Book review, fantasy

Book review: Realm of the Banished by Jennifer M. Waldrop

Review in 10-ish words: Fantasy adventure for days. Kick ass characters in a whole new world. 3.5/5


The Skyborn have been banished. Their powers have suffered and the regents may not agree about everything, but they do stand united in one goal; to return to their homeland.

The ember is the key to their return, and Vera is the one person who can get it back. Throw in some unlikely allies and a deadly forest in the middle of the continent and we have ourselves an adventurous fantasy read. (I appreciate the author has included CW in the synopsis and encourage you to check these out before reading).

Who would I be? For sure I want to be Asha! I really loved her sass, and can’t wait to see more of her in book two.

My thoughts:

If you love a fast paced fantasy book then this is the one for you. The world and the lore is super interesting, and like any unique fantasy read you may need a minute to get your head around who’s who and what’s what- to me that’s half the fun.

I had been following Jennifer M. Waldrop on Instagram for a while and loved seeing the development of this story! So when they put out a call for ARC readers I enthusiastically said yes!

I loved the main character. I loved her internal struggles especially around family, identity and purpose. Like any MC she made decisions I potentially disagreed with and had me torn. I love a character who is not perfect and I love that she was ‘the chosen one’ but it wasn’t as clear cut/tropey as like other stories I have read.

The main ensemble of characters are well developed and this makes for some complex relationships within the story. This isn’t a particular romantic/spicy read though there are a few scenes sprinkled through! The focus is definitely kept on fantasy/adventure and even to some extent politics so if you’re into this then you’ll have a ball!

The story itself was fast paced. I felt like things happened very quickly and at times I wish I had had more opportunity for relationships to develop more and to get my head around some of the backstory a little. I did find that the world was vividly painted and I could see the story happening in my head quite clearly.

The ending has me keen as a bean for book two! I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a complementary copy in exchange for an honest review!

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