REVIEW: The Apprentice Sorceress, by E.D. Walker

Title: The Apprentice Sorceress

Series: The Fairy Tales of Lyond Book Two

Author: E.D. Walker

Genre: Fantasy

LGBTQ+ Category: Trans/Non-Binary

Publisher: Self

Pages: 175

Reviewer: Jaye

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About The Book

A lady does not practice magic…Until now.

Lady Violette has done everything she can to be a perfect lady in waiting to the royal princess of Jerdun. She’s followed the princess halfway across the world and lived through a war. Now the princess is stranded in a foreign city as an enemy army draws near, and Violette is stranded with her. 

As more refugees from the conflict pour into their city every day, tension mounts between various factions, and a strange powers begin to stir inside Violette. A magic that protects her, but also seems impossible to control. Magic is not a womanly art, after all, and if anyone should learn of Violette’s powers she could lose her standing in society, her reputation, perhaps even her place at the princess’s side. 

The only one she trusts with her secret is Ned, an impish squire and fellow refugee from the war. Instead of being repulsed by her powers, Ned admires Violette. For her part, she can’t deny the attraction she feels for Ned, but he has secrets he refuses to share, a wall that he keeps up between them. 

Still, Ned helps Violette finally master her powers, but even mastery has its price when an unscrupulous nobleman looks to use Violette for his own purposes. Torn between serving her princess and saving herself, Violette will have to decide how deep the bonds of loyalty run, and just how much she’s willing to sacrifice for her own happiness.

NOTE TO READERS: This is a short novel of about 55k words, and it contains an LGBTQA+ romance.

The Review

I have to admit, I had a very difficult time with the beginning of this book. The stilted, formal language many fantasy enthusiasts enjoy simply doesn’t resonate with me, and I found it exceptionally irritating in the beginning of this book. If you enjoy high fantasy and read a lot of it, you probably won’t have this problem. 

When I made myself push past this wall, I didn’t have the problem anymore either.

Violette’s secret puts her in real danger, and makes her a pariah in the city where she and her companions have taken refuge. It’s hard not to get caught up in the fear, and the excitement as Violette comes to see her abilities as an asset.

The side characters are fun too. Some are better developed than others, but sometimes we like an over the top villain who’s just plain evil for no reason other than the fact that he can be. The love interest was a delight  and filled me with shining joy. I want to explain why, in great detail, but it’s kind of a major spoiler so I can’t. Suffice it to say that Ned is wonderful, and exactly the kind of hero the world needs.

The book is short, so it feels like Violette comes into her power very quickly. For me, it was kind of a minor issue, and it didn’t inhibit my ultimate enjoyment of this book. What’s more, the book doesn’t involve any explicit sexual scenes. I could actually share this one with my Spawn. Or my dad. They’d both get a kick out of it. 

Note: I received a copy of this book from Queer Sci Fi for my own reading pleasure.  

The Reviewer

I’m Jaye. I like books with strong and interesting characters. And murder. I grew up on a steady diet of fantasy and science fiction, coming to romance later in life, and I can’t wait to read more of everything.

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