Azurite, by Megan Dent Nogle, is a delightful tale that primarily follows Zora, the young bastard daughter of Samaria’s Queen, Evangeline. I really liked how Zora developed throughout the book, unwilling to turn her back on her people, even when it would be easier to take a different path.
I was intrigued by the Warden concept, and can understand their importance. I can tell a lot of thought when into how the author described and built the magic system. It made sense to me, which made it all the more believable.
I think the world was built well and was described in great detail. I could clearly conjure images in my mind of the beauty of the Anion Mountains and the desolation of the swamps. I felt like I was transported from the story and brought right into the thick of things.
The author did a good job creating Evangeline. I despised her (which is by design) and thought she was the perfect evil mother. She claims she has nothing but the best interests of her people, but what she really cares about is power and being known as the greatest ruler Samaria has ever known, even though her nation is falling apart at her feet, all from the choices she has made. Well done.
I mentioned Zora in the beginning, and I immediately fell in love with her innocence. I love that she always has her people at the forefront, and I think she truly would make an excellent leader one day. I was disappointed when she disappeared from the last 20% (or so) of the book, as she was the character that kept me turning the pages, but I understand the story line and plot building the author was creating for the future of the series. I like that she wasn’t emotionless, and how her emotions could affect, and sometimes overwhelm, her channeling.
I also liked the supporting characters, especially Brutus, Talan, and Milo. Brutus is your typical General, but I like that he sees the bigger picture and recognizes the importance of the Samarian people over the orders of the Queen. I was glad to learn that Milo wasn’t all he was immediately revealed to be. I like his bigger part in the story, and I have to admit I am intrigued by where his story is going.
Toward the end of the book, I enjoyed the introduction of the character “Heath”. I found myself wanting to know more about him and his master. I wanted to know if this character was possibly the same being who had haunted Zora earlier; or if these plots were somehow intertwined. I liked it and the ending left me wanting more.
My only real issue with the book was the repetitiveness in the dialogue. One example would be when subordinates of the queen would often say “My Queen” multiple times when addressing her. I understand respecting the title and position of the monarch, but I think the term was overused and it made the dialogue seem stilted. There were also instances of misused words, i.e. though instead of through, amour instead of armor, etc. Neither of these issues was enough to stop me from reading because I felt like the story was written well enough to overcome the small obstacles.
I really enjoyed this book and give it 4 stars. If I could give half stars I would (meaning 4 ½ stars) because the only issues were the small ones listed above. The story left me wanting more and I can’t wait to continue with the second book. Well done Megan!
I was given a free copy of this book for my honest review.