Author: Antonia Aquilante
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 11/28/2016
Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)
Genre: Fantasy, Gay Romance
A Tale of Tournai
Savarin, the most powerful sorcerer in Tournai, has honed his Talent through years of study and made magic his life. Among the wealthy and noble circles he moves in, no one would suspect the handsome, refined, and arrogant sorcerer’s humble beginnings, which is how Savarin prefers it. Tournai’s princes task Savarin with studying and strengthening the spells that protect the principality from magical attack. They are complex, centuries old, and exactly the type of puzzle Savarin is eager to solve. To his annoyance, the princes insist Loriot accompany him.
Loriot worked his way up the ranks of the royal guard to captain and takes pride in his service. He must obey the princes’ orders to protect Savarin, despite believing his skills would be best used elsewhere. And despite his wariness of magic. UnTalented himself, he has learned not only the benefits of magic but also its potential for harm—and how to counter it. Loriot and Savarin clash during their journey, but there’s another reason for the tension between them, and passion develops into feelings neither expected. But Savarin must still fortify Tournai’s magical barrier, and his only solution endangers both him and the royal family.
This fourth tale in Antonia Aquilante’s Tales of Tournai series just confirms what I already knew, each installment is better than the last.
I fell in love with the people of Tournai in The Prince’s Consort. In The Artist’s Masquerade, found the beauty of the Tournai. In The Scholar’s Heart, I delved into the mind, mystery, and history of tournai. On each one, these guys found a place in my heart.
In The Sorcerer’s Guardian I got to see more of Tournai. I got to leave the nobles and find out just what kind of place Tournai was. I got to follow two semi-ordinary people with extraordinary abilities or jobs. That is the thing about Tournai, anyone can be extraordinary. Heck most of Tournai doesn’t know about the talent’s of their Royal Family at all. It is that talent that is put to the test in this installment. But that test comes in the form of one powerful sorcerer, Savarin. We get to see his walls crumble and him let in the powerful, in his own right, Loriot.
That is the power of well built fantasy, you grow as the world is built. You are introduced to only enough of the world to appreciate the story that is being told, but it is seamlessly expanded as the story goes along. Aquilante has mastered this. There are no information dumps of past events. She always finds a way to work any past knowledge needed into the current story. Loriot and Savarine are both characters we have known since book one. However, in this installment they become friends. We the are given dimension and personality.
If you are a fan of magic, this installment is necessarily filled with it. Aquilante doesn’t try to make you know exactly how it happens. It is magic, it just is for those with the talent. We do, however, get to know that Savarin is one of the best. We also get to see the magic is not without its consequences.
If you are after escape, mysticism, old friends, and deep and abiding love, I can’t recommend The Tales of Tournai and specifically the Sorcerer’s Guardian highly enough.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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