MASTER ARTIFICER by Justin T. Call (BOOK REVIEW)
This was my holiday book and boy did it not disappoint. Everything I loved about the first book plus more, in some cases way more.
We pick up straight where we left off but this time we get a range of POV’s to experience the story from. Annev is desperate to get rid of the Hand of Keos. His ex-girlfriend Myjun wants to kill him for lying to her and causing the death of her father. Kenton wants to kill him for stealing Myjun and leaving him to die buried in the Vault of Artifacts. Fyn is keen to start living his life and using his skills but more so to improve his station than to halt or hurry any grand prophecy, plus we have a few random moments shown from one character or another that really fleshes things out. I can see one or two of these characters getting their own dedicated POV in future volumes and it’s really gripping to see them change and develop before our very eyes.
The level of detail in regards to world building is truly impressive. It can’t figure out if it is because of the truncated timeline or in spite of it. Either way it doesn’t really matter as it is absolutely one of my favourite things about the series so far. Character development takes place in real time and we get shown every moment and every mood and it just makes them actual. I feel like every character goes through so much failure and so much success and has the best of times and the worst of times often within the span of just a few hours. It works and it makes sense because none of this is normal or routine for anyone and those are the sort of life experiences that can actually change a person and shift the direction of their life.
Now the magic. It has a real old school feel to it. By that I mean the existence and use of magical artifacts that can imbue their wearer with special powers is in my mind drawn from D&D and the games we all play as kids but we also have shadow realms, spirits taking over bodies, hideous beasts spawned from mutations of metal. I just loved it. That being said, what started as an easily approachable magic system in the first book has grown and been turned up to eleven with countless variations and brand new designations in Master Artificer. Luckily their titles are also their descriptors and it’s not hard to gain an understanding of the intricacies of the magic just using your gut.
Master Artificer is absolutely one of my favourite books of the year. It is stunning, character driven fantasy at its finest and I highly recommend jumping on board this series and dipping your toes in. It’s one of those books I requested a copy of and when I finished reading I went straight out and bought the hardback. He deserves my money and yours and I look forward to seeing what Justin does next so I can give him some more.
Thank you to Blackstone Publishing for sending me an arc.