Reading Books Can Get You Killed
One of the things that truly stood out to me while reading this book was D.T. Kane’s ease with worldbuilding. There was so much lore and expansiveness, but at the same time it was explained in a way that didn’t feel overly complicated or info dumpy at all. I enjoyed learning about the caste system when it came to Speakers, Readers, Harbors, and Illits. I have never read a book with this kind of unique magic system, and I was highly invested.
The plot and pacing was also superbly well done, and unfolded in such an organic way. There was never a dull moment, and I felt like I was on the edge of my seat with every plot point that we encountered.
The character work was also well done. Each of our characters are in different caste systems -we have a Speaker, a Reader, and a Harbor. In this world, Readers are regarded as superior to everyone else, as they are the only one allowed to learn how to Read from Books. Speakers are only allowed to recite Spells that are Read to them from these Books by Speakers. They are immediately told a Stop Rune, that prevents them from memorizing any Spells they recite. Harbors are essentially the armed henchmen who are tasked with protecting Readers.
So we have Baz who is a Speaker (and the main character of our story), Deliritous who is a Reader, and Rox who is a Harbor. They are sent to participate in The Acktus Trials, where they have to procure a Book from the destroyed and abandoned city of Tome.
As we travel with these characters, we get to witness them slowly but surely learn to trust and work together, and we see the internal struggle of each character as they try to unlearn what they were always taught.
I feel like the character development was done in such a way that felt natural, and made sense for each character. They don’t all come to the same conclusion or change their mindset completely; it’s definitely a work in progress.
Overall, I felt that this was such an entertaining and unique story. I absolutely loved my time reading this book! Baz and Rox are some of my new favorite characters and my bookworm heart absolutely thrived with the concept of Book Dragons.
For the first book in an (apparently 12-book) series, this was definitely solid and I look forward to continuing on.