Editorial Review - Vestige: Rise of The Pureblood by Antonio Roberts
The first in a series, Vestige: Rise of The Pureblood tells the story of Sinopa – a 17-year-old changeling in search of her past, who will do whatever it takes to discover her family and prove her innocence.
In Antonio Roberts’ world, changelings are people with animal traits like tails, horns, or long ears. Treated like second class citizens – or worse – changelings are considered untrustworthy and violent. Sinopa doesn’t quite know her background, being raised by a goblin who she considered her father but was eventually excluded from this noble community because of their fear of her.
One night, while working at the local tavern, a strange man with green eyes intervenes when a disgruntled customer gets violent with Sinopa and her adopted sister Angela. When he shows up at the apartment, Sinopa trades her most precious possession in exchange for passage to the sky city – Aerogapolis. From the moment she enters the city it tries to sweep her away, from accidentally getting wrapped up in a Hume only (that is human only) church service to getting swindled by a vendor.
Sinopa is a seeker; she is searching for not only her roots but also proof of her innocence in a world where her appearance demonizes her.
This is far from a mere adventure story, Vestige: Rise of The Pureblood explores the deep and commonly dark themes of prejudice, inequality, and disconnection. With discussions around these issues which are far too familiar to people everywhere, this story could easily have become depressing, but the lively writing and brilliantly crafted characters bring light and empathy to a weighty tale.
This steampunk fantasy boasts a long list of characters. The first book in a series can often suffer from acting as a ‘character list’ but Rise of The Pureblood avoids this by focusing well on the characters who are actively met. These characters are backed up by solid world lore, which really draws the reader into the dark world built so well by the author.
Readers of Young Adult Fiction as well as fantasy genre fans will find something to love in Antonio Roberts' work. This story is more than a fast-paced adventure romp, it addresses social and emotional issues with witty humor and winning characters all neatly united by fantastic writing.
Sinopa’s character shines in this steampunk fantasy. Vestige: Rise of The Pureblood is the perfect first installment in a series sure to engage and delight.