09 October, 2014

Review: The Fifth Vertex by Kevin Hoffman

Urus Noellor--a boy born deaf who is about to be publicly branded as a burden, incapable of being the warrior his people demand--stands upon a rooftop, poised to throw himself over the edge. His failed attempt at suicide unlocks within him a long-dormant form of magic thought to have died out thousands of years before, a power that may be the key to saving the world from an equally ancient enemy. 

Urus and his companions--Goodwyn, the greatest warrior in Kest, and Cailix, a mysterious orphan--must find a way to stop a powerful group of sorcerers from destroying the five long-hidden vertices that ward the world against threats from beyond, while fighting off threats from within. They soon learn that the scope of the coming danger may be more dire than any of them could have imagined. As the battle for the vertices spreads to the neighboring realms, Goodwyn must face the realities of war and death; Cailix discovers a devastating truth that could change everything; and Urus discovers his uncanny gifts and courage as he peels away clues to his true identity. But even as Urus gains the power he has always craved, he experiences it all in profound, lonely silence.


Series: The Sigilord Chronicles #1
Release Date: 2 August, 2014
Publisher: Kevin Hoffman
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
ISBN:  9780990647904
Edition: ARC Netgalley eBook
Review Written: 9 October, 2014

I was terribly excited about this book when I first got it, the premise alone that one of the main characters had a disability that would add a bit of diversity into the YA genre was enough to tug me in. Sadly, the book didn't deliver the same amount of excitement throughout.

The first half of the book was exciting, it was a thrill to learn about Urus, his culture, and the idea of 'Sigilords'. It was breathtaking to see him jump through these vertex as if they were simply pathways, and it was interesting to see how the rest of the world was alien to the young man. We follow his path from being culled to translation of foreign languages to the emergence of his power. The problem is, the first part of the book built up to a plateau, then leveled out. 

The bloodmages, our villains for this supposed thrilling adventure, are introduced in a decent enough way, that is they're shown destroying a monastery for the sole purpose of collecting one text. They manipulate and twist the perceptions of other races, and quite honestly by the end of it, they came off looking as bullies more than anything else. Characters were rather lacking and dull after their initial introduction, with the only real changes coming from two of the main characters (Urus and Goodwyn) and they're minor changes.

Honestly, it was a good read for the first half, but I struggled to finish this in hopes that perhaps the book would get better. Instead, the result was a dull cast of characters, a mediocre set of villains, and a very unsatisfying ending.  


  1. I haven't read this book, it sounds interesting! It's a shame you didn't like it that much in the end though :(

    Lipstick and Mocha

    1. It was an interesting book, and I pushed myself through the book in order to attempt to find something else I liked about it. I was rather disappointed that I didn't find anything else to like about it. :(