Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘A Noble’s Path’ by I.L.Cruz, organised by Rachel Poli (@RPoli3). I was delighted to participate in this tour, especially after thoroughly enjoying ‘A Smuggler’s Path’ (Mini review Here), and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.
Noble by birth. Smuggler by trade. Mage by destiny.
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*
Divided loyalties test Inez Garza.
The infamous incident at the Academy of Natural Studies has forced her to work for the King’s Men while continuing to serve the hidden market.
Supporting Birthright furthers the cause of Magical Return, but the cost may be the fall of the royal house and losing Zavier forever.
And the strongest pull of all is her growing and erratic magic, which demands everything and offers only destruction in return.
Inez must decide where her loyalties lie—saving Canto or saving herself.
I read ‘A Noble’s Path’ immediately after finishing book 1 in the series, ‘A Smuggler’s Path’ because I wanted to stay in this world as long as possible. Probably, my favourite part of both books in the Enchanted Isles series is the worldbuilding. It is a fantastically written world, with breadth and depth, and where magic doesn’t solve every problem – in fact, you could argue that it causes as many issues as it solves, and that makes for a more interesting world and story. That magic (and the restrictions and debates around it) are woven into every aspect of the story. Including the history, the politics and relationships of the characters – give it a degree of realism and consequence, without detracting from the sometimes-whimsical nature of the magic, reflecting the almost fairy tale approach within the book.
I was delighted that this book continued following the main character Inez, because she was, without a doubt, my favourite character. A strong female lead (and Latina), who wasn’t infallible, and whose flaws and struggles made her all the more real and relatable. You want her to succeed because she is very human for all that she has her magic. She has hopes and dreams and fears, she wants and needs things for herself and from others around her, and that means that despite the fantastical setting you can’t help but emphasize with her, especially if you question how you would react in a similar situation. In this book, we see her develop even more both individually through the situations she finds herself in, and by virtue of her magic. But also, in terms of her relationships with the other characters.
Through following Inez, we, as the reader, discover the plot and the world at the same time as she does. We’re deep within her mind, experiencing her views and reactions as they happen, and again this helps to draw you both into her character arc, but the story as a whole. This focus on Inez does mean that not as much attention is giving to the fascinating cast around her. We have enough to understand them and their relationships with Inez as well as their goals, but there was not perhaps as much development of all the characters as you might want – I would love to know more about nearly every character that we met. However, this is in keeping with following a single, main character, and so it works for this story and does not detract in any way from the story.
As well as the fascinating worldbuilding, and Inez, I love the use of language in this book. In places, it could pull you away from the flow of the story, but the beautiful descriptions and the detail painted such a vivid mental picture of the world that this is not really a complaint. And again, it built on that feeling of being with a fairy tale and swept you along.
I enjoyed both books in this series and feel that it is only growing in strength. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy, especially that which is set in a magical world that has a touch of whimsy and childhood fairy tales to it. I will certainly be keeping an eye for the next book in the series when it comes out.
About the Author
I.L. Cruz decided to make writing her full-time career during the economic downturn in 2008. Since then she’s used her BA in International Relations to sow political intrigue in her fantasy worlds and her MA in history to strive for the perfect prologue. When she’s not engaged in this mad profession she indulges her wanderlust as often as possible, watches too much sci-fi and reads until her eyes cross. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and a sun-seeking supermutt named Dipper.
The Noble’s Path – I.L. Cruz (Bosky Flame Press, 2020)
**** 4/5 Stars
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book. Also, please check out the rest of the tour (the schedule is below), and the tour will be stopping here again on the 16th so keep an eye out for that!