Jennifer (bunnyreads)'s Reviews > The Arcane Ward

The Arcane Ward by Jeffrey L. Kohanek
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really liked it
bookshelves: tbrinder-request-books, 2018, ya, fantasy-adventure

If you enjoyed A Warden’s Purpose you’ll want to read The Arcane Ward, which returns us to the world of Issalia after Quinn and Everson’s recruitment into ICON, the organization that is working to help keep Issalia out of the rule of radicals.

This world is kind of like the first Captain America movie (think Red Skull type of magic enhanced machinery, and Hydra/Shield) meets Agent Cody Banks (teens, action, crushes, and infiltrating enemy territory) in a fantasy world setting. What can I say, it’s fun. It’s the kind of stuff my kid would have loved to read.

We have a lot of new faces this time around- Mainly the twins, Cass and Brandt, who are kind of big trouble-makers because they’re a bit too smart for their britches. So, after a particularly bad prank Dad and mom (who happen to be the King and Queen) send the little brats darlings off to ICON to focus their mischievous natures into something more productive and hopefully curb their teenage penchant for trouble.

Also new- the twins’ elder brother, Broland. As the direct heir he stays back home, but gains a friend in Koni- a lord’s son that is sent to train with Broland. Personally, I would have liked more time with these two, seeing them become friends and hanging out and gaining that connection we are only somewhat shown, and mostly told. It would have added impact to later events, if we had.

Back at the school/headquarters- are Quinn and Everson. We see Everson (if you’ll remember he is this world’s Q) settling in and building interesting things incorporating the Runes magic into tech stuff, and neat little gadgets to help his sister and fellow teammates out while they’re doing field work. And Quinn (of course is his 007) is sent on her first mission alone as handmaid/lady’s maid to a noble lady in hopes that she will hear gossip about stuff around the citadel and get close to the Archon Varius, and find out what the Empire is planning.

There are few other people, some returning (like Jonah, Iko, Rena) and a couple new faces or at least faces I don’t remember (Curan, Chuli a Tantarri- horse breeder/plains-lady type character).

This was a very fast-paced read and it felt like there was a lot going on in this book with stuff happening in different cities and not just all at the school, as we follow separate characters story lines around the country.

Though the story did spend most of its time with the two main lines (the twins and Quinn and Everson) I did wish even more time could have been spent fleshing out the scenes of a couple of the other key people, and dropping some of the minor people because it seemed to move right on through to some of the big events very quickly. But, that might really just be me wanting more time with Koni and Broland’s storyline and after reading several epics in a row, forgetting that this is a YA/teen and that it’s supposed to be quick-paced.

This one also feels a little more grown-up in a lot of ways, as our main characters are the ones that are having to step up and take-action which results in betrayals and death, some of the stuff that we only saw “bad guys” do last time. Still it’s not very graphic or over the top. They’re also seeing some of the people on the other side of this war as human and not totally bad people.

3.5 A few little nitpicky things but still a good addition to the series. I would come back for more because it's a fun little action-packed story, with friendships, and lots of cool rune magic/inspired gadgets.

Other notes:

-occasionally when we are being reminded of something that happened off-screen by characters conversing, it comes off more like narration than characters sharing a memory- which is probably the little nitpick that took a slight amount off my final score. .

-Darn it, Iko! Why must you be so bad?! I have to admit he’s my favorite character because he really does seem to regret his actions even though he follows through with them anyway. Darn him anyway.

-Everson, you came across a bit fickle after that whole thing with Rena, and then Ivy.

-I totally didn’t catch on to that one twist and I probably should have because I wondered half-way through where this person was.

-Thank you to the author Jeffrey L Kohanek, 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 29, 2018 – Shelved
July 29, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
July 29, 2018 – Shelved as: tbrinder-request-books
August 10, 2018 – Started Reading
August 12, 2018 –
40.0% "Haha! It's a magic run skeet shooting machine!"
August 15, 2018 –
90.0% "Nicely timed use of the compact."
August 29, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
August 29, 2018 – Shelved as: ya
August 29, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy-adventure
August 29, 2018 – Finished Reading

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