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Review --Calligraphy Guild

Title: Calligraphy Guild

Author: R. M. Archer

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 4/5 stars

I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book quite like this one. Set in a unique fantasy world and featuring an intriguing plot, there’s much I enjoyed about this story. It’s a great read that I’m glad I finally got to experience.

Characters: All the characters are portrayed so well, each feeling unusually real. I wasn’t absolutely in love with any character, but neither was I annoyed by any of them. They felt like real people, which is an amazing feat!

It’s hard to pinpoint who the main protagonist is. Most of the story is from Duyên’s POV, but Tora and Sairsha both undergo major character change, as well. That really goes well with the community theme of the book, through; this is a story that’s bigger than just one person!

Content: The book is quite clean. Two characters are in a romantic relationship, and they kiss a few times. There are several other potential relationships.

A few characters suffer from injuries inflicted by the natural world.

Most of the characters believe in a pantheon of gods and goddesses, with a couple believing in a different god. It’s left to the reader’s discernment as to whose beliefs are correct.

Writing: The story is a bit slow initially, with the first 10% introducing us to the world and the characters living within it. Once the action began, though, things picked up speed. The mystery element is executed well (I guessed the lawbreaker; yay!).

The best part is the worldbuilding, though. Archer has created a world that’s uniquely hers and works so well with the story she’s telling. I loved getting to see a practical example of all the worldbuilding tips she teaches!

Summary: As mentioned earlier, this book is different from my usual reads. This was one of my first experiences with Asian-based fantasy (as opposed to the traditional medieval European worlds), and I quite liked it. It’s a good story about community and trust, paired with a twisting mystery that keeps you guessing. I’d recommend this to fantasy fans aged 12+.

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