Review: Shattering the Ley (Erenthrall #1) by Joshua Palmatier

shattering the leyThis is one of those books that I snagged at a convention after meeting the author that then sat on my “to be read” shelf for an embarrassing amount of time. When I saw the final book in the trilogy had been released, I figured it was long past time to dive in.

“Diving in” is an apt description of how it feels to immerse yourself in this book and its world. Despite the gorgeous cover, this is not a science-fiction novel. But at the same time, it’s an epic fantasy novel set in an era that’s hard to pin down, because the unique use of magic in the world has launched “technology” forward so quickly, creating an interesting amalgam of flying vehicles, clockwork, and handmade candles that never seems to clash awkwardly. 

Unfortunately, it is the world and the state of how it’s left at the end of the novel that propels me toward purchasing the next book in this trilogy. The two main characters were interesting, but never seemed to grab me. Kara, especially, seemed to spend the entire novel reacting to things instead of taking any sort of initiative. On top of that, so much of the book is spent also following the “villains.” While their information was useful to have to get the entire scope of the story, I often found myself wanting to hurry them along. It must be noted that Palmatier did accomplish that delicate balancing act of creating villains who do villainous things but do such a good job of justifying it.

A final secondary character that I found myself invested in seems to drop off the radar about halfway through the book. I hope he’s revisited in the next, though I have no idea how he could have survived the turmoil we leave behind at this point.

The text was so dense that I don’t find myself itching to dive immediately back into the next book (which has to be ordered and mailed anyway). But I’m certain to revisit this world and see what happens soon.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Currently reading: American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Currently writing: 28k/30k words

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: