Glyphbinder by T. Eric Bakutis is the first book in an epic fantasy series full of fascinating magic and a team of close friends getting in way over their heads. I’m always on the hunt for new magic systems to learn every piece of, so I was thrilled to discover magic controlled by drawing specific glyphs in the air, paid for in blood. What I wasn’t expecting was a story focused on close friendship and making alliances with previous enemies when something much worse shows up. This is a great book for epic fantasy fans that are looking for a new world and magic to get lost in.
Note: This is an expedited review; I was paid to provide an unbiased review to the author and they chose for it to be published. For details, see my review policy.
Glyphbinder by T. Eric Bakutis (Tales of the Five Provinces)
Published by Author on May 1st, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 317 pages
How I got my copy: Author
Amazon - Book Depository - Goodreads
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Kara was thirteen when she learned her mother was dying. Five years later, the last component of her mother's cure waits in the city of Tarna, but that is one journey she may not survive.
Even as a Glyphbinder, a wielder of blood glyphs created by a people long dead, Kara is no match for the madman that hunts her or the dark forces at his beck and call. As those Kara loves fall one by one, her hunter's purpose is finally revealed.
Demons thought long defeated stir now in the shadows of her world, seeking a dark power hidden in Kara's blood. Tireless and without pity, these demons will not be satisfied until they claim Kara's world ... and her soul.
- Did I mention how much I love the glyph magic? As you can tell from the cover, the people of this world are able to draw glyphs in order to call up specific magic abilities, but they use up some of their own blood when doing this, so casting too much is a really bad idea. There is a lot of variety in the types of magic people can specialize in, from elemental to beasts to healing, and we get a good view of a lot of them.
- The plot of Glyphbinder does not hold back. Things start off straightforward, but the world is in trouble and ancient forces are awakening to clash once again. Nothing gets me hooked like ancient beings coming back to wreak havoc ;-).
- I was surprised at how intense this story became when it was made clear that no one is safe. Death and horrible torture hits early and often, and just because characters seem important, doesn’t mean they are safe! I love not being sure who is going to make it out alive.
- The character dynamics of this book are very much focused on friendship. There is one established romantic relationship and one potential one brewing, but Kara has close friends who are helping her complete her mission and that friendship is what she must rely on. There are also some good parent/child relationships that come up. It’s so refreshing for the focus not to be on the romantic relationships!
- I at first thought that Glyphbinder was a standalone fantasy, since the end is quite satisfying and wraps everything up nicely. According to the back material, there is a sequel, but you could easily read this one without worrying about when you’ll get to read the sequel. No torturous cliffhangers here.
- There are a few more typos in Glyphbinder than I was willing to let slide. This is always a potential problem with small-press and I know it really bothers some readers, so it’s good to know going in.
- I’m a fan of a magic system with firm rules, so throughout this book I was trying to figure out exactly where the boundaries were for the various kinds of magic, and I still don’t know. Maybe this will get cleared up in the sequel, but I wanted more evidence of what the limitations for each magic caster were, etc.
- Despite Kara being a pretty cool main character, I didn’t strongly connect with her. I liked her friends more in the end, strangely.
Glyphbinder is a solid start to a new fantasy series and a great choice for readers looking for fantasy that is a bit different than the mainstream. I loved the magic and the focus on friendship as the world was potentially ending and I’m excited to see what happens to Kara and the gang next.
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
Glyphbinder by T. Eric Bakutis
© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.