DiscoverEpic Fantasy

A Noble's Path

By

Must read 🏆

A Noble’s Path is a classic fantasy read with enough originality to push it above the common heard. There are also magical sheep.

Synopsis

Divided loyalties test Inez Garza.

The infamous incident at the Academy of Natural Studies has forced her to work for the King’s Men while continuing to serve the hidden market.

Supporting Birthright furthers the cause of Magical Return, but the cost may be the fall of the royal house and losing Zavier forever.

And the strongest pull of all is her growing and erratic magic, which demands everything and offers only destruction in return.

Inez must decide where her loyalties lie—saving Canto or saving herself.

A Nobel’s Path is the second book in the series and although I haven’t read the first, the lively writing and strong character development made me happy to pick up the story in the middle. The central protagonist is just complicated and conflicted enough to be believable, while the plot moves along at a nice clip so you don’t get bogged down in excess exposition. There are also magical sheep.


While there is a touch of death and danger - more social than physical - this story reads more YA than not. It’s not too dark, the characters are mostly kind to each other, and even the criminals are relatively clean and well behaved.


A Nobel’s Path is classic fantasy with forbidden magic, a coming-of-age plot, a mysterious origin story, a love triangle, royalty and thieves, and overbearing parents. Yes, just about every single fantasy trope ever plotted. However the author manages to overcome the dangers of being generic with some solid world-building - using the Latin community as a starting point - and by creating a character the reader will care about.


This is not the best fantasy novel ever, but it’s a solid attempt and an easy casual read. Will look forward to the next instalment.

Reviewed by

I’ve been a journalist for 20 years, including as a book reviewer

Synopsis

Divided loyalties test Inez Garza.

The infamous incident at the Academy of Natural Studies has forced her to work for the King’s Men while continuing to serve the hidden market.

Supporting Birthright furthers the cause of Magical Return, but the cost may be the fall of the royal house and losing Zavier forever.

And the strongest pull of all is her growing and erratic magic, which demands everything and offers only destruction in return.

Inez must decide where her loyalties lie—saving Canto or saving herself.

Prologue

Rex Hart held his lantern high, making his shock white hair glow in the darkness. His athletic figure, a source of vanity at his age, stooped beneath the low threshold. He surveyed the cramped basement with an icy, critical eye. Every piece of furniture and each box was spotless. He dragged a finger across a glossy table, checking for a trace of dust though Rex knew it was clean. He knew everything about this place. The lantern was only a psychological crutch, so it was hastily extinguished. Nothing could harm him in the darkness. His darkness. After countless trips to the drafty underbelly of his domain, he no longer needed a guide or a light.

His goal was simple—find a box with a dress in it.

Poking around the dim basement, he realized there were tons of boxes and trunks. He stopped for a moment and closed his eyes. Inhaled the damp and embraced the chill. He knew these walls and all they contained. This was his small kingdom. And recalling the location of the box was easier this way.

The first time it had been presented to him, Grandmother Hart had told him all about the courageous girl who had worn it. A girl with no breeding. A scullery maid, who had brought a kingdom to its knees. A commoner who had become a queen—all because of a dress.

Now it was their turn. The Harts would reach that pinnacle again. Grandmother had said it the first time she’d shown him the dress, and she’d repeated it every day until she died. That first time had been an initiation. Even in his memory seeing the dress for the first time, Rex recognized even opening the plain box had an otherworldly quality, like a sacred ritual. The box had a pulsing aura and its contents were luminescent. Over the years when he’d checked on it to reassure himself it was still in his possession he’d noticed its shine had dimmed, which he took as a warning. In his heart he knew the dress was still just as powerful, but he sensed time was running out on the magic.

         With eyes still shut, he made his way over to the far corner, irritated to have to avoid the old furniture and other boxes. He was drawn along by a sensation—a light but persistent tug. Then, when it ceased, he opened his eyes. The box he’d looked for was there, in front of him. Without hesitation he reached for the latch, tarnished and ornate.

         Click.

It responded to his touch. His frosty glare warmed. As he opened the lid he felt the lingering presence of that “first girl” and his grandmother. And he sensed they approved his course. Ironically, the stage for what would happen next had been set, just as it had been all those years ago. Rex lifted the gown in his strong hands.

He allowed himself a smile. He’d completed his task.

The time has come. In his mind, his grandmother’s voice encouraged him.

Yes. The time had come, indeed.

About the author

I.L. Cruz wants to live in a world where words are chosen with care, shoes are as comfy as socks, and reading time is sacred. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and a sun-seeking supermutt named Dipper. view profile

Published on January 31, 2020

Published by

70000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Reviewed by

Enjoyed this review?

Get early access to fresh indie books and help decide on the bestselling stories of tomorrow. Create your free account today.

or

Or sign up with an email address

Create your account

Or sign up with your social account