Title: Sunbolt (Sunbolt Chronicles #1)
Author: Intisar Khanani
Published: June 17th, 2013
Genres: YA, fantasy, paranormal
Rating: 4/5 stars
I received this book from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. The Bookdepository link provided above is an affiliate link.
Synopsis: 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. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life.
I requested this book because it sounded like a solid fantasy read, and the ratings on Goodreads were already quite good. I definitely don’t regret requesting this as I really enjoyed it but I’m going to give you a warning here: THIS BOOK IS VERY SHORT.
Let me just tell you, this book is a wild ride. There are no boring moments, not a single one. Of course, because this book is so short -less than 200 pages- the action is continuous. We follow Hitomi as she tries to help the Shadow League, an secret movement opposing Blackflame -the Arch Mage who controls the sultan. From the first scene, we are thrown into the action. Hitomi is chased by soldiers of Blackflame because of her skin color and ethnicity and she has to run. I really enjoyed all the action although to be honest, I had to re-read a sentence every once in a while because I got lost for a second.
I was really into the story, completely sucked in, so when the ending came I was completely unprepared. I absolutely loved the story line of this book. It covers chases through different cities, captivity in several countries and wild escapes.
This aspect is the reason I gave this book 4 stars, not more. I really felt that for a fantasy novel, there was almost no world building. I know that she lived in Karolene, which I think is an island. And I was introduced to another country as the story progressed but I can’t really imagine anything else.I understand that there was not really an opportunity for this, as the novel was so short, but still. I adore fantasy and have read quite a lot, so I was expecting more world building.
On to the characters! I really enjoyed reading from Hitomi’s point of view. She was definitely brave and strong, else she would not have survived all she did. I found her to be very resourceful and loyal as well. She was quite the thief, which comes in handy when you’re captured, but not everything she did turned out to work. I know this sounds strange, but I actually enjoy that. Because let’s be honest, whose ideas are great and turn out perfect every time? One thing I found strange is that she both trusts easily, and doesn’t trust anyone. Yes, I know that sounds confusing. At first, she doesn’t really trust many people -only about 2- which is normal for an orphan I think. But during the story, she puts a lot of faith in a certain person, who I definitely wouldn’t trust with my life.
There were many other characters I liked as well, although I can’t really talk about them as it would ruin the story. Overall, I would have liked to see more of them. Because this novel was short, I felt like I didn’t get enough time with the characters. Like I didn’t get a chance to truly get to know or understand them.
I’d definitely recommend this story! It’s a fun and action-packed fantasy book, definitely suitable for young adults and teenagers. My only “complaint” would be that it was a bit lacking in history and world building, due to it being quite short. But I enjoyed the story line and the characters very much!