Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Review - The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates, #1) by A.K. Larkwood

Title: The Unspoken Name (The Serpent Gates, #1)
Author: A.K. Larkwood
Pages: 464
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: 11th February 2020

Blurb from Goodreads: 

What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.
But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard's loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.
But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

My Review:
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Tor*

Csorwe knows that when she's fourteen she will have to make her way to the Shrine of the Unspoken where she will die as a sacrifice.

However, when the day comes, Csorwe finds herself with an offer from a mage to leave with him and make her own destiny.

Csorwe leaves with the mage and trains so that she can help the mage take back his title and the home he was thrown out of.

Is Csorwe truly free of the Unspoken? Or does the God have other plans for her?

The premise of The Unspoken Name really intrigued me, especially the fact that Csorwe was supposed to be sacrificed but instead chose to run away with a mage. However, I unfortunately ended up disappointed.

Csorwe was a likeable protagonist, but I don't feel that I fully connected with her. I did feel sorry for her and relate to her at times, but there were moments where I didn't really care what happened to her.

Tal was probably the only character that stood out for me. He was relatable and I also felt sorry for him at times. Tal's dialogue made me smile once or twice, and I liked his competitive relationship with Csorwe - they were almost like brother and sister with the way they bickered.

The setting was interesting and I liked the idea of the gates and the Maze as well as the different Gods.

The plot was OK, but it took a while to get into and I lost interest several times and did consider DNFing. Given the size of the book I felt that not much really happened. There was a twist that I didn't guess, but nothing that happened particularly surprised me.

The writing style took a while for me to get used to and I found it a bit jumpy at times. I would have liked a bit more description in some places as I found some things difficult to imagine.

My favourite thing about the book is probably the queer representation.

I'm disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more as it had a lot of potential.

Overall, this was a mixed read for me.


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