August 07, 2022

#BookReview: Kalyna the Soothsayer by Elijah Kinch Spector

Synopsis: Kalyna’s family has had the Gift for generations: the ability to see and predict the future. For decades, they have traveled around the four connected kingdoms of the Tetrarchia—one country with four monarchs—selling their services as soothsayers. The Gift is their calling and what defines them. Every child of their family has the Gift.

Except Kalyna. Born without the Gift, for years, she’s supported her father—who is losing sight of reality under the weight of his confused visions of the future—and her cruel grandmother on the strength of her wits, using informants and trickery to fake prophecies and scrounge a living. But it’s getting harder every year.

And poverty turns to danger when, on the strength of her reputation, Kalyna is “hired” (kidnapped, she would call it) by Lenz, the spymaster to the prince of Rotfelsen. Lenz wants Kalyna to use her talent for prophecy to uncover threats against Rotfelsen’s king, and he’s willing to hold her family hostage against her good behavior. But Rotfelsenisch politics are devious; the King’s enemies abound; and Kalyna’s skills for investigation and deception are tested to the limit. Worse, the conspiracy she begins to uncover points to a threat not only to the King of Rotfelsen but to all four monarchs of the Tetrarchia, when they meet for their annual governing “Council of Barbarians.” A Council that happens to fall at precisely the same time that Kalyna’s father has prophesied the catastrophic downfall of the Tetrarchia.

Kalyna is determined to protect her family (even Grandmother!), and her newfound friends—and to save the Tetrarchia too. But as she is drawn deeper into palace intrigue, she’s not sure if her manipulations are helping prevent the Tetrarchia’s destruction—or if her lies will bring it about.

This title will be released on August 30, 2022.


Rating: 3 Stars
My Review: Unfortunately this book was a mess of different thoughts all being tossed together without much thought in it. I wanted to love this and the premise was interesting but the pacing and writing was just not good.  This needs to be looked over again for story editing.  One example would be where you would be in one location then all of a sudden someone goes on an info dumping mission and talks about something that had nothing to do with anything in that chapter.  I think that if this was cleaned up, tightened, and fixed this would be an amazing story. 


“The intricate worldbuilding includes intriguing court politics and nefarious plotting galore. [Kalyna] is both a witty and a determined heroine. . . . A fabulous puzzle box of a fantasy novel.”  —Foreword Reviews

“Kalyna is a character after my own heart: a conniving liar whose love for her family threatens to be her downfall. Hilarious and heartbreaking by turns, 
Kalyna the Soothsayer is a reminder that if you can't see the future you want, sometimes you have to make it.” —C. L. Clark, author of The Unbroken

“A gorgeous, layered debut, both intricate and propulsive, with a singularly brilliant heroine at its center. Kalyna is a twisty, entrancing, and totally unique entry into epic fantasy.” —Ava Reid, internationally bestselling author of 
The Wolf and the Woodsman

“Full of hilarious wit, intrigue, spycraft and charlatans, Kalyna the Soothsayer is a classic adventure with a sardonic twist. At the turn of the last page, I was sad to leave these lovable rogues. I've been waiting a long time to read an intelligent swashbuckling story like's the perfect fantastical escape.” —Marissa Levien, author of 
The World Gives Way 

Kalyna the Soothsayer is dangerously good: a spellbinding story, captivatingly told, with a cast of unforgettable characters and plot twists that kept me turning pages past my bedtime.”  —Melissa Caruso, author of The Obsidian Tower

About the Author

Elijah Kinch Spector lives in Brooklyn. Kalyna the Soothsayer is his first novel.

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