Master Artificer (The Silent Gods Series #2) by Justin T. Call

Book Description

Annev has avoided one fate. But a darker path may still claim him . . .

After surviving the destruction of Chaenbalu, new mysteries and greater threats await Annev and his friends in the capital city of Luqura. As they navigate the city’s perilous streets, Annev searches for a way to control his nascent magic and remove the cursed artifact now fused to his body.

But what might removing it cost him?

As Annev grapples with his magic, Fyn joins forces with old enemies and new allies, waging a secret war against Luqura’s corrupt guilds in the hopes of forging his own criminal empire. Deep in the Brakewood, Myjun is learning new skills of her own as apprentice to Oyru, the shadow assassin who attacked the village of Chaenbalu—but the power of revenge comes at a daunting price. And back in Chaenbalu itself, left for dead in the Academy’s ruins, Kenton seeks salvation in the only place he can: the power hoarded in the Vault of Damnation . . .

My Review

Thank you to Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for granting me a digital ARC version of Master Artificer, which will be published in the US on 18th May 2021.

Master Artificer begins right after the events of Master of Sorrows, during the aftermath of the battle in Chaenbalu where Annev has just caused the collapse of the Academy and the deaths of multiple people. We see the horrific story arcs of Kenton and Myjun – both survivors, left for dead in the ruins of the Academy, and both now monsters following the battle, and blaming Annev for their fates while swearing to avenge themselves by hunting him down and killing him.

She was the death that all men feared – the specter that promised no quarter, no remorse, and no mercy.

Kenton’s eyes are now “fiery glass orbs” caused by Annev throwing magical aqlumera in his face. Kenton is now Master of Curses and I can only think his curse mastery must have been used to the max during the painful burning of his eyeballs!!

Myjun is now Oyru the Shadow Reborn’s apprentice assassin. She must train and learn how to use her new powers and the magic that she was unaware was within her, before Oyru will let her hunt her ultimate quarry, Annev.

Annev, Sraon the smith, Titus, Therin and Fyn start off on a quest to find a way to remove the golden Hand of Keos from Annev’s arm. They pick up an albino soothsayer/Necromancer along the way (via a blood debt) who is searching for the assassin Sodja Rocas who briefly appeared in Master of Sorrows. They journey from Banok to Luqura since Dolyn the Artificer in Banok was unable to remove the Hand and hopefully Reeve, one of Sodar’s old order will be able to help them. These sequences were my favourite parts of the first half of the book – I enjoyed the camaraderie of this group and the way the boys were testing out their independence and developing along the way. The Ashes gang, led by Fyn, were my favourite part of the second half of the book, with Sodja Rocas becoming my favourite character.

This book is quite a bit longer than Master of Sorrows and is therefore filled with more PoV characters, more excellent world-building as the characters journey to different locations, more exciting fight scenes and more intriguing magic. The characters are no longer boys attending an Academy but are maturing and learning to use their particular powers and talents.

Through notes made by Sodar, which Annev has in his magical bag, we discover the nature of the assassins hunting Annev. We also get told about many different magical artifacts that both Annev and Kenton took from the Vault of Damnation back at the Academy. I really enjoyed these artifacts, such as the Boots of Swiftness and the Shirt of Regeneration, and I’m willing to bet that the author had a lot of fun coming up with them.

The tone of Master Artificer is darker than its prequel and in places it is really toe-curlingly horrific – some of the things that Kenton and Myjun in particular have to endure are really chilling!

The storytelling within this book is fabulous and the various arcs eventually merge, with some loose ends getting tied up, but there are a few cliff-hangers at the end. Let’s hope Justin T. Call doesn’t leave us hanging for too long!!

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About the Author

Justin Call graduated from Harvard University in 2012 with an ALM in Literature and Creative Writing. He has studied fantasy literature for almost two decades and is the author of Master of Sorrows, Book 1 of The Silent Gods tetralogy. Justin is also the CEO of Broomstick Monkey Games and co-designer of the games Imperial Harvest, Royal Strawberries, Royal Scum, and 8 Kingdoms. He currently lives in Park City, Utah with his wife, his two sons, his Great Dane (Pippa) and his St. Bernard-Mastiff (Herbie).

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