Saturday, April 23, 2016

Book Review: Tournament of Hearts: The Librarian Gladiator by Dustin Bilyk


Tournament of Hearts: The Librarian Gladiator is the first in a planned three-book series. The town of Hamelin has a yearly ritual called the Tournament of Hearts in which four contestants are selected to fight each other to the death. Not only are the losers killed, but their entire bloodlines are wiped out as a sacrifice to the gods for a good harvest.
Neven Fairchild is the town historian and librarian whose job it is to trace genealogies and family histories. He is totally unsuited to fight in the Tournament, but has been selected nonetheless, along with his friend, Talpus, a girl warrior named Reoni, and an old man named Kreinveck. Needless to say, things don't look good for Neven.
Klakthorn, the evil Councillor who has been running the Tournament has his own motives for what should happen. There are also flying beasts called Jagisado and one in particular named Smoke who are ravaging the countryside, but also seem to be helping Neven.
The world building here is wonderful, but there is a lot of detail and characters. I got confused sometimes with everything that is going on. There is a lot of fighting and it can be a bit gory in places. This is a book well worth reading however as it goes places you'd never expect (I don't want to give too much away). Neven is an interesting hero, certainly not a warrior, but not quite the nerd you might expect him to be. Warning: the book does end on a cliffhanger, but the next book should be out soon.

Link to Amazon