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Review: The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

Hey all, Dani here.

It is a fantastic day outside. The sun is shining, it’s warm, and I had my sunroof on my car open as I came to work. That was pretty nice. Oh, and okay, I finally caved and bought the new Animal Crossing game for my Switch. I tested out the mobile game on my phone yesterday and it was fun, but my main complaint was the screen didn’t show enough of what’s around me, so I talked to Damian about it and we decided it would be a worthwhile game to get, especially since we each have our own Switch consoles. So I fully expect there to be a gaming update in my next Weekly Wrap-Up post. I might play some Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening or possibly some Skyrim or Witcher III this weekend too. I’m not sure yet.

Anyway, it’s time for my second review for today, so I hope you’re ready for it. This is a book I actually read–last month?–and I honestly thought that I had already reviewed it. I guess not though, so here it is a little bit late. Anyway, I need to say thank you to NetGalley and Tor Books for allowing me to read this book early. And I’m sorry I didn’t have this review up sooner, because I could have.

Let’s jump into the review.

The Unspoken Name

Book Details

Format: e-book

Pages: 464

Publisher: Tor Books

Publication Date: February 11, 2020

ISBN: 1250238900 (ISBN13: 9781250238900)

Summary

What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

My Thoughts

Rating: 4.5 stars

I was actually sold on this book just by that tagline alone: “Priestess. Assassin. Traitor.” Well, okay, it grabbed my interest enough for me to read the summary, and then I was truly sold on it.

This was a really cool and interesting fantasy read. I’m still processing it a bit, but I’m glad to have a finished copy on my shelf so I can read it again later. Because in some ways it was a little bit of a mind-blowing read. There are different portals and worlds/realms and really this book feels like it is a genre mash-up, skillfully combining fantasy and some science-fiction, which is a mash-up I greatly enjoy. Science fantasy is pretty darn entertaining to me.

Let’s also talk about the fact that Csorwe is of orcish blood, half-orc specifically if I remember correctly. Most of the time when reading a traditional fantasy novel, you get humans, elves, half-elves, dwarves, gnomes, and halflings/hobbits. This book definitely stands out to me because of it featuring a main character who is a half-orc.

I think Csorwe is a great character anyway, raised to be nothing more than a sacrifice and though she is scared of that destiny, she has accepted it…until that moment when she is to head up to the Shrine and be sacrificed and she is given another option. I love the meaning of this decision, Csorwe taking her life into her own hands, and it really does change everything, but it is such a journey to watch and follow. It is cool to watch her absorbing all the knowledge she can, from history and culture and languages, to sneaking and survival and weaponry. It makes her an all around badass.

There were some time jumps that I wasn’t the biggest fan of, because it glossed over so much of her learning and training, as if we needed to just know that she had training and move past it, so we could get on with the story and see her as a skilled warrior and scholar. I would have liked a bit more time watching her learn and train, but perhaps that is just me.

I definitely think I want to read this book again, because as I said at the beginning of this review, I do have a completed copy on my shelf. I bought it on release day because I already knew that I was hooked on the story and the world. Honestly I’m guessing a second read-through will make me appreciate it all even more, because I probably did miss things as I tried to wrap my head around the story while completely hooked on the narrative and trying to flip through pages as quickly as my eyes and hands would let me.

Where to Get a Copy

You can grab your own copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local independent bookstore through IndieBound.

You can also check with your local library.

10 thoughts on “Review: The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood”

  1. This book keeps jumping in my face everywhere I turn. I’m a little on the fence about reading it, but I’ve only seen good things about it, so maybe I should just bow my head, admit defeat, and finally get a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, well I’m glad that you keep seeing and hearing good things about this book. If you’re on the fence, maybe try doing a e-book sample from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or see if your local library has a copy. That way you can give it a try without spending the money to buy it until you’re more certain if you would like it or not.

      Liked by 2 people

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