BLOG TOUR | Master of Sorrows – Justin Call

Thank you so much to Gollancz for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Hello, welcome to my stop on the Master of Sorrows Blog Tour! I’m super excited to be on this blog tour and I hope you enjoy my review!

I’m also sharing this date with Georgi over at Nifflerreads so please go and give her a visit aswell.

Title: Master of Sorrows

Author: Justin Call

Pages: 577

Publication date: February 2019

Publisher: Gollancz

ISBN: HB; 9781473222861 PB; 9781473222878

My edition: Uncorrected proof

Genre: Fantasy/YA

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


The Academy of Chaenbalu has stood against magic for centuries.

Hidden from the world, acting from the shadows, it trains its students to detect and retrieve magic artefacts, which it jealously guards from the misuse of others. Because magic is dangerous: something that heals can also harm, and a power that aids one person may destroy another.

Of the Academy’s many students, only the most skilled can become Avatars – warrior thieves, capable of infiltrating the most heavily guarded vaults – and only the most determined can be trusted to resist the lure of magic.

More than anything, Annev de Breth wants to become one of them.

My review:

Thank you so much to Gollancz for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve just finished Master of Sorrows and I am speechless, I’m not even sure how to write this review so hopefully it’ll make sense! I have chocolate to get me through…

Master of Sorrows starts with a very intense Prologue, it is a scene from the past and I really enjoyed it, it made me want to read the book right there and then. I will write trigger warnings at the end of my review, but I will mention now, the prologue does have a death through childbirth scene which obviously is sad, but it makes the whole prologue a lot more intense, I was on the edge of my seat reading it.

Master of Sorrows is set in a hidden village. The Academy of Chaenbalu trains it’s students to be able to detect and retrieve magical artefacts to store in their Vault. As with all books set in a school setting I really loved this element, we have a very prominent group of bullies and then a group of friends that just want to make it to the Master rank. Annev was born with a disfigurement and as a result he was taken into the words to be killed as he was believed to be a Child of Keos. However, he was taken away instead and raised by a priest.

In this book we learn that this time is the last time that Annev’s reap have a chance to become a Master Avatar in the Academy. Only one student can pass the ‘Test of Judgement’ but as you will soon learn, Annev is determined to change the rules which sets him on a very different path to what he imagined.

Here we have our main character and other supporting characters;-

⇒ Ainnevog – Also known as Annev, he is an orphan boy brought up by Sodar. He is missing a hand which he hides because any ‘disfigurement’ is seen as a mark of a Child of Keos.

⇒ Sodar – Sodar is a magic priest and is Annev’s mentor and guardian. Sodar smuggled Annev into the village when he was a newborn and has raised him since then.

⇒ Myjun – Myjun is a WitWoman in training and is Annev’s love interest. She is also the daughter of Elder Tosan.

⇒ Fyn – Fyn is one of a group of bullies that likes to see to it that Annev goes through hell at the Academy. He also has already earned his Master rank but still keeps competing to ensure that no one else promotes.

⇒ Titus & Therin – Titus & Theron are Annev’s friends. They all have each other’s backs and help each other through thick and thin.

⇒ Elder Tosan – Elder Tosan is Headmaster of the Academy and not as good a person as he’s made out to be. He has forbidden any relationship between Annev & Myjun until Annev progresses to Master rank.

I really enjoyed this cast of characters and how they all interacted with each other. It was so nice to finally read about a male protagonist and I didn’t like Myjun’s character very much, at the start she came across really sweet but then I just started to dislike her more and more the more we learned about her. We also see demons, magic and witches – I love these 3 things in any book and I lived for it!

Throughout the book, at the start of each part, we have some excerpts which contain the History of Keos and his siblings; Odar & Lumea. I really enjoyed reading these, they added more history and depth to the story and were a really nice added touch to the overall story.

In this story we are also aware of a very prominent belief that any form of disfigurement is a sign from Odar that the bearer is a Child of Keos, so as you can imagine, there are a few scenes of discrimination towards these characters.

This book is so well written and the plot is well thought out. It was easy to read and once I got past the first 100 pages I flew through it, in fact I read half of it in one sitting. This book has so many twists and turns, when I thought it was going one way it took a sharp turn and went in the complete opposite direction.

I really need book 2 now, because that epilogue…wow…I HAVE NO WORDS!

Trigger/content warnings: Death through childbirth, violence thoughout, gore, bullying, animal death, death of a loved one & disfigurement discrimination.

I hope you enjoyed my stop, and please check out all the other stops on this blog tour to find out what others thought.

6 thoughts on “BLOG TOUR | Master of Sorrows – Justin Call

  1. Exactly! I have to write the reviews just after I finish otherwise I’ll forget everything 😂 because once I finish a book I usually move straight to the next one on my tbr pile so I need to write the review while I remember it all 🙊

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