Review: Sins of a Sovereignty

◆ Sins of Sovereignty by Plague Jack
◆ Read November 2014
◆ English Edition
❝ Ten years ago a terrifying superweapon left one of Amernia’s most illustrious cities permanently shrouded in poisoned fog. Over the past decade, three great evils have haunted the Amernian people. First is the elusive Blood Queen, who holds Amernia in an iron grip. Second, are the entombed old gods, who speak only to a chosen few. Third is the nation's scar, a seemingly endless expanse of green miasma that has claimed the north. The rift between rich and poor, human and nonhuman, divides the kingdom more every day. As a spectral rider streaks across the sky, heralding the death of kings, foreign nations circle like vultures hungry for a feast. Legendary veteran of two wars, Sir Clark Pendragon, is sent north to quell the rising chaos. New alliances will be forged and broken as a Wild War threatens to tear Amernia asunder.
The author provided me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. Though it took me quite a while to finish (for which my busy life is to blame), this book exceeded my expectations.

The story takes place in the fictional land of Amernia, where medieval characteristics and modern warfare have been paired to form an interesting combination. The author went into a lot of detail about Amernia's history, the composition of different places and its many different inhabitants. All the background information really brought the world to life andI loved that aspect of the book.

The characters too, were worked out into great detail. Instead of one protagonist, various characters played a leading part in the story and each of them proved to be well-developed and multidimensional. Moreover, because they differed so much from each other, the switches in point of view worked really well. For example, where Pendragon was all about morality and saving lives, Shrike was more self-centered (and wonderfully funny too), just like Minerva. 

Mostly though, I liked that the author did not shy away from controversial topics. Many taboo topics like rape, murder, incest chemical warfare etc. were explored. It's something that happens everyday in real life so it deserves to be mentioned after all. It was a good decision to incorporate it and it gave the story a realistic tone even if it belongs in the fantasy genre. 

One thing why I liked Sins of a Sovereignty, but didn't love it is in regard to the characters. Despite the fact that the characters were well developed and really interesting, I did not really connect to them. It might just be me, but even though I was interested in the story, I did not care either way what would happen to them. There were certain deaths and they surprised me, but I felt nothing while I read it. 

Furthermore, there were some technical things that kept me from rating the book higher. I was at first very confused who was who and how they related to each. Furthermore, I think a distinction should be made when a character thinks something, like italics, because it was hard to distinguish between descriptions and though processes.

Despite its flaws, this book is skillfully written and really good for a debut novel. Judging from the ending, a sequel will probably follow so I'll look out for that! 

3 stars because:
✓ Detailed world-building
✓ Developed characters
✓ Deals with controversy
✗Did not really connect to characters
✗ Small technical issues

Brilliant Bookshelf

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