September 15, 2018

A Tapestry of Culture and Characters | Nocturne by Kat Ross

By Kat Ross
The Fourth Talisman #1
400 Pages
Published on October 14, 2017
Young Adult, Fantasy

This book was provided to me from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. I swear on my bookshelf that this has not affected my opinion of the book.
Nocturne, a wilderness of eternal night.
Solis, a wasteland of endless day.
Nazafareen is a Breaker, a mortal who has the rare ability to shatter spell magic—although her power carries a high price. With the memories of her former self erased and nowhere else to turn, she comes to Nocturne hoping to start a new life under the triple moons of the darklands.
But when an assassin forces Nazafareen to flee to the sunlit mortal city of Delphi, she finds herself embroiled in a deeper mystery whose origins lie far in the past. Why was the continent sundered into light and dark a thousand years before? And what really happened to the elegant but ruthless creatures who nearly reduced the world to ashes? The new Oracle might know, but she’s outlawed magic and executes anyone caught practicing it. Nazafareen must hide her powers and find a way out of the city—before it’s too late.
As the net slowly tightens, something ancient and vengeful begins to stir in the arid death zone called the Kiln. A dashing daeva named Darius is pursuing Nazafareen, but so are a multitude of enemies. War is brewing again. Can she stay alive long enough to stop it?
So begins the first installment in an epic new fantasy series from the author of the Fourth Element Trilogy!


I have been a fan of Kat Ross for years and years now, and if you haven't heard me raving about her books then I haven't been doing my job (or you should read my blog more often!). Nocturne is a new series spin-off of my all-time favorite underrated series, The Fourth Element. You can see my review for the first novel here

My fangirling aside, Nocturne is a good start to a new series in the universe that I came to love in the previous books. The Fourth Element left off with a cliffhanger (which I will warn you is Ross's signature), but the action was picked up right off the bat with Nocturne. The story launched off the foundation of the earlier books, which let it explore new characters and new settings.

Nocturne is an expansion of the Fourth Element Trilogy, so we got to see different parts of the world and different characters. This was both a blessing and a curse though. 

On one hand, I got to see more of the rich world and culture that was only hinted at in the first series. I loved the unique focus on Persian culture in the first series, and the trend is continued through this series, but with the exciting addition of the Greeks. Not only is the Persian culture infused in the plot, but also a new thread of Greek mythology was woven into the masterful tapestry Ross has created. 

But, on the other hand, the focus was shifted from my favorite characters to other stories. The summary focuses mostly on Nazafareen, but her and Darius are only one facet of many stories being told. A lot of perspectives and veered a lot from the characters who I loved in the first series. I may sound like an obsessive fan whose OTP was being ignored (mostly because I am), but I still a little disappointed with the lack of Nazafareen and Darius in the new series.

Back to the positive, I loved the new perspective of the "villain" from the last series who I managed to come to love (which I thought was completely impossible). His perspective complicated the story (in a great way) and showed the complexity of the politics and relationships in this world.

That being said, my favorite part was the political and magical intrigue that made the stakes extremely high throughout the novel. Both the daevas and the humans are involved in political hierarchies, revenge plots, and power struggles that kept the action going. There were a lot of moving parts that seemed completely separate at first, but in the end came together to create one large tapestry of magic, danger, love, and loss.

The cliffhanger at the end was a shot to the heart, but also a reminder of how invested I was completely invested in the plot and the characters. Like, my heart was crushed and my soul enraged, but in the most beautiful way possible.

In Review

Nocturne is the expansion of Nazafareen's world that I was hoping for. I sacrificed some time with Nazafareen and Darius to learn about new characters and conflicts, but the trade was worth it for the added depth to the plot. 

If you are looking for a complex cast of characters and culture that will consume you, heart and soul, look no farther than this series.

Let's Talk!

Have you read any of Kat Ross's books before? What is your favorite spinoff series? (I personally think they are a gift from the literary gods who take pity on us mortals, obsessing over finished series). Have you ever read a book about Persian culture? 

No comments:

Post a Comment