Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Release: October 30th 2018
I received a copy of The Brilliant Death through the BookishFirst program in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The Brilliant Death is a blend between the magical and the familiar. Teodora lives in a world where both magic and mafias exist. Naturally that means that the world isn’t always as peaceful as one would like. But it certainly opens up for a lot of different and interesting stories.
I honestly can’t get over how much I love the cover for this book. It’s so bright and beautiful. Once I saw the cover I knew right away that I was going to have to buy a physical copy instead of a digital copy. I was lucky enough to get a copy through BookishFirst – though I think I’ll have to cave and buy a copy as well.
Sadly my advanced reading copy suffered a tragic accident; it was delivered on a rainy day and the carrier made no attempt to protect it. Thankfully the book was readable, but the cover took the brunt of the damage. It saddens me greatly.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I first picked up The Brilliant Death. I mean, obviously I had an idea of the main plot, but I didn’t know where things were going to go, the overall tone, or even how the mafias would ultimately effect the plot, the characters, and the magic itself. So obviously I couldn’t wait to read it! I love books where I can’t predict how everything will fit together; the fact that it was the case here was perfect.
Part of me is actually sad that I got the advanced copy of this book, and for one very simple reason. I now have that much longer to wait before I can read the sequel. I’m hooked, and I really need to see what happens next with Teodora. While the book didn’t actually end with a cliffhanger, it was open ended enough to leave me with a lot of questions.
Teodora is a fascinating character, and I don’t just mean because of her magic. She was born to a wealthy family – her father being the head of what is basically the local branch of the mafia. He rules the village they reside in, and possibly more than that. Still, Teo (as she prefers to be called) doesn’t act like you’d expect somebody who’s basically a princess to behave.
I love Teo because she doesn’t fit in her own skin, but despite all that she’s desperate to prove herself. I think more than anything she wants to prove something to herself, but she keeps deluding herself into think she’s doing this things for her family, or her friends, or any number of people. It’s an interesting character trait for her to have.
As far as her magic is concerned – I can’t get enough of the system that’s been created here. I loved watching Teo as she learned to get a handle on her magic. As it went from being this little quirk that she learned to control to this massive beast she had yet to master the reigns of. It was all beautifully transitioned.
There were several plots all weaving in and out of one another here, all combining and coming to a head at the same time. It was wonderfully done, even if not every thread has been tied up just yet.
Technically I haven’t actually gotten any confirmation that there will be a second (and hopefully third) book, but I just don’t see it not happening. It was a fascinating and enthralling read. More than that, it’s clear that some parts were intentionally left open for the sake of continuing with later. I really hope we hear some news about it soon…