There are a thousand words in this universe, and a thousand ways to say a single thing. Justin is a master of writing, his soothing, magical tone drawing me in from page one. Not only was he a delight at world building, twisting images into life before my eyes – but also at story telling, and he made me desperate for more. There want a single doubt what rating Master of Sorrows deserves, not until the ending; where he equally made me hate him (HOW COULD YOU HURT MY BABIES) and love him for doing what no one else is brave enough to do. He criminalised those I loved and flirted with the devil himself, leaving me heartbroken and one hundred percent prepared to curl up in the fatal position and just stay there… for the foreseeable future.
If anyone knows me well, they’ll know I’m obsessed with mentor and mentee books. It’s something not all authors do well (Justin does), but it’s something I think I’ll love forever. A young, gullible protagonist and wise old Strongest-In-The-World mage (or otherwise) leaves me star-struck almost every time. I love watching a character who can barely feed themselves and need consistently to be spoon fed grow into a blazing phoenix and spread their wings. Not literally, though. That would be crazy.
Although now is totally the time to plug 2 upcoming phoenix books that I’m drooling at the mouth for: Crown of Feathers by Nicky Pau Preto and We Rule The Night by Claire Bartlett. It’s not a spoiler when I say that Master of Sorrows has phoenix themes too (there’s a phoenix on the cover) but I just want to scream excitedly that PHOENIXES ARE MAKING A COME BACK… if they were ever in YA in the first place? Either way, PHOENIXES!! ARE!!! TAKING!!!! OVER!!!! I’ve been waiting for this since I was tiny, and little baby me adored the firey birds of chaos. Yes, even more than I adored dragons.
This book was everything I wanted.
Until the end anyway, I didn’t want THAT.
Can I just pretend the last 10% of the book didn’t happen because m y h e a r t h u r t s. Please take back the pain you’ve caused me Justin, I don’t want it. I 100% want your next book to come out RIGHT NOW, but you’ve killed me a little inside. YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID.
The ending was a cleverly crafted storyline that sets up book 2 perfectly, and now I’ll be sat rocking in a corner slowly carving out tally lines of the day’s passing by until I can finally have some peace and have my baby redeemed. She needs a redemption arc, more than I need air.
Please be warned that Master of Sorrows isn’t for the light hearted and will probably cause you more sorrow than you’re expecting because Justin makes sure you fall in love with the characters and then breaks your heart in the same sentence. If you are wanting a happy read? This isn’t it.
If you are wanting one that doesn’t tackle the curses and prejudice against those with disabilities, this isn’t it. (Why would you not want that, though?). Master of Sorrows takes on the devilisation of disabled people and raises it all on a pedestal.
This book needs to be raised on a pedestal.