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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“Today, my fifth time as a russet sparrow, I felt as if I’d been flying all my life. My wings flapped according to instinct and carried me toward Sorrenwood’s outer edge, over rows of broken shelters.” Dreadmarrow Thief (The Conjurer Fellstone, Book 1) by Marjory Kaptanoglu is filled with conjurers and the monopoly of magic. Sixteen-year-old Tessa Skye found her mother’s amulet, the windrider, when she left the family years ago. It gives her the gift of flight by turning her into a sparrow, and flying gives Tessa a sense of freedom. Unfortunately for Tessa, it comes with a hefty price; her father’s life. Calder, a fortuneteller, convinces her that a wand called the dreadmarrow can restore her father to life if they can steal it from the tyrant Lord Fellstone.
Dreadmarrow Thief has an interesting premise and I like the world building. The story is well-paced and the clear-cut prose helps boost the clarity of the narrative, the description of the settings and the action. On the other hand, the different POVs might not be the right cup of tea for some readers, but I think this is just a small dent in the narration. Even though I could guess the direction of the plot in terms of romance, it’s well-structured. For characterization, I related more to Calder Osric and Ash Kemp. These two share strong resoluteness that I like. As for the villains, Lord Fellstone and Ratcher have enough complexities that define them more than just cardboard antagonists. All in all, a good coming-of-age read from Kaptanoglu and a nice debut for the series.