Book review: Petition by Delilah Waan

Book links: AmazonGoodreads

AUTHOR INFO: Delilah Waan is a literal bookworm who alphabetically devours her way through the shelves at her local library.

Her preferred diet is fantasy epics—full of complex intrigue, morally ambiguous characters and tragic ends—though she does enjoy the occasional quippy, fast-paced action adventure. (Sappy romances, however, give her indigestion.)

When she’s not binge-reading the next doorstopper on her TBR or engaging in frantic theory crafting in between Brandon Sanderson and Will Wight book releases, she likes to spit bars in her best Angelica Schuyler impression and walk her cat.

Publisher: Paper Tiger Productions (May 30, 2022) Page Count: 430 (Kindle edition) 

I liked it. Petition sticks to familiar tropes but twists them here and there and introduces a layer of the unexpected.

Rahelu was born with a strong aptitude for magic but to a low-income fisherfolk family. Because her parents couldn’t afford the tuition for the magic school in their homeland, they moved to the other side of the continent. They hoped things would get easier, but capitalism is brutal, and money helps everywhere.

Rahelu is likable, and her determination to succeed (plus her motives to do so) is praiseworthy. She’s a classic underdog character with an entertaining arc. Petition is structured around a tournament to secure a better future and a well-paid job in one of the Houses. The author adds a murder mystery, some politics, and a tiny bit of romance to the mix. For the most part, it works – I finished the book in two sittings and enjoyed myself 🙂

Things that didn’t quite work for me include the initial simplistic division between the worlds of the relatable working class and the upper class detached from reality. Also, there’s a trope that I wholeheartedly despise – a rich and dazzling high-born bullies our impoverished protagonist. Fortunately, things change quickly, and we experience more complexity as the story progresses.

The other thing that didn’t fully work for me concerned world-building – the author introduced various terms describing powers/resonances by naming them without explaining their effect. But then, again, it’s easy to get the hang of it quickly, so maybe I’m just nitpicking a bit.

Overall, I had a good time reading the book, and I’m interested in reading the sequel once it’s published. And I encourage you to do the same 🙂

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