Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
From Goodreads: Arram. Varice. Ozorne. In the first book in the Numair Chronicles, three student mages are bound by fate . . . fated for trouble.
Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.
Thanks to Netgalley for giving me an E-Book ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Tamora Pierce is one of those authors I always seem to hear about but have never actually read. So I was pretty excited when I was approved for a copy of Tempests and Slaughter. I’m definitely someone who jumps at the words ‘magic school’ so I was pretty keen to dive into this.
First up, the characters are very well written. All of them really worked their way under my skin, and even at the start I was quite concerned that all my favourites made it through to the end of the book. This is true of the main characters, Arram, Varice and Ozorne, but also the Masters and the gladiators we meet through the course of the book. I cared about almost everyone I encountered in this novel, and that’s a big deal for me since I often struggle to connect to characters.
The whole world was also amazing. I liked that deities randomly involved themselves in the plot, often making things more difficult for the mortals they speak to. It just had such a nice feel to it, and I loved reading every single bit of magic description and deity info we were given. I wanted more and more. All the classes were so cool, and I wanted to reach through the pages and join in with a lot of Arram’s classes. The whole book is based in a kind of fantasy Egypt, and as someone who is quite keen on Egyptian history, I enjoyed seeing all the nods to culture woven into this. The food and clothing are very well researched, and as I’ve already mentioned, the involvement of the gods in daily life was a pretty good touch.
The book wasn’t perfect for me though. There were some big drawbacks. As much as I loved the world, I also found it incredibly confusing. I think part of the problem I had is that this book covers a LOT of time. Often months or even years pass between chapters and paragraphs, which made it a little hard to keep up. It became quite a problem though, there were some scenes where I didn’t have much of a clue what was going on and it took me about five pages to realize the characters were on a ship, or in a tent or whatever. Which did make it a bit of a slog at times. I’m not sure if this was a problem with me, since I often picked up the book late at night when I was tired, or if the issue was a lack of description and the big time span making it hard to follow. I’m pretty keen to know if anyone else who has read this book has had this issue.
Another big problem I encountered is that nothing much happens in this book. There are quite a few sub-plots along the way, but nothing that significantly gripped me. I was sort of hoping there would be lots of build up and some exciting plot twists, so I was left feeling a bit underwhelmed at the end of the novel. I definitely could have done with more to keep me hooked.
Overall, I’m giving Tempests and Slaughter 7/10 stars. The world-building and characters were phenomenally well done, but I don’t think enough happened in this book to grip me, and I often found it hard to follow with the time leaps and possible lack of description. That being said, I liked this book enough to attempt to read book two. I think if that one is similar in terms of lack of plot and confusion, that might be the last book in the series I try and read.
Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce is released 20th September 2018 in the UK.
Has anyone else read this book, or plans to? What did you all think of it? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions, so feel free to share them in the comment section below ❤