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Alicia Wright Brewster

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Talon of the Unnamed Goddess - J.R. Tomlin,  C.R. Daems I give the content four stars. I enjoyed this book immensely. In fact, I spent most of my Saturday reading it, which is saying a lot because I generally have a very short attention span. There was a lot to like about it: a beautiful and original fantasy world, a great main character, and a solid plot. But I'd like to detract half a star for the typos. I'm not saying they were on every page. But I accept a maximum of three typos per book without being annoyed; this one had more like thirty.

In the fantasy world of this book, magic is provided by sigils. Each sigil provides its bearer with its corresponding power, which may be related to war, truth, energy, illusion, healing, or charm. Sigils can be purchased in the form of artifacts, but these purchased sigils are weak. A strong sigil, a "living" sigil, is granted by the gods and worn on the body. The main character Aisha is granted none of the well-known six living sigils, but instead, she is granted a lesser known sigil with a unique power. I've read quite a few fantasy books, and I can't say that I recall every encountering a magic system quite like this one. I really enjoyed the originality and beauty of the magic.

It was easy to like the main character, Aisha. She was your classic underdog who made her own way. Yes, the underdog story has been told many times before, but it works, and the authors did a wonderful job making it their own. Aisha survived various trials to become a member of the Raptor Clan, and she did so by learning how to kick butt and by being more clever than those around her. Understandably, she struggled to find a balance between being a woman and being a warrior. The odds were always against her, yet she handled herself with honor while maintaining believable human emotions that made her relatable.

After becoming a member of the Raptor Clan, Aisha was assigned bodyguard duty. As a result, she got swept into a political assassination plot that turned into a war. I found the plot to be solid and focused. Through the entire book, not once did I think to myself that a scene should have been cut. It drew me along, and I didn't want to put the book down.

My primary reservation (and my reason for not giving this book five stars) is that there was a good deal of war strategy stuff going on toward the middle of the book. I've never been fond of geography or social studies, and my eyes glazed over at times as the characters planned their battles. I would, however, completely understand if other readers thought all that war talk was fantastic. It was well-done and suited the story nicely; it just wasn't my thing.

Overall, this was a great read, and I will definitely look out for these authors in the future.