Published by The Parliament House on October 1st 2019
Azure Brimvine lives in a world decimated by magic. One where humans have retreated underground from the overwhelming dangers of the surface. But Below is no safer than Above. Magic borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities. A sickness that doesn't merely kill, but creates aberrations from the stricken: people twisted by magic into something dark, dangerous, and powerful.
But when Azzy's brother, Armin, is infected and cast out into the Above, she sets out after him, determined to be there for him no matter what he becomes. The world Above is full of monsters, both wild and cunning, some more human than Azzy was led to believe.
Her search for Armin leads her to Avergard, a ruthless city of inhuman lords and twisted creatures. Azzy must find allies and forge new bonds in this broken world, brave the perils of the Above, and reach Armin before his new power is used to open the Gate once more.
I read this book as part of the Book Bloggers’ Book of the Year Award 2020. It’s one of the finalists and ended up in the xth place. Massive congratulations to the author. Marrow Charm deserves to be a finalist and I actually expected it to be higher up in the rankings.
Marrow Charm by Kristin Jacques is an action-packed fantasy novel of the darker kind. Don’t expect to survive unless you have the right connections. Don’t expect kindness either, or to stay unharmed. The world Jacques created is harsh, and that might be an understatement. If it’s not dangerous creatures trying to kill you, it’s slavery or fatal disease.
Azure, our main character, wants to protect her brother at all cost. But the whole world is against her and keeps throwing obstacles in her way. It’s admirable how she keeps pushing past her discomfort to get closer. Her sharp mind and incredible senses save her multiple times. But it’s her heart that’s the star. It’s because she’s human and has strong emotions she gets things done.
Jacques writing doesn’t leave anything up to the imagination. It’s detailed, and at some times, complex and dense. But those are things I expect in darker adult fantasy. Her crafting of the world is excellent and I honestly can’t wait to read what’s going to happen next as it ended on a cliffhanger. The multiple points of view are nicely tied together towards the end while not revealing too much before the climax.
I give Marrow Charm four stars. The story progresses slowly, but that doesn’t mean nothing is happening. A lot happens so you can’t look away. You have to read on. The biggest downside is probably that the ending felt cut off. I wanted more. Jacques made me hungry, and that’s a good sign.
I received this book to read and review as part of the 2020 BBNYA competition and the BBNYA tours organised by the TWR Tour team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest. Please check back later for more reviews of other finalists.
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