Read Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani Online


The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.When the LeagThe winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detain—and execute—a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. But there are more secrets at play than Hitomi’s, and much worse fates than execution. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life....

Title : Sunbolt
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780985665821
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 135 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sunbolt Reviews

  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
    2019-06-13 11:09

    4.5 stars rounded up. Sunbolt, the first tome of a promising Fantasy YA series written by Intisar Khanani, might be the best surprise of the beginning of the year for me, and I genuinely believe that it deserves way more high praise than it gets. Curious to know why?Let's make a list of why you should read it too, shall we?► Sunbolt reminded me why I loved the Fantasy genre in the first place.  I don't know when 1K+ novels have become the norm in that genre, and I don't deny that several of my favorite books are (very) long but in my opinion it allowed the genre to become a bit... self-indulgent sometimes. Does your story need 1,000 pages? GOOD. Do it. However, if the story is over winded and wordy for the sake of being wordy, crammed with filler parts, I'll side-eye you. Hard. No such thing with Sunbolt : indeed  Intisar Khanani manages to pack more action in 150 pages than others would in 1,000 (I wish I'd joke. I do not). Boredom never even grazed me, but rather : the story was engaging from the very first page and never lost momentum.► Hitomi, the main character, is smart, resilient and loyal and I love her very much. I cannot see why you wouldn't too. Plus she's biracial (her father is from a Middle-Eastern inspired region and her mother, I think, is from a Japanese-inspired region) and the difficulties she meets because of other people's prejudices are briefly discussed in text, which is something I really appreciated. Yet above everything, what I liked the most about her was the way she challenged her own stereotypes - about the fangs, the breathers, who are different races present in the book - and evolved. The Fantasy genre often revolves around coming-of-age stories, and Sunbolt is no different in that aspect, but we get a real and believable character growth and that's not so frequent, unfortunately.► The secondary characters - and one especially, but I won't say - were intriguing and interesting enough for me to be eager to meet them again in the sequel. I never got the feeling that Intisar Khanani wasted any one of her characters, but on the contrary, they were given the depth they needed to keep me guessing.► The world-building, albeit classic at first glance, is so well-crafted and rich that it felt refreshing : sure, Intisar Khanani's world includes magic, supernatural creatures and a political landscape that could appear similar to other stories, yet the way she winded all these elements together made me feel like I was reading something new. I wanted to know more, and I even started to take notes about the different creatures in order to... what, exactly? Prepare myself for a fight? I do not know, except that I found myself shaking my head slightly and resuming my read, lol.► The plot is so compelling, and, again, gave me the impression that the author created something really original, even though it's a coming-of-age at heart, as it's often the case in Fantasy. Yet there's no romance, which is rare enough in Fantasy YA to deserve our attention : I mean, you know I love romance, but I'm pretty tired of the way every Fantasy YA ever needs to include a romance, and who cares if the relationship lacks chemistry and you know, sense.In a word : Sunbolt is an action-packed and surprising YA novel, served with a great writing, to the point, and I cannot wait to read the sequel, Memories of Ash.Win a PAPERBACK COPY of Sunbolt! (3 winners picked)RT the Giveaway tweet Follow me @meetbookworldEnds on 03/2 0:00 AM GMTOpen INTERNATIONALLY if Book Depository or Wordery ships to youAny participants who are under 18 must have parental/guardian permission before entering the giveaway in case they win later on and I need their mailing address. It is understood that once the participant enters the giveaway that they have parental permissions. For more of my reviews, please visit:

  • Dana
    2019-06-10 06:20

    My intensity while reading this This is the second book that I have read by this author and it is the second time that I have been blown away by her storytelling. It is impossible not to devour these books. To help you understand how good this books was, I was up all night reading this, and I have a five month old, so sleep is very precious to me! Sunbolt was such a great adventure and I loved how there were so many different paranormal races involved, although I would have liked to have seen that in a bit of greater depth. I also loved the idea of a breather , they make vampires look positively tame in comparison. I had so much fun reading this I just wish that it had been longer, I didn't want to leave this world so abruptly. Great read for fans of YA Paranormal. 4.5/5Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict: BuyCheck out more of my reviews hereNote: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

  • Philip
    2019-05-28 06:57

    4ish stars. It would have been so easy to write this off as another YA paranormal romance book. It's got magic, a young, tragically disadvantaged orphan, some vampire-like beings and multiple strong, eligible bachelors. While she hasn't reinvented the wheel, Khanani has subverted the status quo here in some great ways.First of all, it's intelligent. Gasp! Khanani is a legitimately talented writer, and for more than just her concepts and ideas; her prose is simply well-written. She manages in 140-odd pages what related books require 400 pages to do: provide an interesting, eventful, satisfying story. And we kind of get two stories in one. It starts out with street urchin Hitomi working with the Shadow League in a story of political intrigue and then shifts, expanding the world in some cool ways. Did I mention this is a self-published book?! No professional editing, just economical, non-self-indulgent writing. It looks like book #2, Memories of Ash, is more than double in length, but if it's written this well throughout, it's justified.

  • Molly Mortensen
    2019-06-15 07:56

    Possibly the best indie book I’ve ever read! While this novella didn’t feel too short I was left wanting more. It’s a complete story don’t get me wrong, but I want the other books in the series now, okay? Apparently the sequel is going to be a trilogy. Yay!I can tell a lot of thought went into the world. Karolene is an island nation of traders and an evil arch mage is controlling the sultan. A group is fighting back in the shadows (called the Shadow League) trying to save people. Lead by the mysterious Ghost, a charismatic good looking young man who comes off as the perfect male lead in a young adult book, but surprisingly winds up only a minor character. There are also other species like Fangs (think vampires) Lycans (werewolves) and there’s even a Tanuki! The trickster raccoon dog from Japanese mythology.There are really only two characters that we spend enough time with to develop, but the minor characters who just made a short appearance were good too. I loved Hitomi! She’s not that great of a fighter but she managed to be strong when it counted. A thief and hidden mage, (called a Promise) she’s lived a tough life, but she’s definitely still a good person. She’s also not stupid either! I really liked the male lead too. There wasn’t a romance, more a potential forbidden friendship. (Which was the best part of the book!) I hope he comes back in the sequels! It’s weird because we don’t learn much about him, yet his character was well established. (Who he was as a person.)Hitomi doesn’t know a lot about magic (yet) so there isn’t very much, but I really enjoyed what we learned about the magic system. It was a very realistic, well described sort of magic.Sunbolt is one of those nothing goes as the character expects and they wind up with different goals sort of plots. (But I have a feeling the whole defeat the evil arch mage thing will be the theme of the upcoming sequel trilogy.) As expected of only 142 pages it’s quick paced and I was only wishing they would get on with it at one point. (When Hitomi was ‘borrowing’ a carriage, it was a tad long.)Needless to say I plan to read the sequel, Memories of Ash which comes out this summer.Point of View: First (Hitomi)Predictability: 2 out of 5 (Where 1 is totally unpredictable and 5 is I knew what was going to happen way ahead of time.)Source: NetgalleyMy Rating: 10/10 Stars

  • Ev.
    2019-05-17 07:09

    Looooooved it. LOVED IT. OKAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEPEEE KAIY YAYAYYANow for some coherence: Firstly, FUCK, THIS BOOK IS SHORT. I HATE THAT SO MUCH, BECAUSE IT DESERVES TO BE AN EPIC OF MASSIVE, GEORGE R.R. MARTIN PROPORTIONS. And that's my one and only complaint for today.Because shit, son, there is SO MUCH ABOUT Sunbolt that I adore. Chief among them is the Asian heroine. Wow. Just wow. To have a PoC heroine, Hitomi, who's not ONLY the baddest mothafucker around for miles but also resourceful, quick-thinking, powerful, vulnerable, and--did I mention--not white means SO MUCH TO ME. I have been looking for AGES for a story with a lead who resembles me even slightly, and this story did not disappoint. Thank you, Intisar Khanani. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.And the WRITING JUST FLOWS, LIKE WATER OFF THE BACK OF A DUCK. SO SMOOTH. SO MUCH ACTION. SUCH EXCITEMENT. AND INTENSITY. Honestly, it's rare to read YA that moves this quickly but effectively. So much YA fantasy, or just fantasy in general, is 1. something happens 2. exposition 3. exposition 4. exposition 5. exposition 6. exposition, etc. etc. But not with Sunbolt. Khanani delivers action entwined with humor paragraph after paragraph, and the story never got slow, never dulled. Not once. And then onto the characters: I've mentioned Hitomi already, but she was an absolute breath of fresh air. Yes, she's super-powerful and she's young and she's bull-headed, but despite despising/being tired of most YA heroines with the aforementioned qualities, I felt so much empathy towards her. For one thing, she actually had a personality. I actually had a fully formed understanding of her character. She wasn't an amalgamation of The Author's Stand-In. She did things that were motivated solely BY HER, and I may not have agreed with her decisions 100% of the time, but I understood her. I got her. And I rooted for her, completely. FURTHERMORE, there was the excellent play on the usual magical creatures--mages, vampires, lycanthropes, other dark things~~. The evil!vampire cliche still stands, as far as Kol stands, but the goodhearted!mage thing was subverted. Not that goodhearted!mages exist often in stories, but in this mages are dark. But complex. Because, naturally, they're not ALL the way they seem. For instance, Hitomi isn't...but she does do some things that border on, well, ...dark. Which I also loved. Shit. I mean. How often does that happen in YA? Rarely. Rarely. But then enter Val. Enter the way Hitomi first saw Val, first evaluated him. ENTER THE WAY HITOMI AND VAL'S RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPED. FUUUUUUUUUUUU---U-U-U-U-U-U-U-U-I was so afraid that when the book started Hitomi and that boring-ass Ghost guy were going to be That One YA Fantasy Couple That's Boring as Shit. Luckily Khanani didn't go there fully; there were hints of attraction from Hitomi, but there's no romance in this book, which I appreciated. Also, the thing with Val probably won't ever come into romantic fruition, which would also be fine with me. I just LOVED how Hitomi's views and opinions on him shifted as they got closer. It was the perfect mirror held up to racism, in-group v. out-group dynamics, the reduction of stereotypes. Friendship. Marvelous~~My only qualms were the lack of world-building the way I'd normally expect from fantasy. Yet it worked in Sunbolt to only elaborate on what was necessary in the moment because the story didn't feel weighed down. It didn't feel heavy in that sticky, gross kind of way. I liked that we got the relevant facts when they were, well, relevant and that the pacing was never sacrificed for the sake of This is the Way It Is and Let Me Tell You Slowly. Blech. Besides, there are sequels. Hehehehehe. I will sit here, crying twiddling my thumbs, until they are released. EheheheHEHEHEHEHEHEEH. Disclaimer: After I finish reading books I particularly, especially enjoyed, I tend to be super, duper hyper about them. And enthusiastic. So if I have just set your expectations way too high about this book, I apologize. NOT--LIFE'S SHORT, HAVE FUN, ABUSE CAPSLOCK!!!!!!1!!!ALSO EDITED TO ADD THAT SOME OF THE PROCEEDS OF SUNBOLT will be going to UNICEF. Um, how amazing is that? As if you needed another reason to read this.

  • Althea Ann
    2019-06-08 10:15

    I've been hearing good things about Intisar Khanani's writing and now, I can confirm that they're justified. I loved this book. It's a pure and timeless fantasy. It mixes classic tropes with fresh and original ideas seamlessly. I especially liked how the many supernatural elements are introduced without fanfare, as they're known and accepted parts of this world. The narrator, Hitomi, is a young woman, a foreigner on her own in a country that's recently been invaded. She's also a rather junior member of a resistance movement led by an intriguing young man called 'Ghost.'When an operation to rescue the intended targets of a political assassination goes bad, our heroine finds herself captured and in serious trouble. Suddenly, her priorities are forced to shift in the face of unexpected personal revelations and the realization that she's in far more danger than she knew...The plot is a YA theme: coming-of-age, with magic... However, this is well-enough done to attract readers of all ages. The setting is vivid; the characters appealing... and we end desperately wanting to know where Hitomi will go from here.And... that's my only complaint. This book is too short; I wanted to spend much longer with it! However, since a sequel is on the way, no points deducted for that.Until the sequel comes out, there's one more novel by Khanani, 'Thorn' - I'll be reading that one soon!Many thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book - as always, my opinions are solely my own.

  • Mimi
    2019-06-07 06:04

    Between 4 and 5 stars. A lot of fun. I'm very impressed with the writing overall. I never would have guessed it was self-published.A big thanks to Athena for the rec--see her awesome review here.

  • Sylvia Mercedes
    2019-06-02 08:20

    This surprising and amazing book was my Book of the Month for February! And now, in honor of my new website, I'm offering a print copy of it and two others (including "Caraval" in hardcover!) for one lucky winner. Visit my website to enter the giveaway!Thanks for helping me celebrate my website's launch, everyone. Looking forward to sharing more of this book-love with all of you.I honestly didn't think my luck could hold this far. I mean, three five-star reads in a row? After loving "The Midnight Sea" by Kat Ross and "Caraval" by Stephanie Garber so much, I expected this short, indie-published novel to be an enjoyable but ultimately somewhat lack-luster followup to both of those. Probably a three star read at best.I. Was. So. Wrong.WHAT I LOVEDUm . . . everything?Okay, let me be a bit more specific. And I'm going to TRY to be specific without sounding too over-the-top, because I want all of you to believe me and try this book for yourselves!Actually, I'll reverse my usual order and start with what I DIDN'T like so much, so you can see that my fangirl raving is tempered by some criticism.WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE SO MUCHThe beginning was a bit frenetic for my taste. Don't get me wrong: It was exciting and enjoyable, but it gave me the impression that the book would be shallow. All action, little character, that kind of idea. The part with the carriage struck me as a bit random (though, that being said, I appreciated the heroine's stubborn insistence on trying to accomplish her mission even when everything was going against her. A character trait that crops up again several times over.)Within the first two or three chapters, I really thought I had the whole book figured out--who the trope characters were, what the world was like, how the action would play out, etc.And then things didn't go that way at all.WHAT I LOVEDMs. Khanani just kept taking me by surprise. I would settle comfortably into my expectations and then have them utterly rocked. By the 45% point, I was so hooked, it was a wrench to have to put the book down. By the 65% point, I knew I had found a new favorite author.Hitomi--the main character, is a strong heroine. In a genre packed to brimming with "strong heroines," she stands out. And part the reason why is that the author gives her very specific limitations. She is NOT trained in combat, so she can't solve her problems with sheer aggression. I really appreciated this because I have trouble liking the more murderous heroines that are so popular these days (Katsa from "Graceling," Celaena from "Throne of Glass," etc.). And while she does possess some unusual abilities, her characterization never depended on Special Snowflake qualities. She was a real, unique, intelligent individual with a strong stubborn streak.Also(POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT HERE) when Hitomi does cause death through the course of the adventure, it MATTERS to her. She doesn't just brush it off and continue on her way. It takes a toll on her emotionally. I appreciated that as well. It makes the stakes feel more real when the heroine doesn't just kill without a qualm or with very little qualm. And she never TRIES to kill, either. Things . . . happen . . .Another thing I loved--this wasn't a romance. Which is odd coming from me, because I'm a total romantic at heart! But the thing is, there was great CHARACTER and CHEMISTRY going on in this book. I'm totally shipping Hitomi with one of the guys introduced (won't say who), and I feel very interested in knowing if she'll end up with him. But the emphasis wasn't on the romance at all. It was on the adventure and the character and the journey.Less is more, people. Seriously! Ms. Khanani proved that, because I'm more invested in seeing whether or not Hitomi ends up with Someone Who Shall Remain Nameless than I was in any of more overt YA romances I've read this year.The magic. Awesome use of magic. I read somewhere that magic should always take a toll of some kind on the magic user, and Ms. Khanani seems to understand this and use it to brilliant effect. Her magic is beautiful, dangerous, and even deadly. (That climax! What the heck!!!)And . . . this author wove vampires and werewolves into her book in such a way as to make them feel fresh and new. Yet another twist I was NOT anticipating at all.So yeah. What was meant to be a filler-fun read for me surprised me completely and turned out to be my favorite read of 2017 so far. And I think all of you who enjoy a good kick-butt-heroine-conquers-impossible-odds fantasy should read this, because it's one of the best I've seen in the genre.I think I'm going to wait to read "Memory of Ash," though. After stalking the author's website, I learned that book 3 might not come out until late this year, so I want to spread out the fun. I'm totally bumping up her fairytale retelling, "Thorn," on my TBR pile, though!

  • Intisar Khanani
    2019-06-01 14:21

    Update: Memories of Ash is here! Thank you all so much for your support (and patience). Hope you enjoy it!~~~I know a lot of have you have been waiting extremely patiently for Book 2... it's almost here! "Memories of Ash" went up for pre-order on March 16 for only 99 cents. It will go up to $3.99 at release, so nab it now! The actual release is May 30, 2016. Thank you all so much for reading!

  • Elisabeth Wheatley
    2019-05-24 09:09

    It seems to be a matter of course that I love what this author writes—probably because she writes about a lot of fighting and a lot of magic. Sunbolt is a fast-paced, quick read that still has excellent character development and world-building packed into less than 200 pages. The plot:This novella is clearly setting it up for the rest of the series as we are introduced to a cast of dynamic, dimensional, and diverse characters in a short space of time. This story moves quickly, yet still manages to flesh out the individuals and the setting in a way that they are memorable and have stuck with me. There are a lot of questions asked throughout this book and though it ends satisfactorily, by the end we are left ravenously hungry for answers, a cruel plot by the author, no doubt, to make us lust after the next series installment.The characters:Hitomi was a type of character I have been missing lately—strong, brave, smart, yet compassionate. I especially like how she was willing to forfeit her life for people she barely knew, even ones who had betrayed her, and how she was courageous even when it looked like there was no way out. She’s been through a lot, will doubtless go through a lot more, but doesn’t crack under pressure and tries to do the right thing.I’m trying to figure out if I can mention one of my favorite characters without giving spoilers… We’ll just say that I am passionately hoping we get to meet him again in the next novella. Dangerous, dark, more than capable of brutality, yet still with an underlying sense of honor and more good than he cares to show. I think he likes Hitomi, but I might be reading that into the story, I’m not sure. I cannot wait for the next novella in this series. I adore this series and I highly, highly recommend this book as well as the author’s other works. So go, go, go! Read this and then we can all gush over it!

  • Athena
    2019-05-28 14:06

    At long last I finally read Sunbolt. Set in an alternate universe, author Intisar Khanani has done an absolutely brilliant job of world-building populated with interesting characters. At first I wanted more from the book, but on reflection realized that by taking her writing to the bare bones of her story she's created something far richer than so many other works that explain Every.Little.Detail.Sunbolt is a universe of humans, seemingly as similar in dispersal on the planet as the humans of Earth, along with Magicians, shape-changers of at least two species, living creatures rather like vampires ('Fangs') and living creatures rather like soul-snatchers ('Breathers'). It's a fascinating mix that's had a lot of thought put into it with well-defined characters, questions raised and sometimes answered, and no easy fixes to the difficult circumstances faced by her characters. Khanani doesn't play fast and loose with the laws of physics either: magical energy extracts a price just as physical energy does. Nice.Our voice through Sunbolt is 15-year old orphan Hitomi, both older and younger than her years and a complicated and very real-seeming person. As with most people one meets we don't know all that much about her, but still get a well-grounded feeling of who she is. Tough without being harsh, deeply honorable, compassionate, mischievous, a survivor willing to go the distance for what she thinks is right, Hitomi is a very real young woman and someone I'd love to know.I was absolutely astounded to get to the end of this novel and discover it to be self-published with no professional editing: I'd never have believed it from the outstanding quality of the writing. As I've griped before, editors get far too little love from the reading public. It's too easy for many authors to become deeply attached to things that just don't belong in their work, particularly young/novice authors. Intisar Khanani may just be the exception that proves the rule: get yourself published with a good editor unless you're Intisar Khanani! I'm delightfully astounded that she has produced a work of such outstanding quality, alone. Damn, girl!I adored this book and can hardly wait to read the next book in the series!This is a GREAT read from a major young talent.

  • Kirstine
    2019-05-17 13:04

    I read Khanani's book Thorn and loved it, which is frankly the reason we're here today. I don't mean here in the world, I mean here reading and writing this review, respectively.At first this story felt incredibly familiar. I was happy with the diverse cast, but the story itself was not very original. Our young girl, Hitomi, wants to prove herself, wants to fight against the tyrannical leaders of the city, has hidden magical powers, attempts to prove her worth to her rebel-leader, but it goes wrong and she's captured. It was a slight variation of a tale we've probably all read before... but then it changed. After her capture everything goes wrong, of course, and Hitomi finds herself thousands of miles from her city, alone, frightened and in a real freaking mess; trapped in a tower with a very hungry something. From there on out it wasn't at all what I expected, and despite its brief length (only 140 pages), Khanani manages to create a complex world and a compelling story. She keeps it simple, but forceful, and very realistic despite the fantasy setting. This was something that impressed me with Thorn as well. Despite having a protagonist who's clearly got immense powers and is Very Important, it never feels over the top. Hitomi is sympathetic, resourceful, and clever, but she makes mistakes, and she's allowed to make them, to ponder them and learn from them - something not nearly enough fantasy protagonists do. Taking her from the very familiar city-setting Khanani keeps the story from stalling and becoming cliché. The friendship that grows between Hitomi and another character is one of my favorite things, and a huge part of what made it a memorable reading experience. It was less a story of epic battles (difficult to fit into 140 pages in any case) and more about Hitomi growing as a person, no doubt we'll see her perform daring heroics in the next book, but this was a nice, unassuming start to the series. Abandoning its familiar premise it turned into something unexpected, but delightful. It was fun, surprising and well-written, and as with Thorn I couldn't put it down. Khanani starts fast and doesn't waste time. Definitely one of the better takes on YA fantasy, and I can't wait for the next book to come out.

  • Ann
    2019-06-08 07:23

    Sunbolt is just beautiful -- exciting, endearing, full of amazing dialogue and heart-rending moments.And whoever helped to edit it did a really good job, too.More review to come...

  • Sarah
    2019-06-13 10:25

    (Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Intisar Khanani.)Hitomi is an orphan, and she’s also a thief. A thief who hides her magical powers so as not to be captured and used as a source slave to a mage.There’s talk of a political family being executed in the town of Karolene, and Hitomi is part of the team who will try to help them escape before they are captured, even if it means risking her own life.Will Hitomi manage to ensure the family’s safety? And what price will she pay for their freedom?This is a YA fantasy novel with a strong lead character, and a rich storyline.Hitomi is such a strong character. She’s not hindered by the fact that she’s a girl, and she often dresses as a boy if it will aid her in what she is trying to accomplish. She’s not afraid of doing what she needs to do, even if that means putting her own life at risk, and she really is a beautiful character. She’s hidden her magic for so long, but she’s also worked hard at it and uses it to her advantage when she can. It really is nice to come across a character that has such strength and honour and compassion that she sees good in all different sorts of people, and always helps those who are at a disadvantage.The storyline was full of action, and Hitomi really did go through a lot during this story. Even when she was the smallest person there, she had the biggest character, and even when she found herself in several difficult situations, she always had a plan to change things for the better.I liked the length of the story, and I liked where we left Hitomi, and can only wonder where her next adventure will take her.Overall; a good fantasy novella.8 out of 10.

  • Annika
    2019-05-24 14:23

    Everything about Sunbolt works effortlessly. Khanani has a gift for story-telling, and in this novella you get a story that really pulls you in. Wonderful characters, intriguing plot, non-stop action... Can't wait to read the next one - which I've heard is a lot longer than Sunbolt. More time in this wonderful world? I'm in!

  • Nikki
    2019-05-28 11:14

    Sunbolt is a fun little novella with a lot of promise, setting up an interesting fantasy world which is (thank goodness!) not an analogue of medieval Europe. It’s just satisfying enough that I got into it and didn’t want it to end, just tantalising enough that I’m sure I’ll be picking up the second book just as soon as I can.I did feel like it was a book of two halves — before Hitomi meets Val, and after. The turning point of the book reminded me so much of the scene where Sunshine meets Con in Robin McKinley’s Sunshine — in so many ways, from the character attitudes to how it gets resolved, to the way they talk to each other. That’s not a bad thing, necessarily, but it did feel so very similar that I kind of had deja vu.I like the fact that romance isn’t a huge part of this; there’s some potential, but nothing really concrete. And there’s all kinds of magic; fangs and Lycans and a tanuki-shifter and just — awesome. I want more.Reviewed for The Bibliophibian.

  • Claudie Arseneault
    2019-06-02 09:10

    This story put its nails into me, hooked me hard and strong, and refused to let go. Hitomi is an awesome protagonist, the worldbuilding is amazing, the writing strong and evocative ... I'm charmed, and will be eagerly awaiting the next instalment. ALSO. A big shout out to this story which has *no* romantic subplot for now, and gives a lot of room to old & steady friends as well as new, uneasy ones. love love love.

  • Emmeline (The Book Herald)
    2019-06-08 07:55

    Massive, gigantic thank you to Purple Monkey Press Publishers for giving me a copy of this book and starting my new addiction!Book where have you been hiding!? Needless to say, this book: I haven't felt this happy to read a Fantasy since Sora's Quest and while Sora's Quest is still my absolute favourite by an indie author, This book was awesome and amazing in its own way! The level of creativity here is unreal. If you guys have read my other reviews and know me, you know i don't give 5 stars easily. So just saying. But I'm serious, from the beginning it just grabs you and won't let you go until the end. I literally read this in a couple of hours because i couldn't stop! Okay, I'll stop the Love-fest and get on with the plot. In a world dominated by an evil mage who controls the Sultan, an Orphan will defy them. Hitomi is part of the Shadow League a group who fights against the oppression of the mage- Blackflame. Upon trying to safe the lives of nobles and of her leader- the ghost,Hitomi is taken prisoner to Blackflame, who trades her to a Fang. Werewolves guard her and when she is taken to a beast, he turns out to be something else- a breather. Hitomi knows one thing, at Blackflame's mansion, she saw an important object of her past and she will use the power she has so long suppressed to get it back. WHY ISN'T THIS BOOK BEING HERALDED FROM THE ROOFTOPS? *Cough* Sorry. This book, I can't even explain it fully. It was such a pleasure to read. I Love Hitomi, she's strong yet not so strong that she could be related to a block of Ice. She fights for those who matter to her, no matter the consequences. There is the possibility of a love story, i think the second book may go more into that. I LOVE VAL, I just LOVE him. VIOLET EYES!? I mean come on! He sounds dang smoking! I'm going to crack up laughing when you guys read this because you'll probably think I'm nuts for saying that...but just you wait. (view spoiler)[Val was starved so he appears like an old man for a while before looking like a 25 year old...that's when he becomes hot haha (hide spoiler)]There is also the Ghost- he's SOOO mysterious, I still love Val more but he's a real competitor for my affections. I am very invested in this series, I cannot wait for the second one! I literally recommend this to the people who know me and enjoy Fantasy, I think you'll really love it. My one criticism is that it was really short, i wanted more, it finished too early for my liking.Side note- THIS COVER IS STUNNING!Stay Awesome!-The Book Herald Tweet me- @thebookherald["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • imyril
    2019-06-14 10:13

    I seem to have mislaid my heart. That's what you get for reading about magical thieves, blood drinkers and soul stealers.Sunbolt is engaging, well-written, gripping and as full of Promise as its heroine Hitomi. It does just enough world building to hang together and tantalise, focusing instead on showing the strength of character of its young protagonist. I loved The Bone Knife, and Sunbolt cements Intisar Khanani as an author whose work I won't hesitate to read and recommend. More flailing.4.5 stars

  • Lynxie
    2019-06-11 13:11

    Sunbolt is a shining beacon of great writing. It has an amazing story line and brilliant characters that a lot of authors aspire to reach. The cover is striking, but simple, allowing it to capture your eye with the title. It really is the whole package. Hitomi, our protagonist, is a young woman who has dragged herself out of the gutter after losing her parents. She lives by her wits, occasionally having to resort to stealing from the street vendors, but normally doing any job she can find for herself. She is fiercely loyal and dependable and mixed up with the Shadow League - an underground group who seek to overthrow the shadowy villain, Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame - to restore Karolene to its former glory. The richness of the world that Hitomi finds herself in, is a true testament to Intisar's craft. The intricate details are woven seamlessly into the story, coaxing the reader head-first into the grimy alleys and cells Hitomi frequents. The action scenes are crisp, the writing so taut and to the point it almost sucker-punches the reader in the guts and the pacing of the story is simply perfection. Not too fast, not too slow, the reader is drip fed the information needed not a moment too soon.When it comes to character development, Intisar once again is leaps and bounds ahead of a lot of authors I've read. Not only are each of the characters (even the side characters) three dimensional and complex, but they each have an individual personality that sees them exploding out of the pages and into the readers imagination. Personal choices are weighed and measured in serious situations and the characters must decide who to trust and who to leave behind. Betrayal plays a part in the story, but it's wielded with an expert hand, allowing the appropriate amount of anguish and confusion without losing sight of the goals.The fangs and lycans make an appearance, and while having been done to death in popular books lately, in this instance have been given a new breath of life. They're rubbing shoulders with 'breathers' who are rather sinister beasts themselves. Breathers made me think of the mummified character of Imhotep from the movie, The Mummy. Creepy!All this is tied together with a magical system that felt organically sewn into the story. Normally magical books seem like the magic could be removed from the book and it'd make little difference, in Sunbolt however, the magic has been fused with the storyline, the characters and even the cities and places explored in the story. If you removed the magic, you'd remove the story. It's so brilliantly done.I loved this book so much, I am going to purchase the other two stories Intisar has written and I'll be reading them soon. I cannot wait for the other books in this series to be released. I look forward to reading more about Val and Hitomi and the rest of the motley cast.Do yourself a favour - buy this book today. You will not be disappointed.**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**

  • Lara
    2019-06-11 06:03

    Even though I have heard many readers highly praise Intisar Khanani before, I had never read any book of hers, so I really did not know what to expect when I first started reading this book. Well, after reading Sunbolt, I now understand why her books are so well loved by readers. This story was so beautifully well-written and thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish. Sunbolt is set in Karolene, where Hitomi lives, and where she hides a big secret – she’s a Promise - a magical talent who was secretly trained by her parents to use her powers. Now, they are both dead and she is left alone to fend for herself while hiding her secret from anyone who might want to abuse her powers. As the story progresses, we get to know more about Hitomi and the life she has led, while encountering new characters that have become part of her life. Initially, the pace of this book was moderate but once the story progressed, things really took off and the story continued at a great pace so I quickly found myself immersed into the world that the author has created. At this point, I simply could not put this book down and had fallen in love with every single element in this book. The setting was a perfect backdrop to the story and the characters were very well-developed. I especially loved Hitomi who was such a strong character that you couldn’t help but root for. When trying to think about the downside to this book, I could literally find nothing to fault. Sunbolt was a book which has really left me wanting more. I can’t believe that I have to wait for the next book to be released so that I can find out what happens to the characters I fell in love with in this book!Overall, I think that this book is magically beautiful and I would recommend to it anyone looking for something new to read. Sunbolt is a book that you must certainly put at the top of your TBR pile!

  • Priscila
    2019-05-19 14:11

    First, let me thank my GR friend Emmeline for recommending this one!I love indys! What a treat this was!I would certainly recommend this to any fantasy lover.With that being said, when can I get book 2?

  • Charlotte
    2019-06-09 10:02

    This was a short and sweet little YA fantasy, but every word counted. By the end I was delighted and surprised by how invested I had become in Hitomi's story given the brief amount of time I had spent with her. You don't necessarily have to spend 700 pages banging on and on if you know the story you want to tell, and it's a worthwhile one - and Khanani's absolutely is.

  • Rachmi
    2019-06-14 06:12

    ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.First thing that cross my mind after I finished reading this book is why I didn't read it as soon as I received it from NetGalley, which is months ago, if you want to know. At the time I didn't know what this is all about. I only requested it because I was pretty sure they'll approve me. I need as much approval by NetGalley so I look for books that will likely give it. Sunbolt it was.But then I got too many books I want to read I kinda forget this one. I just had the opportunity to read it now. Now when I finished it I'm quite sure that maybe I'm a bit insane abandoning it since it has so much things I love from fantasy story.I enjoyed this book so much I wonder why it missed from my radar all these years. And why it doesn't have as much hype as it deserves. I think this is a perfect YA fantasy story.I love the writing. A first few chapters remind me of Daughter of Smoke & Bone. No, not in the way the authors write. They're different and have their own style. But the way the main character, Hitomi, runs from one alley to another in an exotic place, was kinda remind me of Maroko, the place where Karou's story takes place. That being said I just couldn't help not to picture Maroko in my mind. I think Khanani did a good job describing the world building. There isn't much, to be honest, but enough that I can picture it clearly. Not to mention Hitomi's POV is so vivid and engaging I didn't have problem to connect with her right away.I love Hitomi. She's brave, smart, kind and loyal’ to sum it up, a badass heroine. She makes mistake, but in another time she still has a heart and brave enough to try to fix it and makes things right. She also never relies on other characters. She's that independent yet knows when to have to trust others to help her. She's so easy to love.But it's the story that held my attention the most. It's unpredictable I didn't know what will happen to Hitomi throughout the story. It's also action packed, right from the start and in most of the story. I felt like I always in the run and in dangerous situation with Hitomi. Long story short, her story has everything; from secret society, magic, mages, betrayal, friendship, down to mysterious race/creatures; fangs that sound like vampires and breather which similar to dementor.There are so many things that happen and so much more I want to know (view spoiler)[why Blackflame so evil, is my first question; if breather has so much adventages than fang how can Val lost and almost lost to Kol in the first place; who eleven kingdoms are?; does each kingdom has its own race or it mixes with many races (hide spoiler)], but the book is too short. It's more a novella than a full story, I think. And when I get one enjoyable story that I love, I feel like I don't want it to reach the ending.Now when I've already read it, I want more of Hitomi, I'm so curious of what will happen with Val and whether they will meet again. I was looking for the sequel since the author said Memories of Ash, love the title!, will come in summer 2015. But I didn't get anything about it, Goodreads doesn't even have it either. And it's already autumn 2015 now. I wonder whether it's better if I put it on hold until the sequel releases, because that way I don't have to wait without wondering if I ever meet Hitomi again.

  • Jolien
    2019-06-01 09:11

    Originally at The Fictional ReaderI requested this book because it sounded like a solid fantasy read, and the ratings on Goodreads were already quite good. I definitely don’t regret requesting this as I really enjoyed it but I’m going to give you a warning here: THIS BOOK IS VERY SHORT.PlotLet me just tell you, this book is a wild ride. There are no boring moments, not a single one. Of course, because this book is so short -less than 200 pages- the action is continuous. We follow Hitomi as she tries to help the Shadow League, an secret movement opposing Blackflame -the Arch Mage who controls the sultan. From the first scene, we are thrown into the action. Hitomi is chased by soldiers of Blackflame because of her skin color and ethnicity and she has to run. I really enjoyed all the action although to be honest, I had to re-read a sentence every once in a while because I got lost for a second.I was really into the story, completely sucked in, so when the ending came I was completely unprepared. I absolutely loved the story line of this book. It covers chases through different cities, captivity in several countries and wild escapes.WorldThis aspect is the reason I gave this book 4 stars, not more. I really felt that for a fantasy novel, there was almost no world building. I know that she lived in Karolene, which I think is an island. And I was introduced to another country as the story progressed but I can’t really imagine anything else.I understand that there was not really an opportunity for this, as the novel was so short, but still. I adore fantasy and have read quite a lot, so I was expecting more world building.CharactersOn to the characters! I really enjoyed reading from Hitomi’s point of view. She was definitely brave and strong, else she would not have survived all she did. I found her to be very resourceful and loyal as well. She was quite the thief, which comes in handy when you’re captured, but not everything she did turned out to work. I know this sounds strange, but I actually enjoy that. Because let’s be honest, whose ideas are great and turn out perfect every time? One thing I found strange is that she both trusts easily, and doesn’t trust anyone. Yes, I know that sounds confusing. At first, she doesn’t really trust many people -only about 2- which is normal for an orphan I think. But during the story, she puts a lot of faith in a certain person, who I definitely wouldn’t trust with my life.There were many other characters I liked as well, although I can’t really talk about them as it would ruin the story. Overall, I would have liked to see more of them. Because this novel was short, I felt like I didn’t get enough time with the characters. Like I didn’t get a chance to truly get to know or understand them.ConclusionI’d definitely recommend this story! It’s a fun and action-packed fantasy book, definitely suitable for young adults and teenagers. My only “complaint” would be that it was a bit lacking in history and world building, due to it being quite short. But I enjoyed the story line and the characters very much! ★★★★

  • Runningrabbit
    2019-05-31 09:03

    This is a well written and erudite YA novel set against a backdrop of mages, predators, and political wrangling. The world is nicely rounded out and isn’t limited to one fixed culture and position, but rather branches out throughout the novel continuing to broaden its style and introduce fresh and diverse characters.The principal character written, is a young girl of 15 years who has been subjected to many changes spanning out through both her education and experiences. Hitomi, is left alone struggling to survive in a time of harsh changes amongst those driven toward ultimate power and position. Hitomi, due to her wild ways, becomes an even greater victim than just her homeless position suggests. Cloaked in secrecy she is bound by her own stringent code of honour to help those in jeopardy, thus putting herself in constant danger.Hitomi is continually forced into battle having to rely entirely on her own resources as she attempts to extract herself from the clutches of the opposition. As her situation spirals out of control, circumstance leaves Hitomi colluding with a natural enemy, ultimately leading her to discover new things about herself as she embarks upon a journey that takes her far away from anything she has ever known.This tale ends beautifully as we await the sequel to Sunbolt, clinging to the knowledge that Hitomi will reveal things that will make her more the sum of her parts. I’m definitely holding out for the next novel which comes out this year. Can't wait for the next novel!

  • Christina Pilkington
    2019-06-07 06:25

    I really enjoyed reading this YA paranormal. I would have never guessed that it was self-published either! For a debut author, this book is very well written. Even though this is a very short novel, probably more like a novella, the story is surprisingly well fleshed out. The backstory was woven seamlessly throughout the story and the world building was decent. The plot was engaging and, while often predictable, had some refreshingly surprising moments. It's hard for me to connect with a first person POV unless the character is very well written, so I was glad how much I enjoyed reading from Hitomi's voice. I think Khanani is an author to keep your eye on. She's bound to get even better in the future, and I am excited to see what she will write in the future. I will definitely be continuing this series in the next year.

  • Suzannah
    2019-05-30 11:18

    I knew Intisar could write, but SUNBOLT blew me away. This is the most fun I've had with a YA book in quite a while. It takes a lot of the usual tropes of the genre but mixes them up in a new and uniquely heartfelt way. The first half was fast-moving and kind of standard YA fantasy fare, and then the story took a hard left and gave me what almost felt like a homage to everything I loved about Robin McKinley's SUNSHINE. I loved that the heroine was smart and tough without being stupid or immature, that there were strong and intriguing relationships between the heroine and a number of male characters with nary a sniff of love triangles or instalove, and that the book ran a lean, breathless pace without an ounce of padding on its bones. Intisar Khanani is a talent to watch.

  • Dani
    2019-06-01 06:13

    This is the third work I’ve read by Intisar Khanani, and the third time I’ve walked away from her stories monumentally impressed. Why? Oh, let me count the ways: her gorgeous writing style, her lovely attention to detail, her seemingly effortless character development, her incredibly satisfying relationship development, her complex world-building, her intuitive pacing, her beautifully evocative imagery. Uh, you know… just to name a few things. She’s a talented writer of fantasy and I must say, she’s officially taken a place among my favorites of the genre.But enough fangirling. For now. I’m going to try and expound on a few of the items I mentioned above. Let’s start with characters…Hitomi. In short, I love her. A girl orphaned. A girl hiding a dangerous gift. A rebel and a thief. At only fifteen, Hitomi, has already lived a lifetime of hardship and heartache. Losing both her parents a few years prior has left her to fend for herself on the streets of a foreign city. But she’s risen above. She’s a strong character, determined, brave, fierce, adaptable, adventurous, and pretty darn cool under pressure. She also refuses to give up, she’s a survivor with an admirable (i.e. dangerous) sense of honor and loyalty.Hitomi’s also in hiding. The only daughter of two mages, she possesses a rare, untrained magical gift that those in governance consider to be unstable and dangerous. If her powers were discovered, the consequences would be… well, not good. And even so, Tomi joins in the resistance against the magical evil that’s threatening her newly adopted home of Karolene.See? Dangero– I mean, admirable sense of honor and loyalty.The Ghost. A leader of the resistance against Blackflame’s rise to power, the Ghost has known Hitomi for years and she has become one of his most trusted operatives. He too is very brave, honorable intelligent, resourceful. A brave leader who inspires loyalty, but he’s also a mystery, and I should like more opportunity to better gauge his character. {hint hint}Mysterious Person That Shall Not Be Named. In Hitomi’s adventures we meet another person that plays a crucial role in the story, and I just find him absolutely fascinating. Possibly the most fascinating. Though he proves to be ally, friend, and perhaps something… well, I’m not sure what, but something more, he (like that questionable classification of relationship) was a bit of an enigma to me. And again left me with that same desire to have another chance to puzzle him out a little more. {hint hint hint}{hint}Ok. I’m do–{hint}! Ok. Really. I’m done now. Promise.Characters… in general. The character development overall is very well done. Ever read a book where the author can accomplish more character building in a passage than some authors can achieve in an entire book? Like I said before, it just feels effortless. Not that I’m trying to diminish all the hard work Khanani’s put into her characters (because it’s evident that quite a lot of work went into this book), but to me, her characters just live on the page, like the characters just jumped straight from her brain to the keyboard, fully-formed and breathing.World. So, I love this world. (What? Are you really surprised with the way I’ve been gushing?) As I understand it, though all three of Khanani’s works have had different protagonists in separate series, it is all set within the same world. Even without having read the previous two books, it’s a well-constructed world that feels vast in scope. Having read the other two books, it just makes me feel jump-up-and-down-happy-to-my-toes excited. Every books gives an even broader glimpse of the world – it’s wonderfully diverse, with different cultures, peoples, worldviews, customs and rules. As a whole it’s mysterious, magical, with quite a varied history, with great evils, looming threats, danger, but also marked by everyday acts of kindness, heroism, magic, and beauty. It’s a fairy tale world, but it’s also a world that is filled with a lot of realism and authenticity. It’s fantastic, and I cannot wait to see more.Plot. Sunbolt was very much the journey of Tomi finding out who she is and just what she’s capable of. Her limits, physically and emotionally, are greatly tested throughout this book as the fast-paced plot throws her (and the reader) from one adventure into the next. This book, at 135+ pages, is technically a novella, but the amount of action in this book is tremendous. In fact, when I was done, I felt as though I had just completed a full-length novel; seriously, the amount of story that is crammed in this novella is amazing and impressive. What’s even more amazing is how naturally it flows, never feeling rushed, or hurried or underdeveloped. It’s just good, well-paced story-telling.Overall. Intisar Khanani’s Sunbolt is magically delicious and has found a home on my “favorites” shelf.

  • Maija
    2019-05-31 06:11

    A lovely surprise!I got this indie YA fantasy book when it was available for free on Amazon. I was hesitant when reading the first two chapters, because I felt that some elements were introduced a bit clunkily. But the more I read, the more I found myself enjoying the story.The main character, Hitomi, has a great moral compass. I enjoyed her strong sense of justice and doing what's right at the expense of herself. Also, the book has both mages and vampires, two things that I love reading about! I want to know what is going to happen to Hitomi next, so I will continue on with this series.