Book Review: Tempests and Slaughter

tempests and slaughterTempests and Slaughter
Tamora Pierce
Fantasy
455 pages
Published February 2018

(No Top Ten List today. I could only find one example of a character I liked in a book that I didn’t!)

A new Tamora Pierce book! About the origins of Numair! YES! I waited SO ANXIOUSLY for this book to make its way through the line of holds at my library and get in my grabby hands, and I was rewarded. Tempests is classic Tamora Pierce. It’s set in Carthak, not Tortall, but the themes and feel are exactly what I was expecting. I love diving back into my favorite fantasy worlds, and Tortall ranks right near the top. (It might be the top, I haven’t sat down and attempted to rank them – that would probably be a futile effort!)

My only issue with the book, really, is that it feels like an introduction. I know it’s the first part of a trilogy, but the rest isn’t OUT YET! So I feel like I’ve read the first third of a story and now I have to wait. Tempests introduces a LOT of story threads, and resolves exactly none of them. It managed to do so without leaving us on a cliffhanger, though, so there’s that, at least. I’m probably going to go re-read the books around Numair’s adult life to tide me over until the rest of this trilogy comes out!

I think my favorite character overall was Enzi – he was hilarious and obstinate and I’m looking forward to the rest of his storyline.

I was surprised but pleased to see a gay couple as side characters – and that it wasn’t mentioned the character was gay until his husband arrived on the scene. It wasn’t a defining point of his character, his spouse just happened to be male. I’ve said it before, but I love seeing the change in fantasy – it’s gone from “that’s strange or scandalous” to “absolutely no big deal, people have differently-gendered partners.” It will be even lovelier once real society reaches that point!

I was also surprised to see I have missed a Tortall book! Tortall: A Spy’s Guide came out in October of 2017, so that’s now waiting at the library for me. I can’t wait to read more about George Cooper, even if it isn’t really a novel as such. I’ve previously reviewed Pierce’s Beka Cooper trilogy, the Lioness quartet, and her short story collection – like I said, one of my favorite worlds!

Final verdict: Tempests and Slaughter was an excellent addition to Tortall, but if you like books that resolve their storylines, you might want to wait until the rest of the trilogy is published. If you can’t wait, just expect that you won’t get many answers from this first book!

Tempests and Slaughter is my pick for “weather element in the title” for the 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge.

From the cover of Tempests and Slaughter:

Arram Draper is on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting trouble. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram realizes that one day–soon–he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie. 

In the Numair Chronicles, readers will be rewarded with the never-before-told story of how Numair Salmalín came to Tortall. Newcomers will discover an unforgettable fantasy adventure where a kingdom’s future rests on the shoulders of a talented young man with a knack for making vicious enemies.

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