Nocturne is the first instalment in the Fourth Talisman series by Kat Ross. It’s an adult fantasy and was published on October 15th, 2017.
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?
Nocturne is an elemental magical fantasy with characters who would compel you to pick up the next in series and a creatively built world that wouldn’t fail to amaze you at any point.
This is my first book by Kat Ross and am so happy I gave this one a try because she’s definitely made it to my favourite author list. The Fourth Talisman series starts off from where The Fourth Element series ends and though I haven’t read the first trilogy, I didn’t find anything confusing while starting this series. So definitely give this a chance even if you haven’t read The Fourth Element series.
The story revolves around Nazafareen who’s suffering from a memory loss after an event that not only she doesn’t remember but nobody wants her to remember either. But being the adamant and stubborn woman that she is, she decides to find out for herself, especially after a warning that clearly stated how everyone’s going to die if she stays alive.
Let me start with one of the best aspects of this story: world-building. I absolutely loved the concept where the world is now divided into two hemispheres—one where the sun rules and daytime is all day, called the Solis, and the other where three moons rule and nighttime is for eternity, called the Nocturne. While the Solis works as a realm of the mortals, the darklands with moons is a realm of daevas who work with elemental magic. Both stay out of each other’s business in order to maintain peace but things are turning around with a long lost and defeated daevas’ clan returning to strike the world with a chaos. The story is ridden with descriptive settings, well-carried conversations, and scenic views that convey the mood of a particular scene amazingly.
There are a number of side characters added to the mix but none of them seemed forced into the list. Each one had a role to play in either Nazafareen’s journey or walked a path of their own. Ranging over a wide range of motives, all had a logical reasoning behind every little move they made, thereby contributing to the character development that am sure the sequels would carry forward. Their thoughts and actions often came by as a surprise or shock, depending on who we are talking about. If I began to mention each and every one of them, not only would this review be spoiled but even the character limit would run out (exaggeration alert), so let’s just say: each and every one of them would urge you to pick up the next in series asap.
Speaking of the urge to read the next book, the ending played a huge role in that compulsion of mine, as a reader. Though I’m not a huge fan of abrupt endings, I can understamd how this long series wouldn’t work without it; it’s undoubtedly an arc that needs to be fleshed out over multiple books. While this book doesn’t give its readers a satisfactory full stop, it certainly doesn’t draw them out of the world. In fact, there are more intriguing story lines and unanswered questions as we keep nearing the end. A bit of mythology has been added to the mix too that opens potential doors to more plot points in the future instalments, and adds more excitement to my bookish heart.
The writing is strong, precise, and cuts to the chase but doesn’t neglect sequences that demand a wordy illustration. Narrated through multiple, third-person POVs, the story is said through majority prominent characters. The episodes with elemental magic are beautifully written, as are the supernatural phenomenons like stepping through invisible doors, or even supernatural creatures like chimeras for that matter. The world is complex but isn’t hard to imagine with the location accounting as well as simplified distinction between the two parts of this world.
There are so many more astounding things I would love to state but I genuinely want this to be spoiler-free for Nocturne discloses secrets at almost every turn.
I would recommend this to those looking for an epic, high fantasy world where elemental magic and mythology are paired with distinctive character arcs and multiple story lines.
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios.
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I received a digital copy of this book via a promotional blog tour but that in no way influences my rating and/or opinions about it. Thank you XpressoBookTours, Acorn Publishing and Kat Ross!