DiscoverEpic Fantasy

A Smuggler's Path

By I.L. Cruz

Loved it! 😍

The Smuggler's Path is the young adult fantasy we've all been waiting for. A lot of magic with a little mystery and romance mixed in.

Synopsis

In Canto, magic is a commodity, outlawed by the elites after losing a devastating war and brokered by smugglers on the hidden market. But some know it's more—a weapon for change.

Inez Garza moves through two worlds. She's a member of the noble class who works as a magical arms dealer—a fact either group would gladly use against her. Neither know her true purpose—funding Birthright, an underground group determined to return magic to all at any cost.

But the discovery of a powerful relic from before the Rending threatens her delicate balance.

Inez's inherent magic, which lies dormant in all the Canti, has been awakened. Now the Duchess's daughter, radical and smuggler must assume another forbidden title—mage, a capital crime. This will bring her to the attention of factions at home—fanatical rebels bent on revolution, a royal family determined to avoid another magical war, her mercenary colleagues at the hidden market willing to sell her abilities to the highest bidder—and in Mythos, victors of the war and architects of the Rending.

Evasion has become Inez's specialty, but even she isn't skilled enough to hide from everyone—and deny the powers drawing her down a new path.

The Smuggler’s Path is the young adult novel we’ve been waiting for, combining a lot of fantasy with a little mystery and a tad bit of romance. It isn’t perfect, but honestly what novel is? The few notes there are to make are easy enough to look over with the incredible writing of the author. There is a lot packed into a small book and the author does an amazing job tying it all together.


For the first real time in a young adult novel, since I can remember, Inez and her mother don’t have relationship issues. While their relationship isn’t perfect, it is still a strong example of a realistic mother-daughter bond. While the main character secretly fights for the resistance, the mother secretly supports it, but the demeanor in which she was raised keeps her at a distance. This creates a new dynamic within fantasy fiction that I, for one, am happy to see.


Of course, because of her mother’s nobility, it’s no surprise that Inez is destined to save the island of Canto, but always with the proud backing of her ancestors and family, though some of Canto’s society doesn’t quite like the idea of being saved from anything.


Not only does the author do a great job creating realistic relationships with family, but in romance as well. Inez and Zavier’s relationship is just solid enough to not be the usual mushy, gushy relationships of fantasy culture. Inez declares her independence and doesn’t try to fit in where she knows she can’t stand, Zavier is a strong part of that dynamic.


The story line plays out so well and is so beautifully crafted that the world of The Smuggler’s Path is easy to fall in love with and will no doubt leave readers wanting more in the future.


As I said, there were only a few complaints, one being that at certain points it wasn’t so hard to keep up with the characters, but the objects with characters. Inez carried a bag of goods, and it would seem to pop up at random locations. At one point, she hid it in a flower and then in a scene later she was holding a bag. I wasn’t sure if it was the same bag or different bag. This happened with several different objects throughout the story, dispelling the beauty of the written words.


Additionally, some of the characters were slightly confusing. There is a list at the beginning of the book of all the characters involved, which is a great help, but as I read the final chapters leading up to the end of the book, I didn’t want to scroll back to the first page to figure out who was who. I continued to mix up Austra and her daughter within the same scene because they acted so similarly and switched emotions regularly.


These two complaints are all that I have to offer within the review. The world is impeccably built, beautifully described and action packed. I have definitely become a fan and can’t wait to see what the next book holds. I hope that the author pays closer attention to editing because the book will then be golden.


Because of the few errors I pointed out and the amazing storytelling mentioned above, I have to give this book a 4 out of 5 stars. If the issues were a little cleaned up, it would be a full five stars, but despite that, this book is definitely a keeper.

Reviewed by

I am a blogger learning to market and brand to millennial, college-age women. Despite being a fairly new blog, I can help authors reach an untapped potential in college-age women as potential influencers of books.

Synopsis

In Canto, magic is a commodity, outlawed by the elites after losing a devastating war and brokered by smugglers on the hidden market. But some know it's more—a weapon for change.

Inez Garza moves through two worlds. She's a member of the noble class who works as a magical arms dealer—a fact either group would gladly use against her. Neither know her true purpose—funding Birthright, an underground group determined to return magic to all at any cost.

But the discovery of a powerful relic from before the Rending threatens her delicate balance.

Inez's inherent magic, which lies dormant in all the Canti, has been awakened. Now the Duchess's daughter, radical and smuggler must assume another forbidden title—mage, a capital crime. This will bring her to the attention of factions at home—fanatical rebels bent on revolution, a royal family determined to avoid another magical war, her mercenary colleagues at the hidden market willing to sell her abilities to the highest bidder—and in Mythos, victors of the war and architects of the Rending.

Evasion has become Inez's specialty, but even she isn't skilled enough to hide from everyone—and deny the powers drawing her down a new path.

Prologue

 

 

 

 

 


 

It didn’t take a seer to know what was coming, but Beata warned her sisters all the same. The fires of the Spanish Inquisition were coming for them, and all their kind:

Mages. Wielders of magic.

The mundanes, those who didn’t have magic and shunned the practitioners of enchantments, wanted magic banished from the world. Some mages wanted to stay and fight, but others sought the strongest of their kind in the hopes of finding a better solution. The Ardea sisters, Amata, Donata and Beata, agreed. They proposed La Repoblación, the resettlement. A new world where magic would be welcome had to be found. From the depths of the North Atlantic Ocean, the sisters raised an atoll and shrouded it from the mundane world. They named it Pélago.

Each sister was given a domain to govern as she saw fit. Traditional and disciplined Amata, the eldest and a Martial mage, took Mythos and the title of Arbiter. Mercurial Donata, a Custodial mage, called herself the Matriarch and governed Faery. Beata was the youngest—a rebel Abstract mage—and thought a new home meant a new way and ruled Canto as its queen.

 For a time, The Enchanted Isles, as they were called collectively, were indeed enchanted—full of magical innovation and cooperation. Safety gave rise to new ideas both accepted… and dangerous.

No longer burdened with the worries of the mundane world, differences of opinion were brought to light. The sisters were no longer united in their belief of what came next for mages. And there were whispers of creating a Ternion, a magical being composed of mingled magic, both powerful and perilous. The Feud Wars tore through the Enchanted Isles like a scythe, taking any and all that stood in their path. When the fighting ended, one sister, Amata, won the day and exacted a high price for the destruction her sisters had wrought. Only mages from her domain of Mythos could retain their magic and the rest of the inhabitants of the Enchanted Isles would be stripped of their innate abilities. But even a powerful mage doesn’t have complete control over magic. Or the damaging effects cutting the domains off from each other would have on the Isles.

Centuries later it didn’t take a seer to know what was coming…

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 August 12, 2018

Published by

90000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Reviewed by

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