BOOK REVIEW: The Relic Guild

When The Relic Guild fought the Genii they thought they had defeated them forever. But when it looks like the Genii are back and planning a take over, young Clara must work with the remaining members of The Relic Guild in order to try and defeat them. But will they succeed this time?

AUTHOR: Edward Cox
PUBLISHER: Gollancz
P/BACK:
456 pages
RRP:
£16.99
ISBN:
978-1-473-20030-2

In the sealed Labyrinth, a young woman must find a way to control her magic and escape her prison in this remarkable debut fantasy.

Magic caused the war. Magic is forbidden. Magic will save us.

It was said the Labyrinth had once been the great meeting place, a sprawling city at the heart of an endless maze where a million humans hosted the Houses of the Aelfir. The Aelfir who had brought trade and riches, and a future full of promise. But when the Thaumaturgists, overlords of human and Aelfir alike, went to war, everything was ruined and the Labyrinth became an abandoned forbidden zone, where humans were trapped behind boundary walls 100 feet high.

Now the Aelfir are a distant memory and the Thaumaturgists have faded into myth. Young Clara struggles to survive in a dangerous and dysfunctional city, where eyes are keen, nights are long, and the use of magic is punishable by death. She hides in the shadows, fearful that someone will discover she is touched by magic. She knows her days are numbered. But when a strange man named Fabian Moor returns to the Labyrinth, Clara learns that magic serves a higher purpose and that some myths are much more deadly in the flesh.

The only people Clara can trust are the Relic Guild, a secret band of magickers sworn to protect the Labyrinth. But the Relic Guild are now too few. To truly defeat their old nemesis Moor, mightier help will be required. To save the Labyrinth – and the lives of one million humans – Clara and the Relic Guild must find a way to contact the worlds beyond their walls.

The Relic Guild went to war with the Genii – beings of a higher power who wanted to take over the Labyrinth and all its denizens. Years have passed and since the war the Labyrinth has been cut off from the Aelfir who provided trade, and it is now a dark and dangerous place. In this for forboading place is Clara, a young woman trying to hide a secret in a world where magic is now forbidden. When it seems one of the Genii – Fabian Moor has returned, Clara must team up with what is left of The Relic Guild to defeat him and prevent the Genii from returning and destroying all they know.

The plot of The Relic Guild switches between the current events with Clara, and back to when The Relic Guild first fought the Genii, filling you in on plot details little by little. I liked this plot device as a way to find out what happened in the past, rather than just being told as I found it helped to suck me even further into the story.

I thought the characters in The Relic Guild were well formed, with very interesting people, especially when you find out more of their past back story. However I thought the characters of Clara and the Genii could have been expanded on – you never really find out a huge amount about them, but hopefully that will be explored more in Edward Cox’s next book.

The story itself was very well thought out and engaging, kept me interested and I wanted to get to the end as quickly as possible. And here we come to a problem for me. The pace towards the end builds and builds leading us to the final confrontation between Fabian Moor, the rest of the Genii and The Relic Guild, and then the book ends. I can’t tell you how frustrating this was for me. I hate cliff-hangers at the best of times but this really was a doozie! There is obviously going to be a sequel to finish off the events but I worry how Cox is going to be able to finsh off the story without making the plot feel stalled and dragged out.. Saying that, I will still be reading the next instalment as I desperately want to read the conclusion.

A brilliant first novel from Cox. With a well thought out plot and imaginative characters. The frustrating premature ending let it down a bit for me though.

An engaging new fantasy novel that is well worth a read.

Rating: 4/5
Blogger: Darkphoenix1701

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  1. Ed Cox Talks to GS about The Relic Guild - Geek Syndicate | Geek Syndicate - […] and fights off the local arachnids. The Relic Guild was his first novel and you can read our review…
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