Title: The Armored Saint (The Sacred Throne #1)
Author: Myke Cole
Pub. Date: February 20th, 2018
Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Format: Physical ARC
*HUGE thanks to Tor Books and Myke Cole for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion
In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.
I’m singing this books praises to you all today cause it is well worth it & so much more! coming in at 208pgs, The Armored Saint has to be one of the top Fantasy books I’ve read in a really long time. Set in a small town, we meet Heloise and her father Samson as they go about their every day routine of earning their living. Samson is a man of letters & travels light with only his quills, paper, and ink pot. It is during one of their travels down the road that they encounter The Order who are the equivalent of soldiers, these men are to serve the throne & rid evil from the world. It is believed that demons on the other side of the living world can possess humans. When The Order stops Samson & Heloise it is to ask them for directions to a neighboring town. Seeing them out in full force is never a good sign & this scene pretty much set the tone for the rest of the book. We got to know both Heloise and Samson in that brief interaction & all of the events that took place after that encounter felt like a domino effect. The fear that these characters feel is palpable & the tension is so thick that I read this book at the edge of my seat hoping they’d all make it through. I realized that I wasn’t the only one, all of the townspeople were hoping they weren’t next to be accused of harboring demons…
“Suffer No Wizard To Live”
The “Veil” is compromised and so The Order must make rounds looking for those that show signs of being possessed. The townspeople follow the law or the ways of The Writ which is sort of like their bible & anyone caught speaking against it can be accused of being possessed by demons. I totally got The Crucible vibes while reading certain passages where the townspeople out of fear were made to look unto their neighbor for any behavior that wasn’t considered “normal.” The Order however, isn’t some by the book group of men looking to do good & banish evil. They abuse their power & hide behind the royal banner. Perhaps what makes them even more evil than the demons they’re trying to excorcise is that they don’t actually get their hands dirty when they find said evils. Instead they have what are called Knittings & no they’re not the kind your sweet grandmother partakes in…these are much more scarier. When someone is accused of being a wizard, The Order comes through lining up all of the towns people & under their order the people must take up pitchforks to kill the accused. Failure to comply places you & your loved ones in jeopardy of being accused of protecting a wizard & harboring evil magic.
The characters in this town have all known each other for many years & their children have all grown up together. Up until the day The Order came around their town, Heloise spent her days with her bff Basina talking about their futures. Her biggest fear was the more than platonic love she felt for Basina. However, on the road where she & her father faced The Order, Heloise was forced to age years in a matter of minutes. She saw her father in a new light, he was no longer the pillar of strength & safety every good father works so hard to have their child believe. He was just a man keeping his head down in order to keep her safe. The rebellion this stirred within Heloise led to what many considered reckless but in her defense, it seemed like it was out of her control whether she reacted or not. Heloise was someone who grew up believing in The Writ & what they did to rid the kingdom of all evil. When she starts seeing their actions in each town, it’s like a veil is lifted and the part of her that seeks justice takes over.
I truly thought this was just going to be a story about herd mentality and how easy it is to instill fear in a group of people to establish control. It is the aforementioned, however it’s also a story about heroes. Many of the characters in this story were actually selfless in time of need. Heloise wasn’t someone who fooled herself into thinking she could save everyone from The Order & many others who didn’t think they’d sacrifice their own safety to help another in need, stepped up to the plate. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED this book! the characters & world building were so well fleshed out. The fantastical/supernatural elements made their presence known yet they didn’t overpower the characters. When we finally get to see truths come to light, I was left pleasantly surprised. There’s also discussion about sexuality & the judgment of others in a world where homosexuality is not accepted. With a bi-sexual MC and one of the supporting characters alluding to being Gay, I found myself getting very invested in Heloise & her journey. The Armored Saint is a FANTASTIC start to a new adult Fantasy series! & Myke Cole is now on my radar which means, I’m going to need to read all of the books I hope he’s already writing 🙂
Happy Monday Bookworms! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend with amazing reads. The Armored Saint hits shelves TOMORROW February 20th! & this is one you won’t want to miss <3’s!
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