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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
In J.T. Moy’s Scion of Lightning, Jaks was a failure. With his conscription coming to an end, he hoped to follow in his big sister’s footsteps, to be something, be someone. But he was useless, detested, worthless. Even his own father had disowned him, although perhaps that had more to do with the fact the man was a monster more than Jaks’ failings. When a comet fell from the sky and he stood watch over a young woman, he thought he'd finally do something worthwhile, only they were more interested in labeling her a spy than the truth and leaving him to failure and embarrassment. He vows to find her, but first, he needs to get his own affairs in order. He had all but failed his conscription and not a person wants him. A penniless beggar seems to be the fate awaiting him until Fate deals him a surprising hand. Yet little does he know Fate is also pulling him toward something else, something that affects the fate of all.
The world-building in J.T. Moy’s Scion of Lightning is rich and vibrant, and as a reader, you are pulled into a world of strife and magic. Lands are at odds with each other, unaware of the threats that encroach from places they least expect, and unaware of the true nature of those once seen as heroes. I enjoyed the fullness of the world, from the descriptions of places that made me feel I was there, beside the characters, to the small touches that give insight into the justice system, views, and lifestyle of those in this land. The characters are unique. I loved how Jaks is flawed; not the archetypal cookie-cutter character, but a fearful boy with a troubled past working hard against adversity, bullying, and his own mental blocks. A gripping and involved read, with a real sense of dread and looming danger, that you won’t want to put down. It will leave you wanting the next book. Action, danger, relationships, and mystery, this book has it all wrapped in the perfect fantasy package. On a side note, I have to confess I really loved the old-school book cover. It really adds to the charm of a perfectly presented fantasy.