DiscoverEpic Fantasy

Knights of the Alliance


Worth reading 😎

A solid and engaging epic fantasy debut filled with dynamic characters, magic, mystery, and political intrigue.

“Welcome to the Knights of the Alliance.”

Knights of the Alliance by Stefanie Chu is an epic fantasy novel filled with a wide array of unique characters, mystery, humor, political intrigue, and magical abilities. I was intrigued by this book upon reading the synopsis—I mean epic fantasy combined with magic, knights, and interesting character dynamics, I was hooked! And, overall, I really enjoyed this book and, knowing that this book is set up as the first in a trilogy, found it to be a solid introduction to the characters and the world and to set the stage nicely for the rest of the books in the series.

The novel promises an epic fantasy world filled with knights and magic and, overall, it delivers. I greatly enjoyed the world of the novel and exploring and traveling through it alongside the characters. In a book filled with various political dynamics based upon the different empires, I liked how Chu made a point of showcasing the similarities and differences between both the land and the people of the world of the novel. I also loved that the book included a map (a must in any epic fantasy book!) as it really helped to ground me in the world and to situate where all of the events were occurring.

In terms of the writing, the story is very easy to read and is written in such a way that it is quite easy to follow despite the epic fantasy world. The descriptions strike a balance between being straightforward and vivid that matches the overall atmosphere of the novel quite nicely and blends nicely with Chu’s fun and engaging dialogue. In this vein, I was greatly surprised by how much humor this book contained, which showed itself strongly through the dialogue between the characters and I really enjoyed it. I liked how Chu managed to balance humor with the heavier and darker political and social aspects of the novel and I definitely found this to be one of the strong suits of both Chu’s writing and the story as a whole.

The one thing that really threw me off with regards to the writing, however, was the shifts in perspective throughout the novel. While I greatly enjoy stories told through multiple perspectives, the various third-person POV switches within the same chapter made it difficult at some points to determine which character we were following, and I feel as though the story would have been more cohesive for me if each chapter was dedicated to a certain character instead of constantly switching several times mid-chapter with no real explanation.

If you know anything about me then you know that I am a person who loves strong, character-driven stories with well-developed characters, and overall, this novel did not disappoint in that regard. One of my favorite parts of this novel would have to be the characters. They are all so unique and have their own hidden depths and histories that are slowly explored and unraveled as the story progresses, making them quite complex and realistic. Likewise, I enjoyed all the magical and kore abilities that the characters possessed and learning more about these powers as the story progressed, especially how these abilities seem to serve as an extension of the characters in some way and showcase a lot about the characters’ personalities and how they choose to wield their powers, particularly when it came to Fangbane, Mirari, and Shiba. Additionally, I greatly enjoyed the various relationships and dynamics that were explored throughout the story between the characters, particularly between Mirari and Gaven as well as Gaven and Fangbane, although I really liked all of the bonds that the novel detailed. Although the novel focuses on a wide variety of characters, including various POVs, the main characters would have to be Mirari, Fangbane, and Gaven, all of whom are interesting and dynamic characters in their own right.

Mirari: Of all of the characters that the novel introduces, Mirari would have to be my favorite. She is such a complex character who undergoes such a transformation over the course of the novel, starting as a lowly merchant just trying to keep her head down and to discover more about the disappearance of her brother into a strong, brave, and dedicated fighter working towards a cause greater than herself and I could not help rooting for her. She likewise has such a unique history that I really wanted to see explored and discussed more, something which I hope is done in the next two books in the trilogy because I feel as though knowing more about Mirari’s past will make her into an even more dynamic character and help to develop a fuller sense of how her past has shaped her into the person that we meet in this story. I do kind of wish that Mirari’s mysterious fire abilities were focused on a bit more, just because that is such an interesting aspect of her character, but I am sure that Chu plans on exploring these more in the next two books. As previously mentioned, I really liked the bonds that Mirari formed throughout the novel, particularly with Gaven, Fangbane, and Neo, and the different aspects of her character that these individual relationships showcased. I am really interested to see where Mirari’s story goes next, especially after the epilogue.

Fangbane: Like Mirari, I really enjoyed Fangbane’s character. He is fighting for such a just cause in creating a group of knights to represent all three empires to work together to solve the problems of these various empires and to create a sense of unity between the three when tensions are high. Likewise, Fangbane is so willing to do whatever it takes to see his vision realized and to keep his dream alive, including attempting to recruit Mirari, a girl with no real fighting experience and only unruly powers that she cannot control, and Gaven, a boy from another empire who he helped to defeat and bring to court. I greatly enjoyed his dedication to the group of people that he brought together and his ability to lead them through thick and thin, always standing strong (and stubborn) despite the odds and never giving in to outside pressures. I was also very intrigued by his mindreading ability and found it to fit his overall character and position as well as serving as a means of conveying information about other characters whose thoughts we are not privy to (either in general or at that particular moment).

Gaven: Despite his headstrong and sort of stoic exterior at the beginning of the novel, I eventually began to develop a great liking for Gaven and his overall character. Like Mirari, Gaven has a lot of different sides to him that are slowly unraveled over the course of the story and showcased through the various characters he interacts with; I particularly enjoyed the relationship that he formed with Mirari and how despite not remembering her from childhood, he slowly began to see her as someone he can trust and who will always have his back. I also found Gaven to undergo an interesting transformation over the course of the novel, especially as he slowly began to enjoy his position as being a part of Fangbane’s group of knights and being the one to teach them. Like with Mirari, however, I really wish that we learned more about Gaven’s past, particularly after he left Mirari and his transformation from that boy into the stoic and strong fighter that we are introduced to in this book.

If there is something besides characters and magic that I enjoy in my stories, it is an element of mystery, which Knights of the Alliance has in spades. The story is filled with various mysteries and secrets, only some of which are fully explored and solved by the novel’s end. The story picks up and scatters mysteries like breadcrumbs and I was really interested in following this trail to the end of the story and beyond, especially with regards to the bigger mysteries that were never solved by the novel’s end. In this vein, Chu did an amazing job with regards to setting up the story two big mysteries already in place—Mirari’s fire abilities (and memory loss after using them) as well as Gaven’s memory loss as to starting the Althaean Siege, both of which piqued my interest from the beginning and, in addition to the other mysteries and dynamic characters, kept me dedicated to finishing the story to try to see these mysteries unraveled. While I was slightly disappointed that some of these mysteries were not fully unraveled by the end of the novel, I feel as though Chu did an excellent job in making me want to pick up the next two books to see the mysteries unfold. 

Overall, Knights of the Alliance is a solid debut that I would recommend to readers who enjoy epic fantasy novels filled with a dynamic cast of characters, elements of magic, and threads of mystery and I am excited to see what is to come in the upcoming installments, especially after that ending!

Reviewed by

Hello! My name is Morgan and I am a twenty-something, aspiring author, reader, and cat lover with a BA in English who amasses favorite books like it's a superpower. I have been reviewing books since 2019, but loving them since I was a kid and I am always in the mood for a new literary adventure.


About the author

Born and raised in Northern California, Stefanie is a media specialist who loves birds, putting lemon on everything, and trying all things creative. She has lived and studied throughout Asia and Europe, carrying a Masters in Business and BA in Film. view profile

Published on October 19, 2021

110000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Reviewed by