One of the many things I love about NetGalley is that I am given the opportunity to read books that I might over look in store and remind myself to push my genre/reading boundaries. This is one of those books where I had no idea what I was getting myself in for. I requested it from NetGalley partly based on the synopsis, but more an over the top requesting spree I was going through at the time. I didn’t know if I would like it as I find time travel in books a hard concept to wrap my head around, I didn’t know the author or recognise the publisher and I wasn’t a huge fan of the cover.
Well I’m happy to report this was a total NetGalley win.
A time traveler trapped in a violent past must protect the orphaned child of a murdered sovereign and find a way home, in this astonishing epic fantasy novel.
Fifteen year-old Tobias Doljan, a Walker trained to travel through time, is called to serve at the court of Daerjen. The sovereign, Mearlan IV, wants him to Walk back fourteen years, to prevent a devastating war which will destroy all of Islevale. Even though the journey will double Tobias’ age, he agrees. But he arrives to discover Mearlan has already been assassinated, and his court destroyed. The only survivor is the infant princess, Sofya. Still a boy inside his newly adult body, Tobias must find a way to protect the princess from assassins, and build himself a future… in the past.
I’ve had a hard time trying to articulate exactly what I thought made this book special. It’s quite unassuming. It was a book that I found myself willing to put down at night, not because it was bad or I was bored, but because I wanted it to last as long as possible. I savoured it, I enjoyed the writing and the characters and I didn’t want to rush it. It was almost a heavy read, a book that made you feel for Tobias and his struggle.
Tobias is a wonderful character. He is devoted to his job, he is willing to take risks, he does his best to do the right thing. After travelling back in time he finds himself in a 29 year olds body. He takes on the mammoth task of trying to single handily prevent a war and then when everything goes wrong, he takes on a baby and tries to escape. He has to find a way to fix everything while navigating a city he doesn’t really know and with nobody who knows him. Tobias never complains, he continues trying to move forward.
All of the characters felt distinct and you had to appreciate just how fierce the women in Time’s Children are. Those on either side are capable, willing to face their fear and get things done, even at their own detriment.
The magic revolved around time and movement. Walkers could travel through time, Spanners could travel distances and Crossers could move through solid matter. People with the talent were trained and needed specific objects to be able to use their magic. For walkers there was a heavy price for using the magic.
There was a lot of world building, but it felt organic. It didn’t bog down the story. It flowed, it built up tension and had me wanting more. There was political intrigue, demons, twisted timelines and pirates. The book surprised me and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next. (Book 2 will be out in May 2019)
I received this book from the publishers via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.