Star of AnatoliaWhen one reads a fantasy series, one expects the main character to be rather fantastical. But there’s something to be said for viewing the world through the eyes of a more “boring” person, with no magical ability of her own.

However, Anastasia Galipp is far from normal. She is a smart, independent young woman making the best of her position in society, even if it means supporting herself by spying for the Home Office.

I’m not sure why this was a novella rather than a full novel. Many aspects could have been expanded, and it might have saved the ending from feeling just a hair rushed. I’m glad there are other stories already in this series, so I don’t have to wait for more.

This novella combined multiple things that I love: society intrigue, politics, action-adventure, and just a bit of flirting for good measure. Brinkley also follows the trick of making every character the hero of their own story, so I’m looking forward to learning more about all of them. For now, I’m happy to continue following Anastasia’s continued adventures.

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

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.

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