A Warden’s Purpose is book 1 in the Wardens of Issalia series and has just recently been released. I was very aware that this was the beginning of a series, by that I mean it felt like a lot of build up to something that is yet to come. For the most part, the book takes places in two different schools; one focused on military excellence, the other on combining magic and science.
The story is told in a bit of a different way. The two main characters, Quinn and Everson, are telling the story of how they ended up at school, and what had happened thus far in their schooling to an audience in the present. The retelling of the past and the present events are both told in the third person, which I found to be a bit weird at first, but that was mostly my expectations of someone retelling a story doing so in the first person. There are bits of past told through dialogue, which is in the first person, and are used to create time skips, as the character briefly explains away the course of a few weeks.
Quinn and Everson make quite the interesting team. Everson is Quinn’s adopted brother who is disabled and unable to walk. Naturally, Quinn is fiercely protective of her brother and enrols in military school just to stay nearby while he goes to engineering school. I enjoyed reading about them, and how they grew both together and apart. I’m always particularly fond of disabled characters too.
The world was interesting, and I enjoyed how technological inventions were incorporated into the novel. However, given Everson’s role in engineering and combining magic and science, there is a bit of info-dumping in his chapters as he learns about the magic and new technological stuff. This significantly contrasts with what’s happening in Quinn’s chapters as she goes through action-packed military training.
Overall, A Warden’s Purpose looks like the setup for what could be quite a unique fantasy series, and I’d say it’s best suited to people who enjoy:
- Young Adult
- Military School
- Magic School
- Technological development
- Disabled MCs