Book Review: A Smuggler’s Path

A Smuggler's Path

  • Title: A Smuggler’s Path
  • Author:  I.L. Cruz
  • Series: The Enchanted Isles, #1
  • Genre: Epic Fantasy
  • Publishing Date: July 24th, 2018
  • Publishing Co.: Bosky Flame Press
  • Length: 328 pages
  • Format: Kindle, Paperback
  • Acquired: Given free print copy in exchange for an honest review
  • Amazon Link: A Smuggler’s Path
In Canto, magic is a commodity, outlawed by the elites after losing a devastating war and brokered by smugglers on the hidden market. But some know it’s more–a weapon for change.
Inez Garza moves through two worlds. She’s a member of the noble class who works as a magical arms dealer–a fact either group would gladly use against her. Neither know her true purpose–funding Birthright, an underground group determined to return magic to all at any cost.

But the discovery of a powerful relic from before the Rending threatens her delicate balance.
Inez’s inherent magic, which lies dormant in all the Canti, has been awakened. Now the Duchess’s daughter, radical and smuggler must assume another forbidden title–mage, a capital crime. This will bring her to the attention of factions at home–fanatical rebels bent on revolution, a royal family determined to avoid another magical war, her mercenary colleagues at the hidden market willing to sell her abilities to the highest bidder–and in Mythos, victors of the war and architects of the Rending.
Evasion has become Inez’s specialty, but even she isn’t skilled enough to hide from everyone–and deny the powers drawing her down a new path.

First Chapter Challenge:

In this first snippet, we get a brief look at the world and something horrible happening… A murder.

Already, I’m intrigued! I want to know how this came to be, and who this poor soul is–and who murdered him! So many questions. Definitely need to keep reading.

Final Judgment: 3 Stars out of 5

Inez, a smuggler by trade but a Duchess’s daughter by birth–if not quite able to claim her birthright–is on a mission to bring magic back to her people. But by doing so, she will have to juggle all of her identities at once, while also tricking her closest friends. Will she be able to pull it off?

The first book in The Enchanted Isles series, a great deal of the beginning is chock full of world building detail. In fact, it is so full that the world itself and its rules, magic, etc. are all a bit jumbled and difficult to understand. There is just a trifle too much frontloading for my taste, and rushed besides. I would’ve preferred that the world had been built in a cleaner, natural way, rather than shoved down our throats. However, as the reader progresses through the book, we do get a better feel for the world and its inhabitants.

The plot is engaging, and ends on a note that makes me want to continue reading the sequel to see how it progresses. However, there are a few things that irk me about it. One, everything seems so convenient. Whenever something is needed, it just falls from the sky and lands in the laps of those who require it. The rebellion/resistance is also random and seems to serve no purpose–as is the same with the male potential love interest? There’s no chemistry between the two characters and nothing ever progresses. It’s more just a check to mark off that there is a love interest in the story. I’m hoping that all of these elements will be expanded upon in the future books, and this is just the shallow beginning.

But the action and magic are fun! I thoroughly enjoyed the smuggling scenes, as well as when magic was used and hope that continues and improves as well in the next books. The dialogue is quippy and I liked seeing the meshing of different characters as they interacted with each other. I also would like to mention that the MC is a Latina, giving readers more exposure to a hero that isn’t white-washed.

The premise is promising, and I expect that the next books will improve the story significantly. There was simply so much to include in this first book, that it came out superficial and rushed, as well as rough around the edges. But, I liked it enough that I will continue with the series and you all can expect a review of the second book soon!

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