Victoria is both a wizard and a warrior, adopted by a royal family. She’s close to her adoptive sister, Bethniel, heir to the throne, and to her adoptive brother, Ashel, with whom she’s in love. Their world contains both humans and fierce but intelligent insectoid creatures, Kragnashians. And in the skies above the world shines Elesendar, which some believe is a god and others believe is the hulk of an ancient spaceship that brought humans to this planet. The world contains a number of Devices that allow for instantaneous travel over far distances, and, it turns out, through time as well. Victoria and Bethniel are transported a thousand years into the past, where it becomes clear that the historical hero who shares Victoria’s name is, in fact, Victoria herself, who is thrown into a war and fated to fight a leader named Maylnara, a human who leads Kragnashians.
While Ashel’s sister Bethniel and his beloved Victoria are in the past, he searches for them but also tries to drown his pain with alcohol and a drug called bliss. Although Victoria is also longing for him, it’s a bit difficult to empathize with her desire for this very flawed character. Ashel does have his burdens: he was a musician who had four fingers cut off by an enemy, and he’s mentally linked with Geram, a blind man who is in love with Ashel’s mother. Ashel finds some unexpected new opportunities along the way, along with some questions about his heritage.
A WIZARD’S SACRIFICE (The Woern Saga Book 2) is well written by A. M. Justice and fairly well edited, although it lacks the necessary past perfect tense for events that occurred before the current timeline of the story (“He had not touched her since the night she met with the Center” should be “since the night she’d met with the Center”). The writing is somewhat fanciful at times and falls short in some cases–“Clothing clammed to her shoulders” extends the sense of “to clam” in an imaginative and comprehensible way, but describing a tavern scene’s “silent chatter” simply leaves the reader perplexed. Ultimately, though, interesting characters and an unpredictable plot make this an enjoyable novel.
A. M. Justice’s A WIZARD’S SACRIFICE (The Woern Saga Book 2) is initially somewhat confusing, but strong characters and a variety of conflicts keep the plot humming and the reader curious until the end.
~Elizabeth Jewell for IndieReader