Reviewed by Joseph Walters
The Legacy of King Jasteroth (Vol. 1) is a promise of fantastic things to come. This first installment in debut author S.L. Wyllie’s new Fantasy series provides a fearless female protagonist, a mysteriously powerful villain in King Jasteroth, and a growing interest with each new complication.
“She looked just like a Princess, but Ariella was no ordinary Princess; she had fifty generations of warrior blood surging through her veins.”
However, Ariella isn’t only a product of her powerful genes. With the help of her new tutor, this eighteen-year-old princess manages to unlock her “Inner Eye” and unleash powers beyond her wildest dreams. Shortly after she begins her training with the tutor (Austin), Ariella learns that she is one of only two people who have the ability to summon ice, a trait commonly associated with extreme power. Oh, and the other person? The legendary King Jasteroth.
Throughout this novel, Ariella comes to terms with her new self. But of course, this comes with complications. She must deal with her narrow-minded father’s abuse and the slow deterioration of her mother’s health, while learning that King Jasteroth and the Black Magic Sorcerers are infiltrating their kingdom with the hopes of kidnapping her and using her powers as a weapon against her own people.
Wyllie’s novel tackles an important theme in how to deal with a misogynistic hierarchy. Where she comes from, women don’t have a say. They have no power. They comply with the societal norms that have been forced against them.
“You are a girl. And girls do not become warriors. You will see no battle nor glory. You must follow in your mother’s footsteps and learn to become a proper lady.”
But with Austin’s help, Ariella learns to accept herself, understand herself, and refuse to submit to this wildly misinformed ideal. In a time where Fantasy books are overrun by men, The Legacy of King Jasteroth counters its stereotype and offers female Fantasy readers something genuine to root for.
Author S.L. Wyllie is at her best with her characterization of her villain King Jasteroth. And unexpectedly, she does it all by hearsay. Like Voldemort in the early Harry Potter books, his immense power comes mostly in his mystery. Where is he? How does he know about Ariella? What exactly is he planning? Every time this figure is even mentioned in the novel, a readerly excitement grows, conscious that something big is coming.
This installment turned out to be a wonderfully quick read with plenty of action, characterization, and relationship development. Ariella and Austin’s growing interest in each other is natural and satisfying, but unfortunately, the novel has its pitfalls too. In addition to a few narrative inconsistencies, it also ends too abruptly. We are tantalized into reaching for the next book with the way this ending is set up, but I couldn’t help but feel that the author had promised more than what happens in the book’s closing pages.
Still, The Legacy of King Jasteroth (Vol. 1) is an exciting new read with plenty of promise in the series. This book would be a great purchase for anyone searching for a short Fantasy novel with a powerful female lead, a good villain, and action-packed magic.
Get your copy of The Legacy of King Jasteroth (Vol. 1) by S.L. Wyllie HERE!
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