Author: Myke Cole
Released: February 20th 2018
For the sake of honesty; I was waffling back and forth about reading The Armored Saint up until the release date. It was all of the positive and exuberant reviews and discussions I was seeing about it that finally tipped the scales in its favor, at least for me.
Myke Cole is not a new author by any means, and yet I haven’t actually read any of his other works. These works include Shadow Ops (series), The Reawakening Trilogy, and The Sacred Throne (series). A few of these are on my TBR list, but I actually haven’t made my way over to them yet. After reading The Armored Saint I’m more tempted than I had been; which is great.
The Armored Saint follows the story of a young girl named Heloise. She lives in a world where a repressive religions order (whom call themselves the very original name of The Order) controls everything, and have the right to cull an entire village, should they think there’s even one wizard in there (heck – they have the right to say that even if they know it isn’t true). It’s not a happy world to live in, by any means. Especially for a spirited girl like Heloise, who doesn’t fit the mold for an ideal Order citizen.
You see, Heloise is bright, stubborn, willing to stand up for others, and would rather not get married (at least not to a man). None of these attributes are qualities considered safe to have when the Order is on the hunt, so it’s no surprise that Heloise (and her family and village by proxy) end up in more than their fair share of trouble.
Heloise was an interesting character to read about. As mentioned above, she’s got many positive traits (I don’t care what the Order has to say about it, those qualities are wonderful), but she’s also very human in the sense that she has flaws too. She’s stubborn, rash, and has the bad habit about not thinking about the consequences of her actions. Granted, in the world she lives in sometimes people have to behave like that, in order to get any change or progress done. So I respect these qualities about her, even more so than I normally would. It takes a certain type of person to be able to stand up to bullies (and worse) like that.
I don’t normally enjoy novels with a heavy religious tone. I know in this particular case it was more of a ‘resist the indoctrination of the religious order’ sort of feel, but it’s still somewhat off-putting for me. I think it’s a great point and subject to be discussed, and will likely continue the series regardless, but I honestly think others would probably enjoy it more than I did.
The main reason I’m not giving this a four star rating is because I felt really rushed reading the novel. I would have loved a slightly slower pace – one that allowed me to learn about the characters and the world a bit further before being thrown into the deep of things. That’s just my personal preference however; I’m well aware that there are many readers out there that would prefer to read a book that gets to the point. In that case this book is absolutely for you! So I hope you enjoy it.
I have a love/hate relationship with cliffhangers. Actually, I’m sure a lot of readers feel that way. On the one hand I think Cole did a great job of insuring that we’ll come back to read the second novel when it comes out (man do I hope it’s soon), but on the other I’m frustrated that it left off on that particular point.
I’m really curious to see what will happen to Heloise and the rest of her village. The point we were left at could possibly have been interpreted as a conclusive ending (with it being left intentionally vague), but thankfully that isn’t actually the case. I know there will be at least one more novel in the series (my gut says there will be two more), which is great. Hopefully we’ll get to see a bit more of Heloise’s world in the next novel.