Sunbolt

Sunbolt

by Intisar Khanani
4.6 16

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Overview

Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani

The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.

When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detain—and execute—a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. But there are more secrets at play than Hitomi’s, and much worse fates than execution. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940153736853
Publisher: Intisar Khanani
Publication date: 05/21/2013
Sold by: Smashwords
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 302,011
File size: 897 KB

About the Author

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar's next two projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, following the heroine introduced in her short story The Bone Knife, and a novella series set in a fiction world of eleven kingdoms all controlled by a corrupt Council of Mages. Thorn is her first novel.

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Sunbolt 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad I found this author. She is a wonderful writer. The series is imaginative and very well written. The characters are well-developed and the dialog is natural and flows effortlessly. The story is a page-turner!
Bookaholic_Banter More than 1 year ago
I'm going to keep this review short and sweet, just like this book! This was a great introduction to a series! A truly unique story unlike any other book I have ever read. I loved that it was clean and didn't have unnecessary foul language. This book was proof that a story can still be enjoyable without all of that. While I do enjoy a romance book from time to time I was thrilled that there wasn't a sappy romance thrown into this novel. I think it would have taken away from the book. This story was fantastic without it. The characters in this book were colorful and full of surprises. There are a bunch of mythical creatures as well. Some you will recognize and some new ones as well. The story line was creative and interesting and kept my attention the whole way through. It was action-packed fantasy full of magic and mayhem. The descriptive writing was vivid, the world-building was excellent! Though this book was under 200 pages, it never felt that way at all. There was so much going on that it felt so much longer than it was. So if you are planning on passing on this novel because of it's lack of pages and thinking it won't be worth the money, I promise you it's worth it! It reads like a full length novel. Also, it will just get you more excited for the second book in the series because you will get double the pages! * I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very imaginative.
EmilyAnneK17 More than 1 year ago
The city where Hitomi has lived for the past four years—after her father died and her mother went missing—is being taken over by an evil sorcerer. Hitomi desires to join The Ghost and his Shadow League in order to fight back, but many of the members are opposed to allowing a foreign, orphaned teenager into their midst. What can she offer in aid? But Hitomi has more than one secret that could help…or condemn her to slavery or death. Sunbolt by Intisar Khanani was pretty awesome. I read and loved another of the author’s books, Thorn, and so had high expectations for this one. Sunbolt did not disappoint. The weave of characters and the layers of the plot were enough to make me long to read the next book. Hitomi was an interesting character. She was a pickpocket whenever she could not find work. She was not exactly homeless, but still unprotected by family or a guardian. And she was a tad reckless—so desiring to help or prove her worth that she was willing to go to dangerous lengths. Despite being a pickpocket, Hitomi had strong morals to protect the weak and helpless, even when helping them put herself in danger. That was what made me love her as a character. The world-building was intriguing also. There were eleven nations, if I remember correctly, and the characters visited a couple of them. Even those few were enough to see a large difference in climate and culture, which would be present in any real countries. And the magic was fascinating. There was a system of laws governing people with magic as well as a number of magical, non-human beings. Those people were similar to the ones in common mythology but went by different names and slightly different abilities. All those elements combined to make a fascinating world that I am sure Sunbolt has only scratched the surface of. Sunbolt was a fascinating read, and I look forward to reading the second book, Memories of Ash. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy YA fantasy. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and have also acquired an eBook copy from Amazon.
Holly More than 1 year ago
Sunbolt is the first book in the Sunbolt Chronicles that follows a young girl and her fight between good and evil. Hitomi is a young girl with magical powers that from a young age, has had to hide her power and who her parents were. Karolene is an island that is full of traders and an enemy known as Blackflame, that is controlling the sultan. A group called the Shadow League is doing their best to save people from him until one mission that goes terribly wrong with Hitomi fighting for her life. The Shadow League is being ran by a mysterious man named the Ghost but when word gets out that Blackflame wants to execute a big political family, it's up to Hitomi to help get them to safety. When things go wrong with the escape plan, Hitomi is forced to take it upon herself to save Ghost and what is left of the family but nothing goes right. As Blackflame takes Hitomi prisoner, secrets come out about her family and what hidden powers she really has, the race to save herself is on in a breathtaking ending that will leave you wanting more! I really liked this book and I'm the kinda of person that either loves a paranormal book or really hates it due to the content inside. I found the book a little slow at times but overall it was a pretty good book that makes you wonder where this series is going! You don't read much books anymore with characters like Hotomi anymore and it's kinda refreshing to see it again. I do wish more was spent on Val but hopefully in the coming books, we can get more of his story. Thank You to Intisar Khanani for writing a paranormal book that I really enjoyed and I can't wait to see what is to come! I received this book from the Author in exchange for a honest review.
mollymortensen More than 1 year ago
Possibly the best indie book I’ve ever read! While this novella didn’t feel too short I was left wanting more. It’s a complete story don’t get me wrong, but I want the other books in the series now, okay? Apparently the sequel is going to be a trilogy. Yay! I can tell a lot of thought went into the world. Karolene is an island nation of traders and an evil arch mage is controlling the sultan. A group is fighting back in the shadows (called the Shadow League) trying to save people. Lead by the mysterious Ghost, a charismatic good looking young man who comes off as the perfect male lead in a young adult book, but surprisingly winds up only a minor character. There are also other species like Fangs (think vampires) Lycans (werewolves) and there’s even a Tanuki! The trickster raccoon dog from Japanese mythology. There are really only two characters that we spend enough time with to develop, but the minor characters who just made a short appearance were good too. I loved Hitomi! She’s not that great of a fighter but she managed to be strong when it counted. A thief and hidden mage, (called a Promise) she’s lived a tough life, but she’s definitely still a good person. She’s also not stupid either! I really liked the male lead too. There wasn’t a romance, more a potential forbidden friendship. (Which was the best part of the book!) I hope he comes back in the sequels! It’s weird because we don’t learn much about him, yet his character was well established. (Who he was as a person.) Hitomi doesn’t know a lot about magic (yet) so there isn’t very much, but I really enjoyed what we learned about the magic system. It was a very realistic, well described sort of magic. Sunbolt is one of those nothing goes as the character expects and they wind up with different goals sort of plots. (But I have a feeling the whole defeat the evil arch mage thing will be the theme of the upcoming sequel trilogy.) As expected of only 142 pages it’s quick paced and I was only wishing they would get on with it at one point. (When Hitomi was ‘borrowing’ a carriage, it was a tad long.) Needless to say I plan to read the sequel, Memories of Ash which comes out this summer. Point of View: First (Hitomi) Predictability: 2 out of 5 (Where 1 is totally unpredictable and 5 is I knew what was going to happen way ahead of time.) Source: Netgalley
Allthingsbook-ReviewRL More than 1 year ago
4 Star I am intrigued by this story, and look forward to reading more from this author. A story with a lot of twists and turns to keep you entertained. The character interaction is good and a great plot. It starts you out with a high intensity tension, and just gets better from their. This seems to be a good v.s evil story with several key players, yet midway through, the original characters have changed. The only character to remain the same is Hitomi, yet the transition is so seamless that it doesn't affect the story line. I am, however, disappointed by how things ended between Hitomi and Val. I felt their were a lot of things left unsaid between the two of them, that made it feel like an integral part of the story was missing. I hope it comes to light in the next book in this series. (Disclaimer - I received this book from XpressoBookTours through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review)
cjgaul More than 1 year ago
So I had read Thorn before picking up this book.  To be honest, I loved Thorn so much and was very sad that it was a stand alone story.  Thorn DOES stand on its own, but I wanted more!  So I picked up Sunbolt willing to give it a try but not expecting to love it as much as I did Thorn. Wrong!  I adored this story as well.  The first few chapters did not grab me as forcefully as those in Thorn, but I became so engrossed in the book that the end took me by surprise.   I particularly loved watching Hitomi grow from an "honest thief" into the hero.  I felt that growth was genuine and built from traits Hitomi already possessed in the beginning.  I also love Khanani's take on supernatural beings.  It is very refreshing to find an author who writes great fantasy that is not an obviously YA writer.  Her books are appropriate for young adult readers, but I did not feel hit over the head with "teen angst".  Even though the main character is half my age, her feelings and struggles did not alienate me as a reader.   I can't wait for more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got so into it, it was over before I knew it. I'm definitely looking forward to the next one.
RoxyKade More than 1 year ago
This was an exciting, adventurous read that hooked me from the beginning. I immediately wanted to know more about Hitomi, and as the story developed, so she became more feisty while at the same time showing compassion for those she came into contact with; even the Fang she met during the escape from Blackflame's cells. She was a strategic thinker and thought about her actions before doing something, taking into consideration the consequences and what it would mean for those she had to protect, I was particularly interested in the powers she kept hidden, and even though she only touched on her past, her parents and the teachings she received from them, I'm excited to see how much more she'll be able to do as this series continues. This was a quick read that left me with many questions. There was the mystery of Hitomi's mother, and I had to wonder what would become of Hitomi. What did the future hold for her? Would she ever return to Karolene, to the Shadow League? Would she ever see Val again? I'm excited the read the next book in this series to see if it offers any answers, and to continue on the journey with Hitomi.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I discovered the author’s debut novel, ‘Thorn’, quite accidentally, one of those magical reads where you start on the sample and find yourself so swept up in the story you just can’t put it down. It was one of my best reads of last year, so I approached the author’s latest offering with trepidation. Can the next book possibly be as good? Quick answer - yes, it can. This is a novella, the first in a projected series of perhaps six altogether, a beautifully written piece which displays all the author’s trademark originality, terrific characters and an intriguing world. Hitomi is an orphan, struggling to survive on her wits - no, it’s not the most original scenario, but this is possibly the only aspect of the book which has that problem. This has to be one of the most unpredictable stories I've ever read, a new twist at every turn, and as the book is incredibly fast-paced, that means a breathtaking ride. There are one or two jarring moments, though. Just as the reader gets accustomed to one setting and its cast of characters, there’s an abrupt shift to a new location, a new villain, new challenges for Hitomi. But it’s all perfectly logical, and just served to keep me on my toes. Hitomi is a lovely heroine - spirited, enterprising and imaginative, and never, ever prepared to be pushed aside. I loved the way in the early chapters she always did exactly what she wanted to do, regardless of whatever instructions she was given. Later, she shows her indomitable spirit, and never gives up, even when things look black. Some of the other characters were fascinating too - Val, in particular, but all of them had depth. I hope we find out more about the character left behind in the cells, too. I loved the way the author managed to fudge the question of who were the good guys and who were the villains. Things just aren’t that simple here. One doesn’t expect much in the way of world-building from a novella, but there’s surely enough background here to fuel a full-sized trilogy at least. There are kingdoms and religions and races and magical capabilities and cultures, all beautifully defined and nuanced. The speed of the book was a real hindrance here, since every few pages I found myself saying: wait a moment, that’s interesting, I’d like to know more about that. Hitomi’s family history, her magic, Ghost and the secret society, Blackflame, the breathers, the mages... But no, the plot swept on relentlessly. Hopefully, with another five or so books to come, the author will be able to develop these aspects in more detail. This is a wonderful book, with memorable characters, some great world-building, an action-packed plot that never lets up for a moment and a surprising twist every few pages. All this in a beautifully written novella format. Highly recommended. Five stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another great read from Intisar Khanani! Almost a year ago, I reviewed her standalone novel, Thorn, and loved it so when I saw the chance to read a new book (and part of a series, no less) by Khanani, I knew I had to take it. Sunbolt tells the tale of Hitomi, a young girl with a secret that could leave her on the other side of the grave if she dared reveal it. But when plans fall apart and she's trapped alongside a deadly killer, it's their only hope of escape. What Hitomi doesn't know is that everything is not as it seems and the world has bigger plans for her than the average mage. It took a chapter or so to adjust to the present tense as it's not something I'm accustomed to reading, but after that I barely noticed it. The story flowed seamlessly and suddenly I was turning the page and poof, it was over. Hitomi's adventure from her coastal home of Karolene to the landlocked Godan captures your attention and makes it very difficult to put Sunbolt down. There's action and plenty of fantasy elements to entice fans of the genre, while appealing to YA readers with Hitomi's age. She is one of the stronger heroines I've read about, honor-bound in her own way and determined to make the best of a situation so she doesn't let her friends down. Hitomi faces a predator feared by most and stands her ground to protect those she cares about, and even those she doesn't know yet. While Hitomi gave the story life and I related to her with ease, she could'n't have done so without the rest of the Sunbolt cast. We meet a few of the Shadow League at the beginning, including the elusive Ghost who intrigued me from the start (and I hope to see again), hot-tempered Rafiki, and her easier-going friend Kenta. I liked them all (well, except Rafiki because of his attitude), and wouldn't have minded staying with them a bit longer in the story (although the plot didn't suffer). Then comes our dastardly villain Wilhelm Blackflame who I wanted to feed to a shark. He wasn't around as much as the other antagonist, Kol the fang (think of a vampire's relative, essentially), but I still couldn't wait for Hitomi to kick his ass. Sadly, Kol stepped in before that could happen and stole the villain spotlight. It's here we meet Val, a breather (I'll let you read Sunbolt to figure out what that is) and prisoner of Kol's, just like Hitomi. The two are thrown together and despite everything, they form a bond of friendship that I really enjoyed watching develop. It wasn't something cheesy or forced. They both suffered at the hands of the same enemy and, as the saying goes, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, or something like that. I could see the potential for a romance between the two later in the series (which I wouldn't mind seeing at all), but right now, their friendship works. This is the first YA book I've read in a while that didn't have a romance, actually, so it's perfect for haters of love triangles. I'm not sure I have anything bad to say about Sunbolt. My only complaint, I think, would be that it was too short. I wanted more! I wouldn't count that as a fault, but that's just me. If you like to read original fantasies, particularly in the young adult genre, add this book to your to-read pile. Sunbolt is an enthralling adventure that will keep you hooked from start to finish. I can't wait for the sequel. And if you don't believe me when I say how great it is, you're just going to have to read it to find out yourself.
DaniRoo More than 1 year ago
This is the third work I've read by Intisar Khanani, and the third time I've walked away from her stories monumentally impressed. Why? Oh, let me count the ways: her gorgeous writing style, her lovely attention to detail, her seemingly effortless character development, her incredibly satisfying relationship development, her complex world-building, her intuitive pacing, her beautifully evocative imagery. Uh, you know... just to name a few things. She's a talented writer of fantasy and I must say, she's officially taken a place among my favorites of the genre. But enough fangirling. For now. I'm going to try and expound on a few of the items I mentioned above. Let's start with characters... Hitomi. In short, I love her. A girl orphaned. A girl hiding a dangerous gift. A rebel and a thief. At only fifteen, Hitomi, has already lived a lifetime of hardship and heartache. Losing both her parents a few years prior has left her to fend for herself on the streets of a foreign city. But she's risen above. She's a strong character, determined, brave, fierce, adaptable, adventurous, and pretty darn cool under pressure. She also refuses to give up, she's a survivor with an admirable (i.e. dangerous) sense of honor and loyalty. Hitomi's also in hiding. The only daughter of two mages, she possesses a rare, untrained magical gift that those in governance consider to be unstable and dangerous. If her powers were discovered, the consequences would be... well, not good. And even so, Tomi joins in the resistance against the magical evil that's threatening her newly adopted home of Karolene. See? Dangero- I mean, admirable sense of honor and loyalty. The Ghost. A leader of the resistance against Blackflame's rise to power, the Ghost has known Hitomi for years and she has become one of his most trusted operatives. He too is very brave, honorable intelligent, resourceful. A brave leader who inspires loyalty, but he's also a mystery, and I should like more opportunity to better gauge his character. Mysterious Person That Shall Not Be Named. In Hitomi's adventures we meet another person that plays a crucial role in the story, and I just find him absolutely fascinating. Possibly the most fascinating. Though he proves to be ally, friend, and perhaps something... well, I'm not sure what, but something more, he (like that questionable classification of relationship) was a bit of an enigma to me. And again left me with that same desire to have another chance to puzzle him out a little more. Ok. I'm do-! Ok. Really. I'm done now. Promise. Characters... in general. The character development overall is very well done. Ever read a book where the author can accomplish more character building in a passage than some authors can achieve in an entire book? Like I said before, it just feels effortless. Not that I'm trying to diminish all the hard work Khanani's put into her characters (because it's evident that quite a lot of work went into this book), but to me, her characters just live on the page, like the characters just jumped straight from her brain to the keyboard, fully-formed and breathing. World. So, I love this world. (What? Are you really surprised with the way I've been gushing?) As I understand it, though all three of Khanani's works have had different protagonists in separate series, it is all set within the same world. Even without having read the previous two books, it's a well-constructed world that feels vast in scope. Having read the other two books, it just makes me feel jump-up-and-down-happy-to-my-toes excited. Every books gives an even broader glimpse of the world - it's wonderfully diverse, with different cultures, peoples, worldviews, customs and rules. As a whole it's mysterious, magical, with quite a varied history, with great evils, looming threats, danger, but also marked by everyday acts of kindness, heroism, magic, and beauty. It's a fairy tale world, but it's also a world that is filled with a lot of realism and authenticity. It's fantastic, and I cannot wait to see more. Plot. Sunbolt was very much the journey of Tomi finding out who she is and just what she's capable of. Her limits, physically and emotionally, are greatly tested throughout this book as the fast-paced plot throws her (and the reader) from one adventure into the next. This book, at 135 pages, is technically a novella, but the amount of action in this book is tremendous. In fact, when I was done, I felt as though I had just completed a full-length novel; seriously, the amount of story that is crammed in this novella is amazing and impressive. What's even more amazing is how naturally it flows, never feeling rushed, or hurried or underdeveloped. It's just good, well-paced story-telling. Overall. Intisar Khanani's Sunbolt is magically delicious and has found a home on my "favorites" shelf.
InkspelledFaery More than 1 year ago
It seems to be a matter of course that I love what this author writes—probably because she writes about a lot of fighting and a lot of magic. Sunbolt is a fast-paced, quick read that still has excellent character development and world-building packed into less than 200 pages. The plot: This novella is clearly setting it up for the rest of the series as we are introduced to a cast of dynamic, dimensional, and diverse characters in a short space of time. This story moves quickly, yet still manages to flesh out the individuals and the setting in a way that they are memorable and have stuck with me. There are a lot of questions asked throughout this book and though it ends satisfactorily, by the end we are left ravenously hungry for answers, a cruel plot by the author, no doubt, to make us lust after the next series installment. The characters: Hitomi was a type of character I have been missing lately—strong, brave, smart, yet compassionate. I especially like how she was willing to forfeit her life for people she barely knew, even ones who had betrayed her, and how she was courageous even when it looked like there was no way out. She’s been through a lot, will doubtless go through a lot more, but doesn’t crack under pressure and tries to do the right thing. I’m trying to figure out if I can mention one of my favorite characters without giving spoilers… We’ll just say that I am passionately hoping we get to meet him again in the next novella. Dangerous, dark, more than capable of brutality, yet still with an underlying sense of honor and more good than he cares to show. I think he likes Hitomi, but I might be reading that into the story, I’m not sure. I cannot wait for the next novella in this series. I adore this series and I highly, highly recommend this book as well as the author’s other works. So go, go, go! Read this and then we can all gush over it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sunbolt is about Hitomi, a young orphan girl with a secret: she is a Promise, she has the gift of magic. She can't let anybody know that she has this gift because every person who has the gift must be reported to the high council and if she is discovered to be an untrained Promise she will be punished. She works with the Shadow League, a secret group that is against the evil and corrupt ways of Arch Mage Blackflame. In one of their missions, Hitomi gets captured and things become even more dangerous for her. When I finished the book, I went over the parts I liked and read them again. That almost never happens anymore because I'm always cramming on my reading these days, but this time I wanted to go over the words. I just love the way this book was written. I spent a few minutes trying to find the right word to describe the writing, so went to the Goodreads page and there I found it. Beautiful. There really was no other way to describe it. The writing was simply beautiful. I remember reading Thorn and it was the same sort of poignant writing that seemed to flow easily through you like a river. I really enjoyed this book. Aside from the gorgeous writing, I also loved the characters and the storyline. For me, Hitomi is a beautiful person inside and out and I loved reading about her. I also really liked the author's concept of magic and how a magical talent uses her power by using the energy or power of the things around her. It kind of reminded me of the magic system in Cephrael's Hand (which I also loved). I really love it when the magic system is defined in some way that makes sense. I also liked how the author used non-human characters in this fantasy world. There were the usual non-human creatures that we read in most fantasy books these days, but their presence didn't feel typical or boring at all. Overall, this was a very exciting, intriguing and captivating book for me. Sunbolt is only the first in a serial and I can't wait to read the rest of the series! Disclosure: I received a review copy for this tour in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to give a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. - Leah (White Sky Project)
RoseOfSkye More than 1 year ago
In the interests of full disclosure I should state that I received an advanced copy of this book as a thank you from the author for proofreading earlier drafts. With that out of the way, I think this story is awesome! This is exactly the kind of fantasy I used to love so much growing up - so easy to sink into a new world, an exciting fast-paced story with fascinating characters and every time I read these kinds of books it's like I'm 13 again and I never grew up. This is the first book in a brand new world that Intisar has created. As with Thorn, there is vivid imagery which is just sufficient to set the scene and paint it to life without overburdening the narrative. The characters are fleshed out skillfully while still leaving enigmas for us to pursue in future sequels. And as the start of a series, there are questions left unanswered, mysteries still unrevealed, and story threads to follow that leave me on the edge of my seat at the end. My only complaint is that it wasn't long enough! The action and excitement kick off very quickly and the pace stays high throughout the whole story, never leaving me with a dull moment. In terms of characters, I love how the main character is a feisty, resourceful girl - a beautifully strong leading role for a young girl. However, I think I am particularly in love with Val, who is like an anti-hero to me, and who I hope will feature in future novels. I cannot wait for the sequel!