ARC Review: Relic by Bronwyn Eley (The Relic Trilogy #1)

RelicCoverOfficial Synopsis from Goodreads: In the city of Edriast, there is no deadlier duty than to serve as the Shadow.

As the personal servant of the powerful Lord Rennard, the Shadow’s life is all but forfeit. Rennard possesses one of five rare and dangerous Relics – a jewel that protects his bloodline, but slowly poisons everyone else in its proximity. When the current Shadow succumbs to its magic, nineteen-year-old blacksmith Kaylan is summoned to take his place.

It’s an appointment that will kill her.

As the time Kaylan has left ebbs away, hope begins to fade… That is, until she discovers a plot to destroy all five bloodlines in possession of the Relics.

A rebel force plans to put an end to Rennard’s rule and Kaylan suddenly finds herself embroiled in a cause that might just be worth fighting for. But no cause is without its costs…

As her life hangs in the balance and rebellion bears down on Edriast, Kaylan must decide where her loyalties lie – and how she’ll leave her mark on the world.

Relic is the absorbing first novel in The Relic Trilogy, a thrillingly dark YA fantasy series.

Genre: Historical Fantasy
Setting: The fictional world of Edriast

***I received an eARC copy of Relic from the publisher, Talem Press. ***

*** this post contains affiliate links ***


Review: A fast paced fantasy with a wild ending! Relic by Bronwyn Eley was a title I was instantly drawn to because of the synopsis. I love fantasy, but so much of it sounds same-old, same-old, and I thought this one sounded different, with the jewel poisoning everyone around but the wearer. I thought this premise was intriguing, and for the most part, it didn’t disappoint! I say for the most part, because as this is the first book in a trilogy, I have so many questions about how the relic works and how it began that weren’t answered in this book. Relic introduces all the characters, the world, and a brief rundown of the relic itself. But I want to know more!

I thought the world building was well done. I was right there with Kaylan, our main character, as she navigates her new job as Shadow, and there are hints of the larger world around the city that hopefully we’ll see in the next book. I got the sense from this read that the author is doing substantial buildup to future plot developments, and I cannot wait for book two!

Told in first person, Relic focuses on Kaylan Rove, a nineteen-year-old blacksmith who is selected to be the Shadow, who is the person who serves Lord Rennard. Rennard wears the Relic, which poisons everyone around him. The Shadow’s job is to be around Rennard the most, cleaning his rooms, taking him his food, doing whatever he asks, and therefore the Shadow spends the most time with the poison, so the Shadows don’t ever live that long. How Kaylan was selected for this job was never really explained, and that bugged me. We don’t get a reaping scene, like in The Hunger Games, and Kaylan finds out that she’s been selected when she arrives home after work blacksmithing to discover guards at her house. So I was a bit confused as to how the selection process works.

Kaylan is a good main character. She is inquisitive and strong, and cares about her friends and family. She reminded me of a cross between Katniss from The Hunger Games and Jyn from Rogue One. Sometimes she was a bit frustrating as she had a tendency to lie, and that felt a bit forced for book drama, but at the same time, the reader understood why she made those choices, and she does own up to the lies after a bit.

There is a fair bit of violence in this book. Some of the violence was too much for me, and the ending was violent, brutal, and surprising. I love it when books surprise me, and wow I was in for several shocks at the ending! I cannot wait for book two! For those readers who don’t enjoy cliffhanger endings, you may want to wait for book two to be released before reading this. I hope it comes out soon! I want to spend more time in this world and with these characters.

Bottom Line: Violent and entertaining. What an ending! Bring on book two!

LINKS ***the Amazon link is an affiliate link which means I receive a small commission if you click the link and make a purchase***

Author Website

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5 thoughts on “ARC Review: Relic by Bronwyn Eley (The Relic Trilogy #1)

  1. I’ve been meaning to read more fantasy outside of Mercedes Lackey’s work, but my fear is that I will get into yet ANOTHER series that goes on and on forever (there are, I think, 30+ Valdemar books). Plus, if these aren’t all written, I won’t pick up the first book because I have a forgetful memory.

    There have to be more fantasy books out there that stand alone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are so many fantasy series! It’s actually quite ridiculous how many series there are versus standalones. But, I get it, it takes so much world building, and fantasy is so immersive, it’s almost like you have to live in that setting for a long time to fully explore it. I love big, huge fantasy books. But I have to gear myself up to read one. My next big fantasy read I think will be Robin Hobb’s Liveship Traders Trilogy. Hobb writes in trilogies, so there’s a nice breaking place to not get too overwhelmed.
      I just checked over the fantasy books that I’ve reviewed and almost all of them have been series. The standalones have been The Golem and the Jinni, Heartless (a YA retelling of the Queen of Hearts origin story), A Monster Calls (a book about grief), Romanov (a YA fantasy spin on the Anastasia story), and Fawkes (a YA fantasy spin on Guy Fawkes). So… out of those books I’ve listed, only one, The Golem and the Jinni, is an adult book – all the others are YA. Oh wait, Circe could be tagged as fantasy, and that’s not a YA read.
      I’ve heard some great things about Naomi Novik’s books Uprooted and Spinning Silver. They are both standalone fantasy. I’ve got Uprooted on my shelf, but haven’t felt all that compelled to pick it up yet.
      I’m so terrible with forgetting things in books! And since I don’t like to read the same style/author too close together, it’s hard for me to remember everything that happened.


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