This dark magical fantasy novel is a must-read

The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso ★★★★★

“There are two kinds of magic. There is the kind that lifts you up and fills you with wonder, saving you when all is lost or opening doors to new worlds of possibility. And there is the kind that wreks you, that shatters you, bitter in your mouth and jagged in your hand, breaking everything you touch. Mine was the second kind.”

I received this e-book from Netgalley. This does not affect my review or opinion. All thoughts are my own and I’m being 100 percent honest. Thank you to Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for providing me this e-book for reviewing purposes.

You know you’ve read a good book when you can’t stop thinking about it and need the sequel this instant. The Obsidian Tower is one of those books. It had everything a great fantasy novel needs. Amazing and powerful magic, a compelling plot, nice characters, and beautiful worldbuilding.

The mage-marked granddaughter of a ruler of Vaskandar, Ryx was destined for power and prestige at the top of Vaskandran society. But her magic is broken; all she can do is uncontrollably drain the life from everything she touches, and Vaskandar has no place for a mage with unusable powers.

Then, one night, two terrible accidents befall her: Ryx accidentally kills a visiting dignitary in self-defense, activating a mysterious magical artifact sealed in an ancient tower in the heart of her family’s castle.

Ryx flees, seeking a solution to her deadly magic. She falls in with a group of unlikely magical experts investigating the disturbance in Vaskandar—and Ryx realizes that her family is in danger and her domain is at stake. She and her new colleagues must return to the family stronghold to take control of the artifact that everyone wants to claim—before it destroys the world.

It is quite hard reviewing a book you loved. All I can think is ‘wow I absolutely loved this’. So let me start off with the cover. Gorgeous artwork. It suits the story so well. The cover gives me dark, dangerous, and mysterious vibes.

I found the plot very interesting. A forbidden door that can’t be opened is nothing new, but the way Caruso wrote about it was very refreshing. She didn’t wait until the last page to reveal all the secrets. I was scared this book was just going to be like a prequel and that I would have to wait for the second book in this series to find out what really happens. The Obsidian Tower has so many interesting subplots. There’s this danger that threatens the whole world but in the meantime, all the kingdoms are on the brink of political war and you clearly see Ryxander struggling to keep the peace. You never get bored, not even for a second.

Caruso’s writing style is very magical and immersive. I started reading and before I knew it when I was ready to take a break, three hours had passed. The author knows how to sweep you off your feet and keep you interested in her dark but magical novel. The worldbuilding in The Obsidian Tower is excellent. I could see the world

I genuinely enjoyed reading about these characters. There were a lot of characters, but somehow (don’t ask me how that’s possible) Caruso succeeds in keeping me interested in all of them. There’s not one character I didn’t want to read about. It never got confusing who was who and who did what. I loved the Rookery and their close group. I was rooting for Ryxander every moment of this book. I felt her struggle. I saw how she was trying to keep the peace while trying to deal with this magical artifact. I have so much respect for Ryxander and really felt for her. At times I just wanted to give her a hug (only when she was wearing her jess of course, better safe than sorry). Ryxander is a strong female lead with incredible powers and a huge responsibility. Everything falls onto her shoulders and she manages to do what’s right. I have huge respect for her.

The Obsidian Tower also has great LGBTQIA+ representation. It gives us lesbian characters, a character who is bisexual or pansexual (not sure which one it is), a character whose pronouns are they/them. I feel like this book just has everything. I love great representation in a fantasy novel.

There is one thing I didn’t like about this novel. And it’s the fact that I got it in advance and I now have to wait even longer for the sequel! If I had had the sequel, there’s no doubt in my mind that I would have started reading it after finishing The Obsidian Tower.

This book is a great read. It has everything going from great characters and an interesting plot to having dark and dangerous magic.

Would I recommend it? Hell yes! What an interesting read. If you’re a fan of the fantasy genre you really should read this one.

About the author

Melissa loves tea, adventure, and the great outdoors, and has been known to swordfight in ballgowns. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two superlative daughters, three cats, and a Labrador. Represented by Naomi Davis of BookEnds.

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