Release Date: September 1, 2014
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Xhea has no magic. Born without the power that everyone else takes for granted, Xhea is an outcast—no way to earn a living, buy food, or change the life that fate has dealt her. Yet she has a unique talent: the ability to see ghosts and the tethers that bind them to the living world, which she uses to scratch out a bare existence in the ruins beneath the City’s floating Towers.
When a rich City man comes to her with a young woman’s ghost tethered to his chest, Xhea has no idea that this ghost will change everything. The ghost, Shai, is a Radiant, a rare person who generates so much power that the Towers use it to fuel their magic, heedless of the pain such use causes. Shai’s home Tower is desperate to get the ghost back and force her into a body—any body—so that it can regain its position, while the Tower’s rivals seek the ghost to use her magic for their own ends. Caught between a multitude of enemies and desperate to save Shai, Xhea thinks herself powerless—until a strange magic wakes within her. Magic dark and slow, like rising smoke, like seeping oil. A magic whose very touch brings death.
With two extremely strong female protagonists, Radiant is a story of fighting for what you believe in and finding strength that you never thought you had.
|More like 3.5|
I don't really know what I was getting myself into when I got RADIANT by Karina Sumner-Smith, all I know is that it has magic and ghosts and I thought I can't go wrong with that.
Reasons to read Radiant
Reasons to read Radiant
- For the unspecified genre and world building . RADIANT has that dystopian feel to it but it's not exact. The MC's are teens but the story didn't give that YA vibe. It's ageless and fantasy, though all encompassing, is the best way to classify this. I love the concept of the RADIANT world, it's run and motivated by magic. The people live to feed their respective Towers and there's a local government-like group that runs each Tower like a corporation, it has to be efficient and brimming with magic otherwise they risk being taken over by a more powerful Tower.
- There is no romance (Yay!) for you who are curious but RADIANT has a great friendship story though.
- Xhea is a likable heroine, flawed but rises to the occasion. She has a street urchin attitude but she's loyal, relentless, and resilient. I consider Shai a main character too, she may be a ghost but she's the catalyst of the entire novel. Their friendship isn't mushy or even girly, it gradually evolved due to their circumstances.
- I love the whole concept behind Radiants. They're like super magical humans that generates so much magic that they can power a Tower. They're rare though so getting/being a Radiant is akin to a unicorn.
- There's a small cast of characters and as RADIANT is told in the third person point of view, it was easy to keep track of who's who and their specific roles in that whole mess of things.
- RADIANT, in essence, is a magical ghost story! Magic! Ghosts! Oh my!
However look out for...
- The book is cut in three parts and part two dragged a little bit. RADIANT is maybe 50 to 75 pages longer than it should be.
- As I prefer character driven books, RADIANT is plot driven. It wasn't a deal breaker but the pace of character driven books IMO is much better.
- We never really know what Xhea is, where she came from, what her magic is, etc.
I liked RADIANT enough, KSumner-Smith created a great world filled with magic and ghosts and the fact that it straddles a few fantasy genres made it even better. RADIANT's not cookie cutter and it has a few unique elements to it that makes it stand-out. Definitely worth giving this one a try.