Nocturna by Maya Motayne is a novel I had been highly anticipating since I first heard of its release, and I am happy to say it lived up to my expectations. I love the idea of a prince and a thief who steals faces so unique, and the main characters are well-developed. I also enjoyed the execution of the magic system and the originality of each person’s abilities. Nocturna is a book that is entertaining and compelling, and I would recommend it to fans of the fantasy genre.Title: Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic #1)
Author: Maya Motayne
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Set in a Latinx-inspired world, a face-changing thief and a risk-taking prince must team up to defeat a powerful evil they accidentally unleashed.
To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks.
As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.
After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.
But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.
❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃
Book Review: Nocturna
This book tells the story of a prince and a thief who must join forces in order to save their kingdom from dark magic. I love this opposites/unlikely duo trope, and I was glad to see a fresh and complex take on it. Honestly, I was not expecting this book to be as funny as it is since I don’t typically see much humour in fantasy novels, but Finn’s wit has to be one of my favourite aspects of the story. As well as this, the plot has a nice balance of action and description which made for an enjoyable reading experience.
❀ Enjoyable Main Characters
I very much enjoyed both the main characters, Finn and Alfie. Finn is a thief who can change faces, which I found so intriguing, and she has a complex and painful backstory. She is sarcastic and strong, and I loved reading about her mission with Alfie as well as her dialogue. Alfie, on the other hand, is the next in line for the throne after the death of his brother, and he is also dealing with trauma. I sympathized with him since he really just wants to be a good leader and bring his brother back. Because these characters are developed, I found them more realistic.
❀ Interesting System of Magic
What I found notable about the novel is the magic system, especially the characters’ abilities. The fact that Finn can steal faces is so original, and it is interesting how magic is unique to each person. The way the magic is explained is clear and easy to follow, and I liked the light magic vs. dark magic concept. I have seen people comparing this to A Darker Shade of Magic, but admittedly I have not read that series yet so I can’t confirm any similarities.
Nocturna is a gripping story of unlikely partners and dark magic. I found the concept unique, and the main characters are believable. The magic system is one aspect I particularly enjoyed as well as Finn’s humorous tone. I would definitely recommend this one to fantasy fans.