Monday, 20 July 2015

Book 51 of 2015: The Vanished Knight by M. Gerrick

During the A to Z Challenge I found several new blogs, one of which was Misha Gericke's Five Year Project blog. Each time she commented on my blog, I made a return visit to hers and after a few weeks realised that I should really add some of my new blogging acquaintances to my Bloglovin' feed. It does make it easier to keep track of everyone. ;-)

I noticed that several of her posts were talking about the two books she's been working on from her War of Six Crowns series of books. I was intrigued by the information that she shared and after some hesitation (did I really have time to add more books to my To-Read list?) I signed up to be an early reviewer of The Vanished Knight and The Heir's Choice.

The Vanished Knight is the first in M. Gerrick's The War of Six Crowns series and features Callan, a teenage girl who has spent her recent years bouncing around the foster system. Her latest foster family is incredibly wealthy and promptly ship her off to a posh boarding school where all is not as it seems. It isn't long before she finds herself in a strange new world, fighting the dark entity that lives within her, and discovering that her parents may not have been who they said they were.

It took me a little while to get into the story, which I think is as much about me as the actual story. Fantasy stories always have a lot of work to do, setting up the world as well as introducing the characters, plot and other little details. I was a little distracted at first by the way the foster care system was presented, but once the story got going and Callan arrived at Graystone I was able to settle into it. By the time the real fantasy aspect picked up I was able to get properly absorbed into it.

One of the things that is really key to a good fantasy story (for me at least) is the world building aspect. I need to be able to picture the world and have it feel real. If there's magic or things that work differently to the real world, I like to have some sort of explanation or understanding of why it is different. I can be extremely critical of it when it doesn't work well.

The Vanished Knight's world building has been done really well. There are actual different languages spoken by different peoples (oh be still my geeky linguist heart) which I loved. It's amazing how something so simple can make or break a story. I couldn't help but study each sentence and the translation trying to figure out the structure of the language. Because I'm a dork and a linguistics nut and I do things like that.

Something that I think would really add to this book (or future books) would be appendices with some details on the languages. I also felt like a map would be a useful addition to help to illustrate the world. I was able to picture the individual places that the characters visited, but I'd love to see a map to see how those places relate to one another.

The character of Callan is intriguing and I'm curious to learn more about her in the next book. Especially about the 'entity' which inhabits her body. We get lots of little mentions of it but no concrete explanation. I'm guessing all will be revealed later. I hope that it's something that comes in the next book or two and isn't dragged out too long.

As for the other characters. They all came across as individuals, with Gawain and Kaela being my favourites. James is the one you love to hate. I was slightly miffed that the preview of the next book focused on James, but I'm guessing he's going to come into his own in the future; hopefully getting over the grumpy, spoilt rich kid thing he's had going on up until this point and maybe having a little heroic moment of his own.

I received the first two books for free in exchange for my own honest reviews; I'm looking forward to moving on to the next book in the series, The Heir's Choice, in the next week or so (check back soon for the review of that one).


  1. Reviewing books for bloggers I follow and friends I have made eats up so much of my reading time now. ;) But I also find a lot of really great books that I may not have read otherwise. (so many books, so little time)

    This sounds like a really interesting read, I think I will pop over and check it out. :)

    1. It is a really good way to find new books and authors you might not have found, especially because many of them are on ebooks and there's just so much choice out there when it comes to picking electronic books.

      If you're into fantasy, it's definitely a good read.

  2. Thanks so much for the great review! I am definitely thinking about the map and appendices, but they'll probably only get added in for the next book, when the wheres, whats and whys start becoming important. :-)

    1. You're welcome, I really enjoyed reading it. I'll be keeping an eye out for the rest in the series. :-)


Let me know what you think. :-)