TITLE : Nightmasters (Doubles Talk #1)
AUTHOR : Loran Holt
GENRE : Adult Fantasy
FR RATING : ⭐⭐⭐ (3.5 stars)
PUBLISHED DATE : 30th June 2020
DISCLAIMER : Thank you, RABT Book Tours and Acorn Publishing for providing me with an ARC of this book. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Nightmasters by Loran Holt is her debut fantasy. I was very much intrigued by the synopsis. The story follows a great cast of characters who are very much different in their backgrounds and experiences. Kelgan Defthand is our main protagonist and he has always been the top mage at the Magical Academy. He worked hard to get to the position of Senior Apprentice Mage in a short time outdoing older students. His progress made him overly confident and quite sure of himself. After some time dark voices torment him at night stripping him of his confidence and ability as a mage. His headmaster notices his deteriorating performances. He gets called to accompany the mysterious aristocratic twins on their mission. The mission takes him out of the academy and this leaves him doubting his skill as a mage. The journey is filled with twists and turns and filled with adventures shared by the strangest group of people.
The story was interesting and it never lets the reader know the direction of the plot. The readers will keep guessing as to how and what will happen in the story as we move forward. The unexpected group that comes in the story and joining on the mission are just as interesting and mysterious as the main characters. Every person in the group has their role to fulfill which doesn’t get revealed. The story had so many interesting elements that as a reader I loved. But at the same time, some aspects were repetitive and the lack of clarity as to the reason behind the mission kind of made it confusing. I did not feel the gravity of the mission or the dangers to the characters caused by the dark voices. While I was ok with not knowing the mission I wished I got to see and understand the urgency the characters exhibited.
The story mainly focuses on Kelgan and his journey as a mage and coming to terms with his lack of practical knowledge in the outside world. His growth and development of skills help him understand his importance. Kelgan as a character is someone who gets a dose of reality that hits him in the face. He is unsure of his journey and his role to be part of the mission. He is often whining because of his lack of understanding when it comes to magic beyond his academy education. This is a very repetitive trait for his character, which gets old very soon.
There was a lot of fun and interesting moments with the characters. Humor was also added in between and the animals seemed to also have a personality to them. Those interactions were funny and entertaining to read about. The rest of the cast were all vital to the main journey and we see them from being distant and untrusting to forming a deeper friendship and companionship as the journey progresses. There were some sweet moments and interesting relationship developments that can be seen in the story. Some were not fleshed out fully in my opinion and some felt hurried in the way they progressed.
I enjoyed the book and the characters. There were some things that I believe could have been improved, but overall I liked the story and the uncertainty of the journey. I believed it was a good debut. I gave the book 3.5 stars. If you like following characters on a journey to fulfill a mission with a lot of intrigues, magical elements, and an interesting world then definitely check it out.
Kelgan Defthand is used to being top dog at the Academy of Magic where he is Senior Apprentice Mage. Compared to his peers, he’s faster, more skillful, and well aware of it, but when he finds himself beset by fearful voices that come in the night, his confidence is shaken.
Adding to his worries, Kelgan is summoned to the headmaster, Sargal’s presence; it looks like he’s really in trouble. But to his bewilderment, he finds he’s being sent on a “mission” with two very hostile-seeming aristocratic twins, Neroma and Nevander Di Nerrill.
Upon embarking on this mission with the twins, Kelgan soon realizes the world outside the cloistered Academy is a bit different than he imagined. First of all, there seems to be women doing magic! Secondly, he’s not the only one hearing voices.
Following a strange compulsion, Kelgan and the Di Nerrills find themselves seeking out the source of the voices, hoping to put an end to it.
The fateful journey tests Kelgan’s underdeveloped skills to the limit, and could come at an unbearable cost to both to him and his companions. Once Kelgan accepts the challenge of Magehood, there’s no going back.