Shade Nox is a blood witch in a land of wizards. The only thing protecting the citizens of Malavita from a dark blight that is creeping ever closer is the Veil, but the Veil is failing. Armed with information on how to raise a Veil, Shade sets out across a post-apocalyptic wasteland to protect her people, but the mafia-like Brotherhood of wizards has other plans. Shade must battle wizards, the elements, and herself to raise a veil and stop the blight from taking over her world.
Obsidian is an epic fantasy novel with an intriguing premise but an uneven execution. I love fantasy novels and dystopian novels so a mash-up of the two would normally be a hit for me, but this one just didn’t get me there.
First, what I enjoyed. I thought the magic system in this novel was very cool and built out well. For bloodwizards and bloodwitches to do magic, they must possess blades created from powerful gemstones. The more powerful the gemstone, the more power there is behind your magic. When a witch or wizard wants to use elemental magic, they cut themselves with their blades, drawing blood. It’s a really interesting combination of magics that I thought added excitement to the story.
I also enjoyed the character of Shade. She’s a kickass lady who is feared by the Brotherhood and their wizards. I thought she was well developed and multilayered. I found the other characters in the book to be less interesting, mainly because they lacked any real backstory or motivation. The focus on these characters was their relationship to Shade so they didn’t stand alone as characters at all. There was also an element of every character being in love with Shade, which I personally did not enjoy. I love a good romance, but these were more dalliances that didn’t progress the story or build out the characters in any way.
I found the world building to be lackluster and a little confusing. I was really intrigued by the Wastes and the demons that they encountered there, but I didn’t understand how the Wastes came to be, what the demons actually were, and how people survive in the Wastes. I think I would have connected with the story more if the history of Malavita had been more fully fleshed out.
CW: death, graphic injuries