Book Reviews

The Sorcerer's Guardian (Chronicles of Tournai 4) by Antonia Aquilante at NineStar Press

Genre Gay / Fantasy / High Fantasy / Magic / Warriors/Soldiers / Wizards & Witches / Romance / Action/Adventure
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 14-September-2020

Book Blurb

Savarin honed his Talent through years of study, and to achieve his goal of becoming the most powerful and accomplished sorcerer in Tournai, he made magic his life. Among the wealthy and noble circles he moves in, no one would suspect the handsome, refined, arrogant sorcerer’s humble beginnings—which is how Savarin prefers it. He wants to be seen only as the man he’s made himself. When Tournai’s princes task Savarin with studying and strengthening the spells that protect the principality from magical attack, he is more than happy to do so. The spells are complex, centuries old, and exactly the type of puzzle Savarin is eager to solve. But to his annoyance, the princes insist Loriot accompany him on his journey.

 

Second son of a minor noble family, Loriot worked his way up the ranks of the royal guard to captain with single-minded determination and takes pride in his service to the crown. He must obey the prince’s orders to protect Savarin, despite believing his skills would be best used elsewhere and his wariness of magic. UnTalented himself, Loriot has learned not only the benefits of magic but also its potential for harm—and how to counter it. He still believes it’s best to avoid most magic entirely, which is difficult when he’s tasked with playing guard to a powerful sorcerer.

 

Loriot and Savarin clash repeatedly during their journey, but the simmering tension between them doesn’t only stem from their work, and passion develops into feelings neither expected. But Savarin must still secure Tournai’s magical barrier, and his only solution will endanger both him and the royal family.

 

 

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, November 2016.

 

Book Review

This is the fourth book in the ‘Chronicles of Tournai’ series, set in a fantasy world where almost everyone has some level of magical Talent and the royal family has a whole lot but keep it a secret. After the excitement of the mighty empire of Ardunn attempting to overpower the much smaller but resilient country of Tournai in the previous book, the storyline focuses on the mysterious defenses that have protected Tournai so far, but seem to be weakening. None other than Savarin, the powerful sorcerer who discovered the problem, is now tasked with fixing it- except he doesn’t even know what spell was used or why it has lasted so many centuries already. Needless to say, I’ve been on pins and needles ever since all of these issues were revealed at the end of book three. And yes, I think you should read this series in order because you’ll be missing not just lots of background information needed to understand what’s going on, but you’d also deprive yourself of some very entertaining and suspenseful stories with great characters.

Savarin is a very powerful sorcerer, and I was curious to find out more about him. He has occasionally appeared in previous stories and always seemed very withdrawn, intensely private, and arrogant. Not that any of that changes – he is still arrogant and tends to get lost in his work, much like most “professor types” I have come across. But it becomes apparent why he is that way as some of his background is revealed, and he definitely turns more human through his increased contact with Royal Guard Captain Loriot. Savarin’s basic personality doesn’t change, but he becomes a little softer around the edges, allows himself to relax more. While figuring out the protection spell and what makes them tick is by no means easy, Savarin can’t resist a good puzzle like that.

Loriot has also appeared previously, and I have always admired his dedication to protecting the royal family of Tournai. He is loyal and one of the few people who know about the royals’ secret Talent. When he is told to protect Savarin on his trip to Tournai’s border so he can study the protective barriers up-close, Loriot is less than enthusiastic. He has no Talent whatsoever, so he doesn’t think he can help Savarin. Loriot also believes his place is in the palace, not traipsing around the countryside. But since he has been given an order, he has to go…

Savarin and Loriot are not an easy match. They don’t exactly hate each other, but they think they have nothing in common. Pure coincidence leads to their first physical encounter, and it is surprisingly enjoyable – which is all they will admit to. Both try to be ridiculously “logical” about their affair. They’re passionate and almost without control while making love, but as soon as they leave the bedchamber, their responsibilities become more important than the feelings they won’t admit they have – not even to themselves. Once they have returned from their trip, it takes Savarin’s surprise encounter with the son he didn’t know Loriot has for them to realize they don’t want the “affair” to end. Rather, they want more... except it takes them quite a while to figure out how to go about it.

If you like fantasy that includes magic, shifters, and men dedicated to their jobs to the exclusion of almost everything else, if you want to find out more about the secrets of Tournai, and if you’re looking for a read full of action, adventure, great feats of magic, and a slow-burn romance that might have you wanting to tear your hair out because the characters don’t seem to get it, then you will probably like this novel as much as I did. It’s fantastic, surprising, and very entertaining!

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the publisher for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 376 pages/111400 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 14-September-2020
Price $6.99 ebook
Buy Link https://ninestarpress.com/product/the-sorcerers-guardian/