Jennifer (bunnyreads)'s Reviews > Banebringer

Banebringer by Carol A. Park
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really liked it
bookshelves: tbrinder-request-books, 2018, bingo-r-fantasy-2018

The coolest thing about this book is the magic.

-The Banebringer’s are gifted/cursed (depending on who you talk to) with elemental type magic from their god/goddess. In the case of Vaughn, it’s the moon Goddess who gives him the power over water and the immensely handy trick of invisibility (something I always thought would be awesome but now would rather just snap my fingers and have my house cleaned).

If a Banebringer dies, a rip tears into the world and a monster will come through. The size of the monster is relative to the amount the Banebringer uses their powers, because of this and for other reasons you can read about for yourself, Vaughn, tries not to use his powers.

He gets by using the aether, the magic that has been left behind from the blood when a Banebringer bleeds (I pictured this like that airy charcoal stuff you get when you have something boil over in your oven, like a sweet potato). When Vaughn really has to, he can burn the magic out of his blood but it weakens him and he has to wait for his blood to rejuvenate, much like if you donated a pint at the blood bank.

It’s a very cool system. I liked how it worked. I like the fact there was ways around the gift so it didn’t make this group of people all powerful, I liked the fun stuff- like figuring out how the different god’s blood gift worked. And I liked speculating on how much worse or better things could get if everything was out in the open about the Banebringers and the Conclave.

We do see a bit of that kind of scenario in this book as the plot unfolds, but the thing I am most curious about has to do with Ivana’s and Vaughn’s findings and (view spoiler) I could rattle on speculating about this stuff all day but I will stop here.

-I liked the two leads. They start out with one of those learning to work together, hate to friendship type relationships, as their personalities clash like crazy. Their relationship does read a little like a romance formula with the ‘will they, wont they’ and being a huge romance fan, I equally liked this about it and didn’t like this about it (I will come back to that in a bit).

Ivanna is gifted-less she’s an assassin that runs an inn where she takes in girls/ladies that have are down on their luck. She’s serious, has a hard outer-shell, but underneath deeply cares for her little family of girls. She also doesn’t take anyone’s crap, especially Vaughn’s. She reminded me a bit of Bujold’s Cordelia. A more pent-up version but smart, capable, and caring of her people.

Vaugh is the playboy character so typical of these types of relationships. He seems shallow but really is just a lonely man who craves having someone to see him for something else besides being a Banebringer.

They both are sporting some big emotional scars and really just need someone to get past their defences and help them to heal and what better way than with each other, which is one of the best things about having a little romance in the story. (view spoiler)

I had a couple of issues- there was quite a lot packed into this story and I mostly felt it could be trimmed a bit here and there to tighten it up and clear up a few points, but there was nothing really that took away from my enjoyment.
The book has a little mystery, little romance, bit of action, a little conspiracy, lots of learning about the world and as I said before cool interesting magic! It’s altogether very readable and though this story was self-contained it felt like the doorway into what could be an interesting series. I am very curious to see what happens next.

Other notes:
I would have loved a cast of characters for the goddesses and their power gifted.

I liked a lot of the side characters and the glimpses we saw of them made me hope for returns from them in later books. Especially Allena, and Danton, and Yaotel

I never understood why the attack on the Banebringers hide-out from the monsters. I was never sure if it was to rescue the woman, or just to prove a point…

The scenes with the blood on the slides made me think of the Thing.

The aether drying made me think of the Terminator.

-Thank you to the author Carol Park, for generously providing a copy through Esme’s tbrinder matchmaking reviewer/author service, which you can find here at The Weatherwax Report-
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Reading Progress

July 26, 2018 – Shelved
July 26, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
July 29, 2018 – Shelved as: tbrinder-request-books
July 31, 2018 – Started Reading
August 3, 2018 –
30.0% "Well, huh.... that went a bit different (and buggier) than I thought."
August 6, 2018 –
50.0% "that thing with the bug lady was weird and creepy."
August 8, 2018 –
99.0% "Very readable and very cool magic! RTC"
August 9, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
August 9, 2018 – Finished Reading
November 19, 2018 – Shelved as: bingo-r-fantasy-2018

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