This book is so much fun! A medieval village, isolated by forests, mountains, and myth, terrorised by flying gargoyle-like monsters. A plot that deals with vengeful gods with a prophecy and a freakin’ Hunger Games-style tournament thrown into the mix. Characters that are funny, unique, and enthralling. I. Was. In. Heaven.
There was never a boring moment in this book. From when Neven was thrown from one weird situation to the next and he gathered the strength to grapple for control of his density, I was hooked all the way through. Neven was a protagonist I could believe in, and I can’t wait to see what he does in the next books.
If you like anything to do with light medieval-fantasy, you’ll enjoy this book. This is one of those cases where, superficially, it seems like you’ve seen it before. But this story is so well done, it’s taking the things I already love and making me love them all over again.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Tournament of Hearts, by Dustin Bilyk (The Librarian Gladiator #1)
Book Length: 472 pages
Medieval Fantasy (Young Adult Fiction)
According to the Blurb:
Hamelin, a town separated from the rest of the world, has a deadly problem. Fierce, flying beasts ravage the countryside and cull the sparse human population, forcing the majority of Hamelin’s citizens to live within the safety of her boundaries for fear of being snatched away and torn into pieces. With no help in sight, the Town Council look to their gods for salvation and unearth a chilling answer to their problems.
The Tournament of Hearts – a much-celebrated, barbaric event that pits four gladiators against each other in deadly combat. Winning The Tournament brings rich rewards, fame and glory for one’s bloodline. Losing, however, results in a deadly trip to the Sacrificial Altar for you and all of those who share your blood: man, woman and child. The sacrifice is said to be a blood offering to the gods in payment for reprieve – a necessary evil for the greater good of all.
Neven Fairchild, adolescent town historian and librarian, is chosen by random draw to fight for the survival of his bloodline. Utterly inept at doing much other than reading and writing his histories, Neven must find the courage deep within himself to defeat his stronger opponents, for he discovers that much more than the lives of those he loves hangs in the balance. An evil lurks, waiting for its moment to deliver the death blow, and Neven is all that stands in its way, whether he likes it or not.