They say the country of Zeuten no longer has any need for heroes.
Quests have been completed, the great Powers have withdrawn from the world, and the Sentinels who guard the last Relics are largely forgotten. Unlike their neighbours in the country of Aestin, whose Invokers wield the magic of the deities in exchange for glory and prestige, they leave the gods alone, and the gods extend the same courtesy to them.
When Zeuten’s last Sentinel disappears, Zelle, her granddaughter, intends to track her down. Instead, she runs into an Aestinian stranger with no memories of his past, who claims to be looking for a long-lost Relic hidden in the mountains by the first Sentinels. To Zelle, the rumours of lost Relics are just stories told to trick gullible travellers, but the hordes of enemies on the stranger’s tail suggest otherwise. Armed with nothing but her grandmother’s sentient (and temperamental) magical staff, Zelle finds herself tasked with keeping them both alive.
Between monstrous beasts, magical storms, and an enthusiastic but inept aspiring assassin and her dragon sidekick, Zelle has her work cut out if she wants to survive long enough to save her grandmother and prevent the destruction of a nation.
Maybe Zeuten is in need of a few heroes after all…
The Lost Sentinel is the first novel in the Relics of Power series by the British author Emma L. Adams. It’s an interesting proposal that mixes sections that are heavily character-driven, with sections where the plot takes all the control over the narrative pace. Despite being a coming-of-age story, it feels really original, as the starting point is really different, and some of the classic tropes in the genre have been twisted enough until making them look new.
One of our main characters is going to be Zelle, who after going to visit her grandmother, a Sentinel, whose labor was to keep in place Relics, discovers she has disappeared. To add salt to the wound, she finds a stranger who has lost his memories; and has to take care of the staff of her grandmother. It’s curious to see that despite being a staff which gives great powers, it also has a conscience, and it becomes interesting to see the discussions that arise between Zelle and the staff; a great concept if you ask me.
Simultaneously, there’s a second point of view, Evita, an assassin who is on a mission to get rid of the people on the outpost where Zelle and the stranger are. She’s also accompanied by a dragonet, and let me stop here a little bit. Dragons are a classic trope of fantasy, so it’s difficult sometimes to make the concept interesting; but Adams did a great job, of making them intelligent creatures, in a similar way to humans.
Worldbuilding is really well done, introducing different countries to the world, and marking the differences between them, being Zeuten the main one, where the quests have finished, and the Powers have set up; but where something is starting to happen. It is also worth noting how small details such as the expressions used by the characters help in this task, helping also in the quest to avoid using info dumping. The whole concept of relics is really original, adding another layer of spice to the world.
In summary, The Lost Sentinel is an authentic page-turner by Emma L. Adams. I enjoyed my time reading it and devouring it. I’m eager to return to the world created by Adams in the Relics of Power
Emma L. Adams
Emma L. Adams spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy novels. She has a BA in English Literature with Creative Writing from Lancaster University, where she made it her mission to insert a dragon into every story she wrote.
Now, Emma lives in the middle of England and is the international bestselling author of over 30 novels including the Changeling Chronicles and the Order of the Elements series. When she’s not immersed in her own fictional universes, Emma can be found with her head in a book, playing video games, or wandering around the world in search of adventure.