Published by Talem Press on February 13, 2020
Series: The Price of Magic #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic
Source: eARC from Publisher
In the blackest dungeon of the Clockwork City, a prisoner lies bound in silver shackles. Who is she? And why are the wizards so afraid of her?
Seventeen-year-old Gwyn has no family and no past. Apprenticed to a half-mad herbalist, she travels the snow-blasted High Country, hawking potions in a peddler’s wagon. Her guardian hides her from the world like a dark secret, and she knows better than to push for answers.
But when she discovers she is hunted by the goddess Beheret, Gwyn is drawn into a deep and ancient tale: of chained gods and lost magic, of truths long buried and the rising of a war she never could have imagined.
Wizards and their magic-sniffing hounds pursue her – as does a stranger in a smiling mask, who calls her by an unfamiliar name…
But what really terrify her are the dangerous gifts she’s spent her life suppressing. Now, Gwyn must step out of the shadows and take charge of her destiny – even if the price is her own soul.
The Ninth Sorceress is the breathtaking first instalment of The Price of Magic, a sweeping fantasy saga full of rich storytelling and tangible magic.
The Ninth Sorceress is the first book in the young adult epic fantasy series, the Price of Magic by author Bonnie Wynne. I really enjoyed how big and sweeping the world is in The Ninth Sorceress, and though it also led to some of my frustration with the book, it is what gives me promise that this is going to be an epic fantasy series that I will really enjoy. I liked meeting all the characters and getting a taste of what is to come. This was overall a solid start to what seems like it is going to be a vast series.
In the Ninth Sorceress, we start out journey by meeting an imprisoned young lady that sets us off on our tale. Through this tale we meet Gwyn, who is about to start off on a journey for herself. She has no idea that she has magic, and has very little experience with Wizards. Soon, she finds herself not only hunted for reasons she does not yet understand, but also as an apprentice to a wizard she just met! Her journey was a lot of fun, though I will admit to being very confused for much of the first half of the story. The world is vast, the characters are mysterious and there is a lot going on. The reader does not have a lot of information or answers to start with, though some is revealed as the story unfolds, but the mysterious air did cause me a lot of confusion as I was reading. If that is something that bothers you as a reader, take caution before start this book. It bothered me at first, but as the story progressed, I was more interested in learning about the magic system and The Clockwork City, and I just went with the flow. By the end of the story, we do have more answers, and there are still plenty of hidden things for us to learn about (hopefully in the next book).
My favorite element of The Ninth Sorceress was the magic system. In this world, magic is split into white magic and black magic. White magic is the magic of healers, and black magic is the magic of Wizards. Wizards are heavily regulated in The Clockwork City, where most wizards reside. I found it so interesting that wizards have black magic, a magic so easily associated with villains in most stories. Bonnie Wynne does a fantastic job of exploring the concept of morality in The Ninth Sorceress. Her characters are wonderfully faceted and richly dynamic, and they all play with varying shades of morality. They were my favorite part of reading The Ninth Sorceress. In this world, we also meet shapeshifters, and we get introduced to the concept of the very feared and very powerful sorceress. Sorceress’ are so powerful that only one exists in the world at a time. I loved all the magical creatures that exist in this world, and I can’t wait to see how they are all going to develop as the series expands.
If you are a fan of epic fantasies with vast worlds and a cool magic structure, then I think The Price of Magic series is one you should add to your reading list. Be warned that because the world is so vast, and because of the mysterious air of the storytelling, the story can be a bit confusing at times. But stick with it! You will eventually get more answers, and the journey that the author takes you on is a rewarding one. I enjoyed The Ninth Sorceress.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2020 New Release Challenge
- Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2017