Blazing Sun

The Goddess Maker Book 2

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
538 Pages
Reviewed on 06/19/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Blazing Sun is a work of fiction in the epic fantasy, action, and adventure genres, and is the second novel in The Goddess Maker series. The work is best suited to mature readers owing to the use of strong language throughout as well as scenes of battle violence and some sexual references. Penned by author E. B. Repetto, the plot follows Cassius d’Etrius, a Volandrian nobleman shaped by immense personal loss and demanding training. As the Duke of Etrius, he’s fiercely protective of what remains of his life, even if it means allying with a traitor to preserve it. Rising swiftly to command under Marquis Genji Kitamura, Cassius’s cold and calculating nature solidifies his status. However, a mysterious woman disrupts his world, leading him to unexpected answers and challenging his loyalties, forcing him to decide who to trust or eliminate.

Author E. B. Repetto utilizes imagination and creative worldbuilding to craft an enthralling journey into a world of intrigue and gritty determination. Cassius d’Etrius’s character, forged by loss and relentless training, captivated me with his complexity and resilience right from the start, and I enjoyed the speech and thought presentation that let us get close to his heart and mind. His transition from a world of suffering into a position of power was compelling, and the worldbuilding around him goes beyond mere physical descriptions into the attitudes and structure of society to show how his role changes and how others around him change their behavior. Each twist and revelation is well-paced to keep us eagerly turning pages, curious about the decisions Cassius makes as the emotional storyline slowly burns into a sudden wildfire of internal conflict. The pace and tension maintained my engagement throughout for a memorable read that left me pondering the intricate dynamics of power and trust long after I finished the book. Overall, I’d certainly recommend Blazing Sun to anyone seeking an immersive fantasy work with a very strong protagonist to root for.

Jamie Michele

In Blazing Sun by E. B. Repetto, Cassius d’Etrius evaluates recruits using illusions; Miki, trained in Tema, battles golems and explores her divine heritage with Master Khepri. Mustafa proposes a sexist arrangement to her. Cassius encounters a woman with powers, sensing a connection, as Dante advises him on matters regarding a persistent Lady. Cassius and Akina grow much closer, and Akina considers leaving the Order with Roman. An engagement between Cassius and Akina stirs unease and intense public scrutiny. Miki ends up intervening in a confrontation where Akina is injured and left in a dangerously feverish state. Conflict swirls with Solterrean royals with a direct impact on Cassius, who is forced to take a hard look at trust and loyalty as a tribunal looms.

“I was Amadika en Stratos, noble by birth, with no care for their customs or their opinions.” Blazing Sun by E. B. Repetto is the second book in The Goddess Maker series, but I admit that it is the book I started the series with. This is usually impossible in fantasy but wasn't uncomfortable here. Cassius, Akina, and Miki are the first-person past point of view characters for rounded storytelling in combat, court, and courtship. Power is used in the book outside of standard sight and fight magic and applies to daily living, such as Cassius teleporting his clothes to him after a bath. The book is mostly dialogue, making the story driven by character interactions. This is refreshing because fantasy is often trapped in exposition. Cassius's slow thaw from a tough commander to a gentle caretaker is as great as the writing, and I can't wait for the next book!

Asher Syed

Blazing Sun by E. B. Repetto is the second book in The Goddess Maker series, which begins with book one, when Akina de Kitamura and her twin sister, Miki, face rejection from Volandrian nobility due to their illegitimate birth. Engaged to Cassius d'Etrius's brother, Akina's resentment grows. At the Academy's exposition, they aim to prove themselves, but a twist forces a change of plan against unforeseen danger. In this installment, Cassius d'Etrius, shaped by loss, is determined to protect what remains at any cost, even if it means aligning with a traitor. After rigorous training, he ascends as the Duke of Etrius, commanding the Southern Command. A chance encounter thrusts forward revelations that make him question everything he thought he knew and trained for.

E. B. Repetto does an exceptional job in bringing new readers right into the fold of Blazing Sun, effectively employing flashbacks to provide insight into Cassius's past, revealing key events and relationships that shape his present character. Cassius's struggle with his training under Tvora, his longing for his family, and his frustration with his perceived weaknesses are dropped into the laps of those who happened to miss the first book. Repetto gives us alternating points of view, and I enjoyed being in Akina's first-person narrative the most. As a female protagonist, themes of power, control, and agency pierce through Akina's struggles with her own limitations. There's a scene where Cassius attempts to assert authority over her movements, and works to manipulate her vulnerability, and this reflects larger societal dynamics, especially given Akina's perceived birth. This is a wonderfully written, fully immersive novel. Very highly recommended.