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Reviewed by Carol Beth Anderson for Readers' Favorite
Hexborn: The Hexborn Chronicles Book 1 by A.M. Manay tells the riveting story of Shiloh Teethborn, a sixteen-year-old orphan. Shiloh is hexborn, accustomed to being an outcast due to the physical evidence of curses she received before birth. But not everyone rejects Shiloh. She has magical abilities, and the chief minister of the kingdom, Silas Hatch, thinks she will be of value to the king. Silas takes Shiloh from her small-town life and brings her to the capital to live in the palace, attend classes in magic, and serve the royal family. It doesn’t take long for Shiloh to attract attention, thanks to her considerable power. She must quickly learn to navigate the rocky paths of politics, relationships, and society. At every step, Silas is there to help her—but can she trust the man known as “the king’s hatchet”?
It’s been some time since I’ve found myself so intrigued by a new fantasy realm. The magical setting of Hexborn is drawn with vivid color and depth, and it’s populated by nuanced, fascinating characters. Shiloh’s vulnerability and strength join to make her immensely likeable, a character worth rooting for. Beneath the stories of intrigue and relationships, Hexborn presents deeper messages about prejudice, both societal and personal. I’m already eagerly anticipating the release of the second book of the series. When I’m lucky enough to discover an independent author with such storytelling prowess, I get a thrill out of it. This was one of those times. Discovering A.M. Manay’s writing was a delight, and I’m looking forward to reading her other novels.