Title: The Burning Isle
Author: Will Panzo
Genre: Adult Fiction, Politics, Magic
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
This is an Advanced Readers Copy. That means that this is not the final version of the book and some facts and quotes are subject to change in the published book.
This novel is a fantasy story that follows a man named Cassius and his plan for revenge. On the island of Scipio, our main character embarks on an extensive plan that is years in the making. He joins in magical fights and goes undercover in order to get his revenge. This is a very long story where we get to see both sides of a war with a complete world being built in between. Although this book was greatly written it was definitely not my cup of tea.
There were random chapters inserted throughout the novel that seemed to portray other characters. I hated leaning away from the main plot and felt that this was meant as either world-building or additional word count. The stories never correlated with the main plot and were always different from the next. I only realized halfway through that this is Cassius’ story through life but the lack of consistent names really threw me off every time. I understand the reason for them but to me they were a waste of reading time.
There was something that just left me so bored reading this book. The fights were amazing and there was a constant build up to read. Unfortunately, I just didn’t enjoy this book as much.
The rules to magic were greatly thought out and explained. The concept of gauntlets and only a certain number of runes that could be used was fascinating to read about. You can win these runes or spells from other spell casters after winning battles and then use them for yourself. Cassius finds himself being touched which means that he can freely use his magic but we never really witnessed anyone running out of their magic? It was still a really cool detail but it was never truly shown otherwise.
Cassius’ inner fight between good and evil was wonderful to witness in the middle of the novel. Watching him try to fight that thin line between fighting for his revenge and hurting the people around him. Of course, he is supposed to be the stoic revenge taker but he gets attached to people often and of course everyone and their mother pretty much gets hurt in some way in this novel. Therefore, watching that struggle actually be voiced was entertaining.
This fantasy-ish novel was definitely a wild ride. The plot was pretty straight forward and honestly quite predictable. I honestly wish there was some sort of twist. There wasn’t though and I can still respect that. The author stuck to their guns and wrote a great book. Just not one that I enjoyed.
My recommendation for this book would be Breach by W.L. Goodwater. They both have a very similar rules to the use of magic and the politics took up a big part of these novels.
“My men cry out for revenge…Should I deny them? If I do, they’ll think me weak. And what about honor? About loyalty and justice? My friend is dead. Don’t I owe him vengeance?”