Sunbolt is one of those books that suck you in and you can’t put down.
We meet Hitomi as she is on her way to a secret meeting that she hasn’t been invited to. A fortune teller stops her and begs to tell her fortune (which is of course delightfully vague and thrillingly ominous) telling her to run. Soon, sure enough the armed guards of the evil Blackflame are at her heals and she must run to escape them. Not just because she is foreign, but also because she is an un-registered Promise, meaning she has magic in her, but hasn’t registered with the council because her parents (who are now dead) decided to train her on their own.
Luckily she succeeds the escape and makes it to the meeting to overhear the plot of smuggling out a family in danger which Hitomi ends up entangled in and you get the sense that she is not done with the fortune tellers command, “run.”
If this sounds like a lot…well it is, and it isn’t. The book is short and a lot of things happens, but the world is uncovered precisely as it needs to be.
“Absolutely. Justice served with a side of pineapple. That’s what I’m here for.”
The main character is intelligent and fun, but also carries past hurts and fears. And even as she faces prejudice she carries some prejudice of her own and THEN SHE CHALLENGES HER OWN PREJUDICE like whaaaa!
Sunbolt is a short, fun read, with loads of action. Ultimately it is a book of self discovery and unleashing your own power. The sequel is set to deal with the fall out of this and I am already reading it and – spoilers – it is HOLDING up. I really need Khanani to get on it and write the last instalment, but I have a feeling she ain’t no Martin or Rothfuss. Even her writing is to the point, it builds the world, but allows it breathing room to feel rich and lived in. Khanani reminded me of why I love fantasy so much, the rich worlds that humans can create and how, no matter where we are we must still face our own internal demons to conquer the external ones.
“the motions of life continue because they must, but there is a silence where there were once words.”
If you like fantasy and YA this is a must-read. It is so, so enjoyable. There is a great quote by the Danish furniture designer, when asked when something is done, she said: “It is done when it looks like something that has always been there.”
For me, the Sunbolt chronicles have always been part of the fantasy world and I can’t wait to see where Hitomi takes us next.