Book Review – Tempests and Slaughter


Thank you to netgalley and the UK publisher for this review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book: Tempests and Slaughter (Numair Chronicles 1) by Tamora Pierce
Release Date:  February 6th 2018 (In the UK September 2018)
Tags: Fantasy / Magic School / Tortall / Coming of Age
Trigger Warnings: Violence / Blood / Mentions of Rape / Death / Slavery / Mentioned Animal Death



Reading Challenge(10)

Arram Draper is a boy on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting danger. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions. Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. And as Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram begins to realize that one day soon he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.


Reading Challenge(11)

Over the years, and especially on youtube, I have seen many people mention Tamora Pierce as a need to read author in fantasy, especially at a young age. I completely missed her. Maybe it is because I am Dutch or my library didn’t have it or I just didn’t read as much fantasy back in the day, but I completely missed these books.  Then came Tempests and Slaughter, a prequel story to her large Tortall series, and I was drawn to that. When I got the opportunity to read this for review I didn’t hesitate and took it. It seemed like a great place to start into the Tamora Pierce world. I was wrong.

As the rating might suggest to you I did not really enjoy this book. I think my keyword for this book is boring. On absolutely every level. Where was the plot? There was seriously barely any. I don’t mind slow stories as long as I feel like I am moving towards something. I didn’t get that feeling here at all. There is summarizations of the schooling, of their school years, about the things they do.The writing style is also dry and felt very distant. Though we only follow one character I wasn’t quite sure I was really getting to know him. Like what are his faults besides accidentally getting drawn into trouble?

World building wise we only saw the university (with bits and pieces from the outside world) and besides knowing they have a plague, slaves and a royal family I really know nothing about the city or the country this takes place in. Even the university is a bit of a question as Arram follows his own personal schedule. It was hard to get a grasp on where he was in his schooling. There was often talk about examinations but only once about results.  There would be big, abrupt jumps, sometimes in a chapter. It didn’t make for a very nice continued story line. The magic also is barely explained and seems a mess.


It is an introduction to a character that means nothing to me. While you are suppose to be able to read this without having read the previous books, I feel like I was missing something from the very start. I think this book is better suited to old fans of the series for appreciation of the characters they already know,  and certainly not a book to invite new readers to this world.

Initially I thought the introduction to Arram was interesting but as mentioned above, I don’t feel like I was able to really get to know his character. There was a lot of interesting things about his friends too but we rarely scratched the surface. Everyone stayed in their own lane and specific role (the prince, the slave, the professor etc) and never really left those things behind to become a character of their own.

Some things around Arram’s sexual awareness was also cringeworthy awkward. I mean I appreciate talking about boys waking up with a stiff member and all, but I don’t think the conversations in this book will get the desired effect for boys the same age to not feel weird and unnormal about it. There was also the way he would appreciate the sway of a girl’s hips, ‘finally being back around pretty girls’ as he put it or how about an old female professor commenting on a 13/14 year old boys fuzz (chest hairs).


12 thoughts on “Book Review – Tempests and Slaughter

  1. I’ve seen a lot of people say this book is boring, but I actually really liked it! I have read her other books, and I know people were excited because they were Numair/Aram fans, but I honestly never even cared about Numair and still liked the book. :p On the other hand, I do think the Tempests/Slaughter thing isn’t really played out here. It seems as if more dramatic things are hinted at for the rest of the series, but this is kind of just Aram and friends hanging out at school. Even the feather on the cover seems like something that will be more important…in a different book in the series.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha, it happens. 😉

        If you’ve loved the world before I can see how it is interesting to settle back into this world. But I think there just seems to be so much more that could have been done with this book for the amount of pages and as you say how the title and cover seem to apply things.


  2. Ha, yeah, this was probably one of the worst places to start. I hope it won’t scare you off from trying Tamora’s older books! I’m a long-time, hardcore fan of her books, but at a certain point, they stopped being good. Song of the Lioness, Immortals, and Protector of the Small are the three best series, and I definitely recommend them. The way she writes now feels so much drier and bland than it used to be. I read somewhere (years ago) that the popularity of HP made her decide that young readers would actually read big books, and that’s basically the point at which I stopped enjoying her books. Once her books doubled in size and went from quartets to duologies, etc., they lost most of their appeal for me. It seems she doubled or tripled her word count without adding any more substance.
    As for this book, I could appreciate learning more about characters I know from the earlier books, but really, it’s just terrible. The half-hearted attempt at making it diverse was pathetic. There was no plot. And Tamora is WAY better at writing from a girl’s POV. I found Aram’s sexual awareness just as cringeworthy as you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I might go back but I won’t go out of my way to buy her books at this point. Thought to be fair, i didn’t before either.
      It sucks that she just doubled over her word count like that. Some books and stories just work so much better with more shortness to it.
      I can imagine how dissapointing this book might have been for you. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh that sexual stuff does sound weird indeed. Thanks for the warning^^

    It’s sad that you thought you were missing something, that’s never cool. I hate it when it says you don’t need to read the previous books but then you actually do in order to develop a connection with the characters.

    I kinda thought it would be like that though. I already know the character/s and wouldn’t need a lot of character building to feel for them. But I can see people who haven’t read any Pierce miss that connection.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m about to post my review of this but literally, it says everything you’ve said… it was a bit boring, and there wasn’t any worldbuilding at all. And I mean what even was that stuff about his “member”?! Cringe!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah, between this and Elizabeth being totally honest with me saying that if you hadn’t read Pierce’s stories as a younger person, and bonded, the appeal might not be there as an adult reader. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am still going to try one of the ebooks I have. I’m going to ask Elizabeth again which one she thought was best, I forgot. Although, I might ask for whichever one from all the books because it looks like Hoopla has all of them. 📚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hoopla is handy. Yeah I think that if you’ve read these as a younger person this book might do a bit more for you than if you haven’t. I hope the older ones are better than this though.


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