are so different but it fit right into the book and the story (Can we speak about the character art? I loved it! So beautiful drawn!) Nova's no shit attitude really spoke to me. Also the main characters are diverse (mute, poc, gay, adopted, plus size) and it's really good to read.
At first I head a difficult time to get into the story and get to know Lake, because it seemed like all y
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
*Please note: This book was still a work in progress at the time of writing this review*

In a time when the world is crying out for more inclusive fiction, "The Sigil" takes the lead by portraying characters (who are too often disrespected in real life) in a way that clearly says "Hey! We're just normal people" in a setting that is anything but normal (except in fiction!). The story is brilliant, and gained lots of smiles, a few tears, and a couple of utterances of "uh oh" from me. The writing is
Jacob Rundle
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an e-copy of this novel from Netgalley for a true and honest review. I rate it 5/5. Why do you ask? Well, buckle up...because I'm going to tell you. So, any good story has 3 components: Character/goal, conflict, and stakes, and I feel that Shakeil and Larissa did a fantastic job. The characters were so realistic and relatable. I love seeing a novel with a LGBTQIA+ main character. There were so many ups and downs that the novel held my attention. I WANTED to read the story. I feel that ...more
Amanda Sagen
Apr 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I requested a review copy of this book and here's my honest review.

This was a bit of a slow starter for me and took a bit to really get into it.
I can't quite pinpoint exactly what Lake (m.c) wants other than to get into the magic school, which made it difficult to work out the plot for me.
Overall, it was an ok story, though I'm not sure I will read anymore of the series.
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lgbtq
An ordinary boy who wants to be extraordinary.

The debut novel by Shakeil Kanish and Larissa Mandeville is set in our world where magic is just around the corner. Our protagonist, Lake Smithson, longs to be someone in this world. He finds himself at a school of magic, and does everything in his power to belong there.

I had some problems with the pace of the book. In my opinion, it could do with a bit more conflict in the beginning. The last part was stronger.

According to Amazon, this book is bein
Nancy (The Avid Reader)
The Sigil drew me in from the beginning as I watched Lake watch his brother Devlin die right before his eyes. I was in tears, tears were streaming down my face, I mean I couldn’t see the words on the page. The Sigil was so vividly written I could see it all playing out in my head and I could feel what the characters were feeling.

It was like I could see Lake ducking down behind a small freezer peeping over the top and watching as his brother dealt with the robber. I felt as if maybe Devlin could
Halo Scot
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this in a day, and I’m a super picky reader with book commitment problems. THAT’S how great THE SIGIL by Shakeil Kanish (@kanish_shakeil) and Larissa Mandeville is. There’s the same addictive energy as The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and The Magicians. Fans of these series will obsess over this book.

You’ll immediately fall in love with this LGBTQ dark fantasy. The plot is action-packed and blood-soaked with perfect pacing and epic concepts. This book has everything — a school for mages, a
Kimberly (Deity of Books)
Despite the weak beginning, this book had such a strong, unpredictable, and shocking conclusion.

The writing felt awkward and inconsistent. Sometimes it would be more formal and then it would suddenly change to a very casual tone. The pacing is also very awkward. The beginning was very paced well. In the middle, it was very okay but slow. The ending was more fast-paced and captured my attention.

I didn’t enjoy the dual POVs. I preferred Lake’s perspective to Nova’s. I couldn’t really differentiate
Sarah Coleman
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a very interesting read with a very enjoyable gay protagonist. I found myself reading it all in a day and really enjoyed myself. The concept behind this is original and I loved every word. Will definitely be looking forward to the second part.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review
Apr 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I feel bad for rating this book when in the front of the arc it's made very clear that this is still a work in progress being edited, because it does feel very unfinished at this stage.

It's not terrible by any means, but the way the novel is written right now feels very messy. Emotional beats don't land like they should, and it's difficult to really build an attachment to the characters because currently they're more of a collection of reactions to things that happen to them, rather than feeling
« previous 1 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Born in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy, #1)
  • The Gatekeeper of Pericael
  • Manchester Lake (Darkly Enchanted Romance, #3)
  • Vampironica, Vol. 1
  • Uncanny Magazine Issue 20: January/February 2018
  • The Best Week that Never Happened
  • Lashonda's Book of Poems and Songs
  • Bad Beat (Lady Luck #0)
  • Golden Girls: Thank You for Being a Friend
  • Uncanny Magazine Issue 15: March/April 2017
  • The Return of the Scoundrel
  • Squad
  • Oracle's Quest (Born To Be #1)
  • The Queen of Crows (The Sacred Throne, #2)
  • Odd Voices: An Anthology of Not So Normal Narrators
  • Clock's Watch (Clock's Watch, #1)
  • Cupid Hates Me
  • Charmcaster (Spellslinger, #3)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Shakeil Kanish loves to write, which, considering you’re holding this book, makes perfect sense. The Sigil is his debut novel and he’s super excited about being an openly gay author and getting the chance to write about an openly gay protagonist. He feels it’s something sorely missing from the writing world, and he wants underrepresented kids everywhere to be able to root for a new type of hero. H ...more

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
40 likes · 6 comments
“I know it’s probably selfish and corny and dumb, but I started praying that I’d just be happy.” 0 likes
More quotes…