THE OBSIDIAN TOWER by Melissa Caruso
I have been anxiously awaiting the debut of THE OBSIDIAN TOWER by Melissa Caruso ever since she announced its upcoming publication date on Twitter. I can’t remember if I started following her on social media first, or read her first book, THE TETHERED MAGE. Both happened around the same time, and I became a devout fan. So when I had the chance to snag an ARC via NetGalley, I jumped at the chance. Being able to post the review the day a book debuts is a HUGE honor.
THE OBSIDIAN TOWER is about a girl with broken magic whose family has kept a secret locked away in a tower for thousands of years. When her magic accidentally unlocks that secret, her world starts to unravel. She fights to keep it all together through pain, loss, and heartache. Every chapter of this book kept me guessing, and I never knew what would come next. It’s an excellent page-turner and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Ms. Caruso has a deft way of mixing magic, political intrigue, and betrayal that constantly keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. She crafts detailed characters I fall in love with in books filled with tension, hope, heart-break, and longing. It’s a world filled with complex history, lore, secret societies, and competing factions, which all makes for wonderful conflict.
She mixes swords and sorcery in a new way, in this book in particular. One character laments that not all things “can be fixed with stabbing,” while steampunk-like spectacles “let you perceive certain flows of magical power.”
My favorite aspect, though, is the way she weaves romantic tension throughout the book. Lines like “The memory of his hand on my back set a flush in my face that had no business being there” were perfectly placed to add a little heat here and there. A touch, a look, an almost caress… it’s all so well-written and keeps the reader hoping something more will happen. It’s delightfully tortuous.
As the first book in a new series, THE OBSIDIAN TOWER does not disappoint. You do not need to have read her previous series set in the same world, though I highly recommend her Swords and Fire Series. Same world, same skillful writing, different characters and types of magic and politics.
THE OBSIDIAN TOWER cover design credit: Lisa Marie Pompilio.
THE OBSIDIAN TOWER cover art credit: Peter Bollinger.