While I mostly favor “adult” fantasy, I will occasionally partake in the YA variety. The themes can be less complex, but the storytelling can be every bit as rewarding as their adult counterparts.
That being said, I picked up Chosen by the Blade by S. R. Sereda without knowing much about it. I must say, I enjoyed this one very much. The story follows Orion, a student in a religious academy who gets called to an ancient quest instead of graduating like he’d planned.
The author does a nice job of setting the stage, with a fantasy land and pervading mythology. What exposition there is has been nicely handled without being a plodding info-dump. The characters and their motivations are believable and multi-dimensional.
As for the story, I liked how the overall quest is always present but the author employs more immediate issues to keep things interesting and moving along.
I definitely sensed some vibes from Naomi Novik’s Scholomance and Riordan’s Percy Jackson series, but Chosen by the Blade stands well on its own.
No spoilers, but I did not expect this volume to turn out like that. I’ll be interested to see how things turn out…
Get your copy of S. R. Sereda Chosen by the Blade at Amazon.