Relic by Bronwyn Eley (Relic Trilogy I)
Author: Bronwyn Eley
Publisher: Talem Press
Publication date: 12 September 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow.
As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow’s life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place.
It’s an appointment that will kill her.
As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade… That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics.
A rebel force plans to put an end to Rennard’s rule and Kaylan suddenly finds herself embroiled in a cause that might just be worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs…
As her life hangs in the balance and rebellion bears down on Edriast, Kaylan must decide where her loyalties lie – and how she’ll leave her mark on the world.
Relic is the absorbing first novel in The Relic Trilogy, a thrillingly dark YA fantasy series.
I admit that this is my first ever blog tour and I am extremely nervous about it. However as far as the book is concerned, you needn’t worry. This is such a great debut and as promised as dark fantasy too!
“Soon enough, the power he wore around his neck would rip through my body and I would become just another name on that list of forgotten souls.”
This book starts slow and takes its time in establish the world and making sure that we truly root for Kaylan. A city ruled by Lord Rennard and his magical Relic. People dread only on thing in this city and its the ever present threat of getting the position of Shadow. The Relic is magical and certainly poisonous to anyone not beloging to the lord’s family. So a Shadow is appointed every time the previous Shadow finally succumbs to the magical poison of the Relic. Kaylan is chosen as the Shadow after the previous one dies and that’s where the story really picks up pace. I must admit that establishing Kaylan was a good thing because I truly felt for her and her family when she was chosen.
“Gone were the two little girls who would chase each other through the streets until their parents came looking for them at sundown. Gone were the dreams of what we might be when we grew up. What had this city turned us into? Nothing but puppets to a grand master”
I really enjoyed the slow but sure unfolding of secrets and deceptions that Kaylan witnessed but more than that, I appreciated even more was how the importance of family and friends in Kaylan’s life was emphasized. Sure, there’s a hint of romance and it’s handled in such a way that I absolutely didn’t mind it.
“Better to come clean now, tell him why I wouldn’t be attending the celebration as a guest. Remove that look from his eyes. Quell any hopes of dancing under the stars with me. It couldn’t happen. And yet, I couldn’t stand the idea of those eyes turning cold and sorry.”
It was really easy to like Kaylan because she is individualistic and has a personality that felt real in many ways. She reminded me of Katniss in the best way possible, with her willingness to do anything to make sure her family stayed safe but beyond that she was her own person throughout the book. Even during the time where it might have gone horribly wrong, Bronwyn Eley managed to get it exactly right. Kaylan’s vulnerability felt real and believable. She is impulsive but at the same time, she does remember to be cautious for the sake of her family. Despite being given an opportunity to join the rebellion that could see her agony end, she doesn’t get emotionally or impractically swayed. She considers the consequences because, in a rare scenario for general fantasy, there are personal/family stakes involved in choosing a side.
I had a proper love/hate relationship with multiple characters throughout the book and I absolutely loved that. I genuinely got invested in the side characters and that, to me, is always a plus. As far as the plot is concerned, I love what we have been offered so far and can’t wait to read the next part because I want to see how Kaylan can balance it out. I do wish that the pacing was handled a bit better. While I appreciated getting to know Kaylan in the beginning, I do wish the middle hadn’t been as slow paced as it was, however things really did pick up after that though. Boy, the plot twists and revelations did me in, there were some truly unexpected moments in there.
Overall, the author did a brilliant job of setting up the plot and I can’t wait for the next one to be out already, just the potential adventure that Kaylan has ahead of her is something I would not forget about easily.
Bronwyn joined the military right out of high school, where she learnt (among other things) to disassemble and reassemble a rifle blindfolded. After that, she spent a lot of her time travelling around the world. Her favourite places (so far) are Scotland, Mongolia, Iceland, and Ireland.
Bronwyn finally found her natural habitat when she landed her first job in the publishing industry. While she has always been a writer, it was only when surrounding herself with books that she realised her life’s dream was to become an author. Relic is her first novel.
Bronwyn lives in Sydney and spends her time eating chocolate, reading and practicing her martial arts.
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