Eye of Obscurance by Jeffrey L. Kohanek

Series:  Fate of Wizardoms #1 Rating: 4/5
Date of Publishing: October 1st 2019 Genre: fantasy
Publisher: self-pub Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Number of pages: 324 Author’s website: JeffreyLKohanek

Quote of the Book

““This will be mine,” Eldalain said in a hushed voice.

Narine turned and found him standing beside her. “What?”

“I have put in the time, developed my talent, and have become the second most powerful wizard in Ghealdor. I have acted as his errand boy and have done what needed doing. I will not throw everything aside so you can ascend the throne.”

She furrowed her brows. “What makes you think I want to rule?”

“Why else attend the University?”

“I did it to be an asset to Father.”

“Please.” Eldalain’s voice was thick with disdain. “I am no fool. Spare me your self-righteous rhetoric.”

“Not everyone seeks power, Eldalain.”

“Wrong,” he retorted. “Not everyone acknowledges it. Some might deny it of themselves, like a martyr, but they are fools.” He turned toward her, his dark eyes boring into her as if examining her soul. “He has grown old, his power finally waning. Of those who might challenge me for the throne, only you remain. Think on that before you lay any plans.”

The man spun on his heel and walked away, leaving Narine with a deeply disturbing realization.

It was him. He killed his own siblings to guarantee his position.”

Blurb

In a realm where wizards rule, the ambitious contend for thrones that grant the power of a god. How can one defeat a god?

Jerrell Landish is a thief, clever, creative, and conniving to the extreme. His legendary exploits force him to use the name Jace just to remain inconspicuous. When he accepts a contract to acquire a secret, enchanted amulet, he discovers the item has already been stolen. To satisfy the leader of the Thieves' Guild, he must track down the amulet and complete the ultimate objective:

Assassinate Wizard Lord Taladain, a man with the power of a god.

Rhoa is an acrobat, diminutive, agile, and daring. Armed with the Eye of Obscurance, she sets out to accomplish the unthinkable. Haunted by a troubled past, she cannot escape a single, all-consuming desire.

She would risk anything to see Lord Taladain dead.

Taladain's daughter, Narine, is a princess who recently graduated as a master wizardess. However, her father and brother seek nothing but power - one would use her to strengthen his position, the other views her as a threat to his future.

Can she navigate troubled waters with danger lurking at every turn?


Personal notes

Review request from author. Thank you to Jeffrey Kohanek for the ARC!

 

Song of the Book

I had a hell of a time finding a song for this one. It needed something upbeat and catchy, I almost went with Billy Eilish‘s Bad Guy but the lyrics were all wrong. This fits a little better at least the tone is right (though Rhoa’s heart is probably closer to charcoal grey).

5 Seconds of SummerJet Black Heart

Review

When the amulet Jace is after is stolen out from under his nose by Rhoa, his failure lands him on the road hoping to recover the stolen property and clear up his contract with the Whispering Man. This leads to an alliance that works for both Jace and Rhoa to achieve their goals: Jace, to clear up his debts and Rhoa, to kill the wizard that destroyed her family – the fact he is practically unkillable hasn’t deterred her plans at all.

I’ve read the Wardens of Issalia series by this author and Wizardoms looks to be similar in style and is off to a great start; it’s an exciting, fast-paced popcorn read. This one is geared a little older – though I’d say (at this point) that it would be fine for the YA/NA crowd and I didn’t find any of the content to be too “adult only” (there is some hints of sacrificial content of children but none on-screen and nothing worse than you’d find in any other YA books, like the Hunger Games).

Eye of Obscurance has an interesting magic set-up.

Malvorian Ikorr – the head honcho wizard is basically at God status, his gifted power is fed by the people’s prayers. In fact, the only way to achieve higher status than what he is now, is to obtain the Eye of Obscurance.

Malvorian can connect to the magic with the throne (if I am understanding correctly – this kind of reminded me of the chair in Atlantis the way the cities magic was connected to the gene’d-user), and the eight great cities and ruling wizards are linked through their obelisks to the main stone which feeds the throne like a giant static ball/lightning rod.

The daily devotion feeds the wizards obelisks’ power, passing it from one to the next until it reaches its head, overseen by Malavorian (this also severely hampers the wizards as it ties them to their city, if they want to have their power at its peak). That magical strength wanes as the day proceeds into the next devotion and like a drug, the wizards are consumed with the ecstasy and power they get from the hit but it fades having them long for more.

Twice a year at the eclipse depending on the moon, there is a lottery held and the winners are chosen to sacrifice themselves to their God (whole families are taken so there are no kids left behind to go hungry or seek revenge) this actually makes a bit of sense in a screwed-up way and I thought this was quite generous of the rulers to be so thoughtful as to not leave any poor kids parentless.

Like with Wardens there is a large and undoubtedly ever-growing cast of characters. Jace and Rhoa are joined by Rawk (a Maker who can shape rock) and Salvon (the gifted storyteller and mentor of sorts to Rhoa) as they journey to Fastella and their common goal.

Jeffrey L. Kohanek has a knack for giving them fun personalities and lots of humorous interactions with one another. This is popcorn so it’s light on some of the rounding out of the characters – we do see clear motivations but occasionally there is a leap to get us from point a to b in the story, that’s ok too because this is unapologetically fun and isn’t trying to be anything else.

Other notes

Pet peeve alert – you all might know me and my dislike of overlapping POV scenes. We do get a few of these but only one earned my complete irritation and was a whole scene repeated. The other two were scene/time placers and weren’t full-sided and therefore acceptable in my books.

I was kind of sad at how little thought towards the others Rhoa had after/during her decision to head off with Jace to Fastella (I’m deliberately trying to be vague because of spoilers). This is a place where the leap maybe could have had more impact to her emotionally but that’s just my opinion.

I loved the Troupe performance which was this world’s version of the Barnum and Bailey Circus, for those of you old enough to have had the opportunity to go to a circus before they became Vegas shows (minus the elephants). Great job on capturing the spirit of the trapeze acts.

TLDR: Fun-packed action and a neat magic setup. I’m pretty curious to see how this series plays out.

3 thoughts on “Eye of Obscurance by Jeffrey L. Kohanek

Add yours

  1. Thank you, Jen, for reading and posting a review. I do agree, my books are mostly meant to entertain, and I often compare them to the Marvel Universe movies when people ask me about my “art”. I want readers to have fun following interesting characters doing outlandish things and hope they enjoy the ride. Of course, there is a bit more depth than that and, yes, things get a bit darker AND racier in book two, but the story is what it is.

    I hadn’t before heard the 5SOS song you chose, but I approve. I am a rock/alternative rock/punk listener and there are a few other 5SOS songs that find their way onto my playlists, so solid choice.

    As for your pet peeve about overlapping scenes from multiple POVs, you’ll find one small scene with that approach in book two as well. Sometimes, it is important to show how different characters PERCEIVE an event and the emotions said characters derives from it. This is especially true when one character is on the “good” side and one is on the “bad side. Although, I would be careful in how you define good and bad in this world. As for multi-POV scenes without overlap, that’s a tool a wield during intense action sequences, so strap on your baldric and get ready to rumble.

    Anyway, the first Fate of Wizardoms book releases next week and the ARC for book two is coming in mid October. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series as much or more than book one because the wizards of my world will soon discover the price of ambition.

    PS. I LOVE writing Jace’s character so, so much and anyone who enjoys a clever rogue-type character (Mat Cauthon/Han Solo/Kaz Brekker) will feel the same way.

    Best wishes,
    -Jeff Kohanek

    Like

    1. Sorry for delay in getting back to you Jeffrey, I totally forget to check comments on here all the time.

      Wizardoms was a lot of fun and glad you enjoyed the song choice!

      Pet peeves are hard because they are so personal which is why I do try to it make sure everyone knows it is a my pet peeve of mine only and probably not even going to be blinked at twice by someone else. At least I hope that comes across. 🙂

      Can’t wait to see where you take the series.
      jen

      Like

Leave a Reply to Jeff Kohanek Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: