Release Day Review: Sunbolt (The Sunbolt Chronicles, #1) by Intisar Khanani


The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.

When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detain—and execute—a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. But there are more secrets at play than Hitomi’s, and much worse fates than execution. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

It seems to be a matter of course that I love what this author writes—probably because she writes about a lot of fighting and a lot of magic. Sunbolt is a fast-paced, quick read that still has excellent character development and world-building packed into less than 200 pages.

The plot:

This novella is clearly setting it up for the rest of the series as we are introduced to a cast of dynamic, dimensional, and diverse characters in a short space of time. This story moves quickly, yet still manages to flesh out the individuals and the setting in a way that they are memorable and have stuck with me. There are a lot of questions asked throughout this book and though it ends satisfactorily, by the end we are left ravenously hungry for answers, a cruel plot by the author, no doubt, to make us lust after the next series installment.

The characters:

Hitomi was a type of character I have been missing lately—strong, brave, smart, yet compassionate. I especially like how she was willing to forfeit her life for people she barely knew, even ones who had betrayed her, and how she was courageous even when it looked like there was no way out. She’s been through a lot, will doubtless go through a lot more, but doesn’t crack under pressure and tries to do the right thing.

I’m trying to figure out if I can mention one of my favorite characters without giving spoilers… We’ll just say that I am passionately hoping we get to meet him again in the next novella. Dangerous, dark, more than capable of brutality, yet still with an underlying sense of honor and more good than he cares to show. I think he likes Hitomi, but I might be reading that into the story, I’m not sure.

I cannot wait for the next novella in this series. I adore this series and I highly, highly recommend this book as well as the author’s other works. So go, go, go! Read this and then we can all gush over it!

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