By E.D.E. Bell
Publisher: Atthis Arts, LLC
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
The Banished Craft is a genre-bending fantasy saga that follows the adventures of Cor, a woman caught in a dying world that does not accept her, and Atesh, a dragon scientist who’s been asked to violate his own ethics or put the lives of his family at risk. Follow their trials as they deal with a shattered world, mired in political upheaval, while they try to rediscover a lost magic. The Banished Craft begins the Shkode trilogy: a quirky and modern take on dragons and wizards, exploring themes of identity, prejudice, violence, compassion, and the ways we are all connected.
The Banished Craft was a truly epic fantasy with a sprawling world and a twisting plot. It was lovely and had an extensive cast of characters that were well drawn and ranged from human to the mythical. And by mythical, I mean DRAGONS.
The book begins with an unnamed narrator explaining how one of her children split a world in two. As it so happens, this story takes place in these two separate worlds, which should actually be one, and it is explained by the narrator that it is up to the creatures of those worlds to piece it back together again. These two new worlds mirror each other, one with humans and one with rather human-like dragons.
The plot is somewhat convoluted and took me a while to really get into it, but once I did, I was hooked. As I said, the cast of characters, and thus the number of points of view, were many. This was part of what I had trouble settling into. Once I got past the many changes between characters, though, the book was enjoyable. I appreciated the fact that the multiple points of view provided so many views of this complex world, one that has dragons and humans, though not coexisting yet, and deals clearly with social issues and fantastical elements that are present in this world. These characters deal with their own personal issues and lives, say Cor and her feelings for Iohn (which I choose not to call a romance as Iohn is a complete ass to Cor), while each also participates in the overarching plot.
I can’t explain how much I loved this book without rambling, and then overly describing the plot and then giving you regrettable spoilers. It brings up relatable issues and introduces a unique and engrossing world. This book is categorized as adult, but if you are into YA epic fantasy and looking for something new, it comes highly recommended.
Author E.D.E. Bell is a graduate of the University of Michigan with an MSE in Electrical Engineering, and works as an advisor in technical intelligence. A vegan and enthusiastic ignorer of gender rules, she feels strongly about issues related to human equality and animal compassion. Married with three children, she decided to pursue her dream of writing and is excited to share that vision with fans of epic fantasy.
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Disclaimer: Thank you to CBB Book Promotions for providing the synopsis, cover photo, author information, and more. None of these belong to us. The eARC was provided by the tour service in exchange for an honest review.