NOCTURNA (A forgery of magic #1)
Written by Maya Motayne
Published by Balzer + Bray, May 7th 2019
My star rating – 4.5 stars
To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.
As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.
After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.
But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts. Find it on Goodreads
It’s safe to say that I’m in love! Right from the first chapter I became obsessed with the writing, the world, the characters, and everything in between. This is one of those books that you know you’re going to love so you read as quickly as possible!
This book is told from two perspectives. First we have Finn. She’s a talented face shifter who uses her powers to escape capture. Capture from what you ask? Well, that’s a bit of a long story. She steals to survive and rarely stays in the same place for too long. She’s also trying to outrun her “adoptive father” who wants to control her every move. But trust me; her father is far more sinister than he seems!
We also get the perspective of Prince Alfie. He’s in line to take the throne after his brother was killed by a rebellion group. He doesn’t want the throne for himself. It was always supposed to go to his brother, and Alfie is too lost in his grief to think about his people. Instead of focusing on ruling a kingdom, he puts all his effort and energy into finding a brother he doesn’t believe is dead. Then something happens that brings these two together.
This story has basically everything you could want in a fantasy!!! There’s magic (dear god I LOVED the magic system!!!!!!!!!), shadow magic, politics, thievery, gambling, escape, revenge, loss, and so much more. But it was the magic system that really stuck out to me. People have something called a Propio – it’s a power that is unique to them and is insanely powerful. For example; Finn has the ability to shift faces. She can do this on herself and also on others. There are some who can travel with a doorknob and a single word. Some can open space and time. There are so many possibilities! Their shadows are also related to that magic, and magic has a colour….. I can’t explain it all here – I would rather you figure it all out for yourself!
On top of the fantastic, stellar, and incredible writing, the author also took common tropes and flipped them over into something fresh and unique. You might be thinking that you’ve read a million books where a prince who is second in line is forced into the throne after he meets a girl. Well, no. First off – he had no desire for the throne. He worshiped his brother and wanted nothing more than to be his support system. Another HUGE difference (which I can’t stress enough how much I LOVED this aspect) was that there was a King and a Queen who were actually good people. Shocking I know! They loved their people, wanted to do everything they could for them, and they were genuinely loving and caring parents……….. see what I mean? A trope made unique! I don’t think I’ve read too many books where the King and Queen weren’t power hungry, angry A-holes!
The pace of this book could only be described as perfection! After I read the first chapter, I didn’t want to stop! Every small detail brought you through this story at lightning speed and made you eager for the next chapter. The only thing that I wish there was more of was the world building. I read this as an ARC so there wasn’t a map, and I think that would have helped me. Also, this is a latin inspired setting and I wish I could have gotten more vibrant descriptions. We got some food and setting descriptions, but I kind of wish there would have been more. But what we did get was still good enough!
If you’re looking for a fast paced fantasy, full of magic, friends, adventure, thievery, and so much more – YOU NEED TO READ THIS! I absolutely loved the hell out of this and now I’m dying for book two! Especially how this one ended…… so many possibilities for the next instalment!!!
Thank you so much to Harper Collins (HCC Frenzy) and Balzer + Bray for the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are uninfluenced.
Until next time, happy reading!